RIP Edward T Kennedy

Growing up outside of Boston in the 50s and 60s, the Kennedys were idolized by the voters. They could do no wrong. Sleeping with Marilyn Monroe was considered a good thing. A nuclear confrontation with Nikita Khruschev was an act of courage. JFK’s death broke our hearts, but the faithful placed their trust in RFK, his younger brother. He seemed destined to be president until his assassination in LA. brave. The legacy was to be carried by the even younger Ted, who gave a memorable eulogy for his beloved brother.

“My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it. Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world. As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him: ‘Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not.’

These words thrust the junior senator from Massachusetts on a course for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Richard Nixon has lost once to JFK, albeit by 100,000 contested votes in Illinois and given his mismanagement of the Viet-Nam War Teddy was ready to assume his title as TMK.

A car crash on Chappaquiddick Island cost the life of his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne. Teddy pleaded guilty to ‘leaving the scene of an accident’ and asked the Bay State electorate to forgive him. They overwhelmingly voted for him in 1970, although the incident cost his title of Senate Majority whip, allowing him to pursue policy instead of politics.

His popularity gained strength and he was considered the front-runner for the 1980 democratic nomination until CBS’ Roger Mudd asked in a Faniuel Hall interview, “Why do you want to be president?”

“We, uh, we’re facing complex issues and problems in this nation at this time, but we have faced similar challenges at other times and the energies and the resourcefulness of this nation, I think, should be focused on these problems in a way that brings a sense of restoration in this country by its people to, uh, in dealing with the problems that we face, primarily the issues on the economy, the problems of inflation and the problems of energy and I would basically feel that it’s, uh, imperative for this country either move forward, but it can’t, uh, stand still or otherwise it moves backward.”

This rambling reply sealed the fate of his campaign even most of America was watching the premiere network broadcast of JAWS. The people further distanced themselves from the Kennedy campaign as the Tehran hostage crisis deepened into a conflict between America and Islam. Ted gave a great speech at the convention and returned to the Senate, his home away from home for the next 29 years.

Some GOP flacks criticized Ted Kennedy for his near-misses with death and his drinking, but he was one of the few senators to vote against the war in Iraq. He exercise courage at a time of moral surrender to the messages of GW Bush. He also contested Israeli occupation of Palestine, despite the nationality of RFK’s assassin. Health Care and Cancer Research benefited from his tenure and his years in the Senate will bear fruit for the American people will passed his departure from the world.

“For me, a few hours ago, this campaign came to an end. For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.”

And then all the brothers were none, except in the hearts and minds of those they left behind on this world.

See yah, later Teddy.

The next whiskey is for you. I’ll tip the bartender according to his politics.

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