In the Sept. 17 “Senate Needs Members like Al D’Amato” blog, I wrote of the former New York Republican Senator’s practice of sending thank-you notes. The now head of Park Strategies dashed off notes to Congressional leaders and staffers to thank them for taking time to listen to Taiwan’s president, D’Amato’s client. [In 18 years of reviewing Justice Dept. filings, I hadn’t come upon a single thank-you note until reading Park Strategies’ filing for Taiwan.]
As lobbyist, D’Amato must show obeisance to movers & shakers on Capitol Hill. But, I can’t imagine any future lobbyist from the current GOP Congressional ranks referring to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer as a “great champion” and “good friend.”
It was suggested that today’s cat and dog fight Senate could use a dose of D’Amato’s graciousness and charm. “C’mon, Al. You are only 72. The Senate needs you,” said last week’s blog. The answer to my “D’Amato Again in `10” (a pretty snappy slogan, don’t you think) proposal just arrived in the mail, bursting my quest for Senate civility. D’Amato wrote: “Thank you for your gracious online Sept. 17 post about me and my thank-you notes to Members of Congress.”
Alas, yours truly forgot that the pride of Long Island has a 19-month old son and “a daughter on the way next month.’ He’s a busy guy. “I therefore, cannot follow through on your kind suggestion that I once again run for office,” wrote D’Amato.
The Empire State’s loss is Junior Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s gain. The reality: a match-up between Gillibrand and D’Amato was never in the cards. He is one of her mentors.
Thanks for the note, Al. You are a class act. Good luck with the kids.