Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ted Kennedy

A few thoughts on the death of Senator Ted Kennedy.

Ted Kennedy might have been the most publicized Senator of the television era and between his name along with his successes and failures certainly carved a name for himself through his career.
However,would his death be so publicized if he was Ted Kenney,Senator from Massachusetts?
Or would he even have been a Senator at all,had his name been Ted Kenney?
Kennedy was certainly the most effective Senator since Lyndon Johnson's run in the 1950's and more than proved his worth once in the job once in the position as an legislator,but will be remembered for three things-his siblings, Chappaquiddick and his one failed run at the Presidency before most look at his Senate resume'.
Is this right?
Perhaps,perhaps not,but considering the tremendous failures,maybe Ted Kennedy was closer to the average American than someone of his social standing would have been otherwise.
Perhaps by knowing what it is to hit the deck and have to stagger to his feet,he was able to relate to other problems more than most.
Now Kennedy certainly had the means and connections to get away with things that many others would have been finished for doing,but I would wager that somewhere inside Kennedy understood how people can feel after getting beaten down by life and its ups and downs.
I was neither a Kennedy fan or hater,so I like to think that I come from an unbiased perspective.
Should Kennedy be remembered as Senator,failure or as some believe involved in a death?
Look at the total picture and make your own conclusions.

Which brings me to the media,which will likely try to show the entire picture without showing the entire picture .
Fox will likely talk more about Chappaquiddick than the others,MSNBC will attempt to canonize Kennedy and rarely talk about the incident or the 1980 failure to unseat an unpopular Jimmy Carter in his only run at the Presidency and CNN?
Well,they might cover it,if they can stop talking about Michael Jackson for a few days.
The Kennedy story will be a big one for a few days and likely will be tossed in the dustbin of history,but will Ted Kennedy be remembered as fondly as his brothers are?
Probably not,television likely would have remembered them differently had they been in this era instead of the more controlled world of their time and considering those differences only,Ted would likely have been still remembered as not being up to the level of his siblings.
However,the next few days will go a long way into seeing just how Kennedy will be remembered,pay attention to how the tributes are presented and in what light they present him in.
These next few days could go a long way into what Ted Kennedy is remembered as.

Considering all of that,you know what I will remember him most for?
His finest hour was his magnificent eulogy of his brother, Robert after his assassination in 1968.
If only I could have someone remember me in such a manner..


Wooden U. Lykteneau said...

Having studied Ted Kennedy and his brothers, and lived in his great state for more than 30, I can let you know that the adulation is deserved. JFK and RFK will be remembered for what they could have been, but Ted will be remembered for what he did.

So, he never became president. But he accomplished more as senator than Reagan, the Bushes, and Nixon combined. Partly because he outlasted them all, but mostly because losing the nomination in 1980 freed Teddy from the "burden" of his "destiny."

It's not merely coincidence that his dealmaking and lawmaking went into overdrive after losing to Carter. He had found his niche and his purpose. We should all be so lucky that he did (and we are).

Shawn said...


Some of us will, dear.
Some of us will.