A Conversation with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy
A: I mentioned that I've been taking notes for 50 years, but I thought I'd lost some of them, and I was amazed by what I found—a detailed account of campaigning for Jack across the country in 1960, including the stump speech I delivered with my handwritten notes scrawled on it. It brought back such wonderful memories, and that speech was also proof of just how far we've come. We were campaigning for Medicare then! And federal funding for education. We were also dealing with the challenge of electing the first Catholic president, and my notes reminded me just how tough it was to find the right way to talk about that issue with people.
Q: What was the most difficult part of writing the book?
A: It's hard to relive painful memories, the losses and the tragedies. But they're an indelible part of my life. And I wanted to tell the full story, candidly, so it's all there. What happened. What I've learned. The people I've known. What I believe, what I've seen and what I feel.
A: I've never dug this deep, and I couldn't have done it if Vicki wasn't there to encourage me. My generation wasn't brought up to talk this personally, and she really helped me figure out how to do it in a way that was true to my values and to who I am, and I hope, interesting to readers.