John Dingell was a great leader
H“Outta’ My Mind on a Monday Moanin’ ” is last line in his last tweet was simple and to the point: “…You’re not done with me yet.”
From the moment he entered hospice care, to the moment we noticed his wife was not in attendance at President
Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, we knew the end was coming soon.
Just not this soon. Congressman John Dingell died Thursday at the age of 92.
By now you’ve seen and heard countless tributes and recollections of him and his amazing body of work crammed into 59 years representing Michigan in the U.S. House of Representatives.
As I was writing my column Thursday night about the Chicago auto show, the bulletin telling us he had lost his long battle with a variety of health issues pinged on my phone.
We were planning on talking with his devoted and loving wife of nearly 40 years, Rep. Debbie Dingell, (or as he always referred to her, “The Lovely Deborah”) on our morning show Friday after an expected update from his doctors.
Instead, the conversation took place Thursday night, after he was gone. He went quickly, in the middle of a bedside conversation with the love of his life.
The history books will remember him as the longest serving member of Congress, for nearly six decades, under 11 presidents.
One of the most powerful men ever in Washington, he loved coming home to Michigan.
We will remember him as a gentle man with a big handshake and a big smile, who would stop everything, look you in the eye and ask how you and your family were doing.
That was not campaigning. That was really caring.
That was John Dingell.