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Time for a New Kennedy in the Senate

Phil Krone 3 September 2009 2 Comments

It would not be unfair to say that the right wing blogs have gone ballistic over the coverage of the funeral of the late Edward M. Kennedy, now known as the ‘Lion of the Senate’.  They want him remembered as a personally reckless murderer (Mary Jo Kopechne) and cheat (Harvard)and immoral womanizer.

They lose.

Kennedy will be remembered, warts and all; but the overwhelming image will be that of the last twenty eight years, especially the last  seventeen, since his marriage to Victoria Reggie Kennedy who is universally credited with bringing order and stability to his life.

Ted Kennedy will now fall into the pantheon of Senators which include Webster, Calhoun and Clay from the 19th century, Vandenberg, Taft, Johnson, Dirksen, Douglas and Humphrey from the 20th Century and so far, Kennedy is the only one to join those ranks from the 21st Century, though he straddles the 20th as well.  The last years of his life stablished him as a true legislative leader and the fact that there were so many significant Republicans at his funeral, and more than sixty U.S> Senators, past and present, gives testament to that fact.

His vacancy give Governor Deval Patrick an an unbelievable opportunity to do something which would receive tremendous support from the people of the Bay State, and that is to appoint Caroline Kennedy, Ted’s beloved niece, and the daughter of the first Kennedy to sit in the Senate from Massachusetts, to the vacancy.  While she lives in New York, Masschusetts natives would love to see this happen; not because it is owed to her, but because it continues a great tradition.  Whether Caroline decided to run in either the special election or the next election in 2010,. it would also give a shot in the arm to the embattled Governor Deval Patrick who would demonstrate a sense of vision not enjoyed by his New York counterpart, David Paterson who dangled the Hillary Clinton (an Illinois-Arkansas-DC native) vacancy in front of her and then went on to appoint a virtual nobody.  While I would concede that Caroline Kennedy had a terrible rollout, that should really be blamed on her handlers.  Her veritable stream of ‘uhs’ and ‘you know’s in interviews  were the result of shyness and inexperience not a lack of intelligence or perspicacity.

Phil Krone is a regular columnist for the Chicago Daily Observer


  • Pat Hickey said:

    Come on, Phil. To be fair – Mary Jo is water under the bridge as far as I am concerned. Nope. non-issue.

    The Gummy Lion of the Senate should and will be remembered for his Devotion, Faith and Fealty to Planned Parenthood, Identity Politics, and the Media.

    Mary Jo Kopechne was and remains a mere distraction and soggy story.

    Like you, I hope that Deval gives the seat to Citgo Joe ‘Chavez’ Kennedy. Poor Caroline does not know whether she belongs in New York or Massachussets. At least Chris Kennedy, here in Illinois, knows and declares for exactly which office he will not run for.

  • Dan Kelley said:

    Enough already!

    One of the forgotten memories of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy is how he exploited his neglected first wife during his lackluster 1980 presidential campaign. Joan Kennedy was taken out of mothballs and dusted off for the campaign, but, as soon as President Carter secured renomination, Mrs. Kennedy was sent back to the attic. Within two years the couple divorced.

    Let’s dispel the myth of Camelot: Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., paid James Michael Curley of Boston to retire from a safe Democratic congressional seat to clear the way for John F. Kennedy to enter politics (Curley used Kennedy’s money to finance his last successful mayoral campaign, but his term ended with a prison sentence).

    So much for idealism.

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