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Jean Kennedy Smith
r i p


I met with her when she was U.S. Ambassador to Ireland and I was in the country, helping to negotiate a cease fire and framework for peace between the rival factions in what were called, euphemistically, as "the troubles."

Here are my recollections of that meeting, from my book Citizen Mack:

When I left Belfast, I went to Dublin, where I had another experience in peaceful coexistence. I was scheduled to visit the US embassy there and spend time with the ambassador, Jean Kennedy Smith, who was, of course, a member of the Kennedy political family. It seemed unlikely, to say the least, that I—a conser- vative Republican senator from a Southern state—would be able to bond in any way with her. I expected the visit to be strained and formal and that it would seem to drag on forever.
Well, the spirit of reconciliation must have been in the air. After I was introduced to the ambassador, we began a bit of awkward small talk and before long, we were talking and laughing like old colleagues. What I had been dreading turned out to be a wonderful visit that seemed, almost, to go by too quickly.

In the present climate, we could use more moments like that.

My condolences to the family.

Senator Mack's new memoir, titled 'Citizen Mack' is available now on Amazon. Order here!



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