Cornelia Cooper had also held onto the Oct. 13, 1987 edition of the Commonwealth Journal, featuring Mardis’ article on the bust of the senator being displayed in Frankfort. She pointed to the glowing remarks that everyone had to say about Sen. Cooper — notables such as Rep. Hal Rogers, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Gov, Martha Layne Collins, and even U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy — a staunch Democrat.
“Sen. Ted Kennedy was from the other party, but when he came to Frankfort when the statue was presented, he said that he went to his brother to find out how to be a good senator,” said Cornelia Cooper. “If he wanted to find the true significance of a bill and deal with somebody really fair and cooperative in the Senate, go to John Sherman Cooper.”
Indeed, Kennedy is quoted in the article as sharing his high praise for his party opponent.
“If you want the unvarnished truth on any issue, free from partisan bias or special interest influence, all you have to do is remember four little words: Ask John Sherman Cooper,” Sen. Kennedy recalled his brother, the late President John F. Kennedy, as telling him.
“In the decade of our own work together, I also came to know Sen. Cooper well — as brilliant statesman, loyal friend and wise advisor,” added Kennedy. “More than a decade has now passed, but in a sense, he has never really left the United States Senate.”
Cornelia Cooper was amazed by this crossing of the aisle to show respect for a leader who rarely followed the party line blindly — Sen. Cooper voted with the GOP majority just a hair over half the time during his first term in the Senate. She compared it to current discontent about gridlock in Washington, suggesting that modern politicians could learn a thing or two from the praise Kennedy had for Cooper.