Bush hails Kennedy as a fabulous senator: `When he's against you, it's tough'
By Associated Press, 1/8/02
HAMILTON, Ohio -- In the category of "education policy made strange bedfellows," President Bush paid tribute Tuesday to Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts.
He praised Kennedy not only for his work on education but also for comforting the first lady on Sept. 11.
"And then, of course, there's Senator Edward Kennedy. The folks at the Crawford (Texas) Coffee Shop would be somewhat in shock when I told them I actually like the fellow," Bush said at a ceremony signing the major education bill he requested.
"He is a fabulous United States senator. When he's against you, it's tough. When he's with you, it is a great experience."
Republican Sen. Judd Gregg piled on the praise later in his home state of New Hampshire, the second leg of Bush's three-state victory tour.
"The way I see it is if Ted Kennedy can come to New Hampshire to be on this stage with President Bush and myself, then this must be the year the Red Sox win the World Series," Gregg said to thunderous applause.
In Boston, the president recalled that his wife, Laura, was on Capitol Hill with Kennedy and Gregg for an education hearing on the morning when terrorists struck the World Trade Center.
Kennedy was the first to put a comforting arm around Mrs. Bush "and let her know all would be right," the president said.
"So, Mr. Senator, not only are you a good senator, you're a good man."
Kennedy did not make any public remarks until the president's third and final stop in Boston. The senator urged listeners to give Bush "a great Boston welcome," and they cheered.
Kennedy presented Bush with a replica of the Declaration of Independence.