52 years ago today, Congressman John Dingell (D-MI) gaveled Medicare into law.
In 1995, I was the point person putting together the 30th Anniversary celebration of Medicare on the Hill with Pres. Clinton, Al Gore, Donna Shalala, and 120 Dem. members of the House. It was big deal, as Newt Gingrich was trying to gut Medicare and Medicaid. As the crowd filtered in, and the stage filled up, I showed a film of the young John Dingell and "the pocket dyamo" Carl Albert leading the charge for Medicare 30 years earlier. Later I saw Congressman Dingell at another Clinton event in Chicago, and we hung out for an hour talking about Iran-Contra and Ollie North and the Korean connection, and what you had to do to survive getting hunted by your political enemies in Washington (My advice: keep your wallet in your pocket and your zipper up). Dingell was on the board of the NRA, and he actually believes in ALL of the U.S. Constitution.
John Dingell is now 91 years old, but he still rocking, still smart, and cool enough to be on Twitter (along with Carl Reiner!).
John Dingell not only remembers when America was great -- he was one of the guys making it great.