I covered Dick Gephardt for the better part of a quarter of a century. I wrote some stories that he liked and some that he didn't. We sometimes disagreed, but I never found him disagreeable. Whether I wrote a tough story or one that took his side, he was always the same. He had his job, I had mine. He'd let me know if he thought I had it wrong, but it was never personal. He knew there would be another day and another story.
I could always find an issue on which we differed but over the years I found many more reasons to admire him: his doggedness, the straightforward way he led his party during very tough times when it was in the congressional minority, the way he treated his staff, his seeming inability to lie, and most of all for the loving relationship he had with his family.
A nice guy stepped away from politics last week, scarred from a thousand battles. No, he never got to be president, but he played the game honorably, the way it should be played, and that made the game better, and those who covered him and those who competed with and against him respected him for it. I wish him the best.