He was Mike Dukakis' veep choice in 1988, and the only bright spot on an otherwise lame ticket.
He was Bill Clinton's treasury secretary, and a former U.S. Senator from Texas (he won that seat by beating George H.W. Bush in 1970).
Most memorable line, served up to Dan Quayle during the 1988 veep debate, when Quayle claimed he was as experienced as John Kennedy:
"Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy," Bentsen declared. "I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy!"
Damn ... no cigar ... that's what I get for watching the Senate, they are always about 15 minutes late.
I met Mr. Bentsen once during the 1988 campaign. Class act, genuinely interested in what people had to say to him.
Couldn't help comparing him to John Connally who sought the Republican nomination for President in 1980, campaigning on a pledge to bring the U.S. hostages home from Iran by any means necessary — refusing even to rule out the use of nuclear weapons. I also met Connally during his short-lived 1980 campaign. He was a real jerk.
Best part of Bentsen's slamdown of Quayle was the network cameras lingering on a close-up of Quayle's pout. Priceless.
Bummer. I kinda liked Bentsen... he had more charisma than Dukakis, but that's like saying water is wet.
Seriously, though... Godspeed, dude.
Little known fact: The character of Grandfather Clock on "Captain Kangaroo" was modeled after Bentsen.
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