When I was a 21 year old college student I had the opportunity to spend a semester in Washington DC. I was an intern in the lobbying office of the California State Universities.
When it was learned I had student loans, I was trotted up to Capital Hill and put in a big chair in front of a row of Senators and their staff. I was the living example of a student dependent on the loan program which was under threat of being cut from the budget.
The hearing was chaired by Ted Kennedy. I made my way through the questioning and knew I would remember that day the whole of my life.
When I left the hearing room I made my way to the elevator. Shortly after I stepped in, so did Senator Kennedy. He smiled at me and turned around to face the front of the elevator. In that moment I completely understood the meaning of the word "charisma". I had never before experienced that almost supernatural feeling of magnetism, life force and electricity in the presence of a human being.
It was a memorable day and he was, flaws and all, a most magnificent person.