Today I had the opportunity of runninginto a true American hero; my new friend Norman Y. Mineta. Call him former mayor, or former congressman for 10 years, or former secretary of transportation, serving in both the Clinton Administration and the Bush Administration. He served in congress with my hero Ambassador Andrew Young, who he also greatly admires (which only proves he is as smart and amazing as I thought he was).
Secretary Mineta is one of the kindest men you could imagine meeting. As we were both waiting for flights home, he sat me down in the airport lounge and "schooled me" on how Congress "really" works, when and how Congress first became bitterly partisan, and the difference between serving his district in Congress (where he had more than 600,000 constituents), and when he served in the Cabinet (where he only had one constituent. The President!). Today Mr. Mineta is vice chairman of Hill & Knowlton. What a man. He even invited me to dinner the next time I am in Washington, D.C.
It is times like this when I recall what my other mentor Quincy Jones told me when I asked him how he got so smart. "John," he said, "I am just nosy as hell." Well, tonight I was nosy.
Onward with HOPE
John Hope Bryant