Mark Andrews: the Gentle Giant

Recently, former Senator Mark Andrews recently passed away. He was 94 years old. He was a farmer turned senator from Mapleton, North Dakota.

I first met him back in 1984 while going to NDSU. He was a giant of a man with a big heart. He was already an US Senator at the time. Back then at college, they would have a chance to meet the political candidates from either party, without any backlash you get today on our college campuses. People can disagree politically and not be violently hated for it; not like today.

I mean, back then, I had a college professor, Dr. Thomas Matchie, who was a democrat while I was a young college Republican, a Reagan’s republican at that. We had the utmost respect for each other. He even became my advisor.

You don’t have that kinds of relationship anymore on our college campuses. If you are a Conservative/Republicans, you are physically attack by those on the Left.

Senator Mark Andrews were good friends with Senator Quentin Burdick, who was a democrat. They had respect for each other.

I met both of them along with George Sinner and even Rick Berg as he was starting out in the political field. Rick Berg wasn’t much older than I.

I had my first political campaigning back then and even meeting with other Republican candidates in their homes. I even had for the first time, spinach dip. I was becoming big in the college Republican party back then.

Back in 1986, Sen. Mark Andrews ran for reelection against Kent Conrad. I even met Kent Conrad at that time.

I think what may had hurt Mark Andrews reelection’s bid was the fact that he sued the old St. Luke’s hospital in a malpractice suit on the behalf of his wife, the love of his life. She felt that she didn’t get the proper treatment. He actually won the malpractice.

I can understand the reason for his malpractice suit; but being a Senator at the time, I believe it hurt him big time.

I mean, a political candidate can lie to the American people but do what Mark Andrew did would leave a bad taste in the voter’s mouth.

Believe me, Kent Conrad was a downright liar even back then. He wasn’t a true North Dakotan resident at first when he ran against Andrews. That’s the first time he lied! He lied and I quote, “I will not seek reelection.” But when Sen. Burdick passed away, Kent Conrad ran for Burdick’s Senate seat; as Byron Dorgan ran for Conrad’s seat. That’s dirty politics! Yet, it goes to show that whoever is the biggest liar will eventually win the election.

There’s 2 things that you don’t talk about, They are politics and religions. Yet, it seems people loves political blogs for some reasons. Politics and religions can really damage relationships. No wonder, they say politics is a dirty business to be in. You have to be dirty and a good liar. You also better be careful what’s in your past or your family’s dark secrets. Politics can actually destroy family!

No wonder, former governor Ed Schaffer chose not to run for Senate. He had his filled of it. He would had been a better Senator than John Hoeven; because he was a better governor than Hoeven.

Like I said earlier when I first met Mark Andrew and Rick Berg. Rick Berg was just a few years older than I was and he was down-to-earth at the time. So I had nothing against him when he ran for the North Dakota’s House against Pomeroy. I voted for him then. But I couldn’t vote for him when he ran for Senate against Heidi Heitkamp. The reason was because I felt he should had stayed in the House a little longer than just 2 years. Too me, I felt that the power had gone to his head. I had nothing against him personally.

This is why we need term limits for the Senators and the House of Representatives. It will keep the power from going to their head. That was probably why it was so hard to finally defeat Colin Peterson from Minnesota. He had done some good things but he had been in Washington way too long. He lost touch with reality. He was a farmer who became a career politicians.

Mark Andrews was also a farmer from Mapleton before entering the political fields. If he wasn’t defeated by Kent Conrad, how long would he had been a Senator in Washington for North Dakota? Quentin Burdick was a senator until he died in office. Toward the end of his life, he just became a political figure that was wheeled to political events.