Rhode Island’s late U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell got a brief mention on Tuesday night’s edition of “Hardball with Chris Matthews” on MSNBC. During a discussion of a new Washington Post report about the growing wealth of federal lawmakers, Matthews related this anecdote:
There was a muddy day up in Rhode Island one time, and Claiborne Pell – the elite Claiborne Pell – borrowed some galoshes from a young guy. And he brought it to back to him and he said, “Where’d you get these from?” And he said, “I got it from Thom McAn.” And [Pell] said, “Would you thank Thom for me?” He had no recognition of the human experience.
For my fellow Millennials who are scratching their heads at the story, Thom McAn was apparently a chain store owned by the Melville Corporation, the forerunner of CVS Caremark, that sold shoes.
You can watch the “Hardball” clip here. (MSNBC.com’s embed code isn’t working.) Thanks to reader JA for the tip. The Thom McAn story is also told in G. Wayne Miller’s new biography of Pell, “An Uncommon Man.”