Before his death, reforming the nation’s health care system was the touchstone issue for the late-Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA). And certainly the senator’s son, Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) would have preferred to have seen a Democrat elected to succeed his father. That would have enabled the Senate to block Republican efforts to filibuster the health care reform bill.

But things didn’t turn out that way. And Patrick Kennedy still ventured over to the Senate side of the Capitol meet with Sen.-elect Scott Brown (R-MA) and congratulate him on his upset victory Tuesday night.

The younger Kennedy has known Brown for years through Massachusetts House Majority Leader Jim Valle (D).

“(Brown) was very generous to say nice things about my Dad,” Kennedy said after the meeting in the office of Sen. Paul Kirk (D-MA), who will resign to allow Brown to be seated.

Kennedy added that Brown sought his advice on how to navigate Capitol Hill.

“He asked how do you keep your head about yourself? They’re all vultures,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy also discussed working together on mental health issues.

Before leaving the meeting, Kennedy gave the senator-elect a copy of his father’s memoir “True Compass.”