It was 1979, and I asked the dean of my law school to let me take another semester off for another campaign. The Kennedy campaign was calling this time, and I wanted another break from school. I had just blown off the previous semester on board the losing campaign of a good friend of mine. I got the dean's nod, and on Christmas Day, 1979 I was off on a plane to Reston, Virginia and from there to Iowa for the January caucuses. In Waterloo I met a young guy in his early 30's still feeling his way around the power he could wield with his personality, smarts and conviction. He won me over immediately, but I wasn't the only one. In a campaign populated with America's political rock star family, Mike Ford almost stole the show. People used to say in those days that the Kennedys had “the touch.” A “touch”? You would never say that about Mike Ford. Ford had big Irish hands that always itching for a good fight where there was no second place finish. Mike Ford didn't “touch” you. He grabbed you with his commitment to working class Americans and values that were passed onto him from the Humphrey, McGovern and Eugene McCarthy campaigns. This was a guy who was going to make a difference and bring everyone along with him. He was just that electric and just that inviting. Once you got near him, you couldn't get enough of him. And now he's gone, so let me say this: The best tribute to this guy is to say that he was a good man and nothing more. Mike Ford knew what that meant. He's the one who taught me, and I've never forgotten the lesson. Thank you, Mike Ford.