Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Ralph and Me
I know, I know. The emails keep coming. Sorry people, but the cock is never gonna crow thrice with me and Ralph. He's my hero and Joan Claybrook thinks I may be the only person in America who has a signed written apology from him.

That doesn't stop me from wholeheartedly supporting Kerry this time. Nor does it stop me from wishing that Ralph would energize his 9 percentage points to vote for Kerry, but you're not gonna get me to say it's his ego or that he's selfish.

This is a man who built a vast network of public interest organizations by putting the truth and issues above ego. He never wanted it to be about him. He has always loved to see other advocates come into their own, get the byline, the spotlight, the gig on Nightline. He has never played the Mirror, Mirror on the Wall game, not with anyone.

But he is arrogant and he is sure he is right. That pigheaded quality has generally served him well, but sometimes it hasn't.

Jeez, the whole way I got that apology was that I had organized a dinner at $5,000 a head with wealthy arab-americans to support single payer health care. All Ralph had to do was waltz across the street to his favorite lebanese restaurant and put in an appearance. He wouldn't and we had words. He wouldn't because health care was Sid Wolfe's turf, not his, and he wasn't going to intrude on it and it wasn't his responsibility. We had words because I wouldn't take no for an answer.

So I know Ralph can be pigheaded, but he had to apologize to me because he thought I was too pigheaded.

This tour of duty is entirely consistent with how Ralph has always been, uncontrollable and more concerned with telling the truth and letting the chips fall where they may, be they on Democrats or Republicans. Let's just hope we don't all end up covered with chips this fall...

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