Senator Edward Kennedy R.I.P.

Written by  //  September 24, 2009  //  Government & Governance, U.S.  //  No comments

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[Paul G.] Kirk Heads to Senate With Brief, Crucial Mission
Given the myriad other roles Paul G. Kirk Jr. has played for Senator Edward M. Kennedy — strategist, divorce lawyer, master of ceremonies at the senator’s memorial service, executor of his estate — his appointment Thursday as the interim appointee to the Senate seat Mr. Kennedy held was both kismet and deeply pragmatic.

Kennedy Memoir Talks of Chappaquiddick, J.F.K. and Other Presidents
In a memoir being published posthumously, Senator Edward M. Kennedy talks remorsefully about the car accident that claimed the life of Mary Jo Kopechne – a turn of events many consider a chief reason that he was never able to mount a successful bid for the presidency.

AND THE LAST SHALL BE FIRST, by Beryl Wajsman
When John Kennedy was elected President he gave his youngest brother a silver cigarette case with the scriptural verse from the Gospels of Matthew and Mark “…and the last shall be first…” engraved within. Whether they were intended as words of aspiration or inspiration, Edward Moore Kennedy — overcoming so many personal demons — rose to their hope and to their promise. His legislative legacy, more than anyone in the post-war era, became the first line of defence for hundreds of millions of the vulnerable whose concerns are too often last in the minds of lawmakers in their ivory towers.  In every day and in every way, the work of Teddy Kennedy helped everyone battle their own personal dragons. But his record of over 500 laws addressing the needs of the poor, the sick, the hungry and the marginalized, is not the most compelling reason for commemorating the passing of the last of the first generation of this remarkable family. His heart is. Teddy was all heart.

‘Soul’ of Party Is Memorialized by Nation
“Ted Kennedy has gone home now, guided by his faith and by the light of those that he has loved and lost. At last he is with them once more, leaving those of us who grieve his passing with … a single, enduring image – the image of a man on a boat; white mane tousled; smiling broadly as he sails into the wind, ready for whatever storms may come, carrying on toward some new and wondrous place just beyond the horizon.” – Eulogy given by President Obama

US Senator Edward Kennedy dies aged 77
(Reuters) US Senator Edward Kennedy, a towering figure in the Democratic Party who took the helm of one of America’s most fabled political families after two older brothers were assassinated, died at age 77, his family said.

Edward Kennedy – a life in pictures

Edward Kennedy, Senate Stalwart, Dies
(NYT) Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, a son of one of the most storied families in American politics, a man who knew triumph and tragedy in near-equal measure and who will be remembered as one of the most effective lawmakers in the history of the Senate, died late Tuesday night. He was 77.
Ted Kennedy, 1932-2009: The Brother Who Mattered Most
(TIME) … his failure to get to the presidency opened the way to the true fulfillment of his gifts, which was to become one of the greatest legislators in American history. … by the time of his death on Aug. 25 in Hyannis Port at the age of 77, he had 46 working years in Congress, time enough to leave his imprint on everything from the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009, a law that expands support for national community-service programs. Over the years, Kennedy was a force behind the Freedom of Information Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. He helped Soviet dissidents and fought apartheid. Above all, he conducted a four-decade crusade for universal health coverage, a poignant one toward the end as the country watched a struggle with a brain tumor. But along the way, he vastly expanded the network of neighborhood clinics, virtually invented the COBRA system for portable insurance and helped create the laws that provide Medicare prescriptions and family leave.  more on TIME
Gail Collins & David Brooks: The Prosaic Ted Kennedy
David Brooks: As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become less enamored of charisma. It’s fun to cover a charismatic politician, but government is boring and in a healthy society it should be boring. It’s not the stuff that gets you on the cover of Vanity Fair. It was grunt work, most of the time. It was pure C-Span. But it was always super impressive to see someone born to all the spoils of glamour put in the hard work required to do the normal daily digging of government. His was the story of a callow youth who found a substantive way to perform public service.
Gail Collins: I hope he can be a role model not just for people yearning for a mid-life renewal but also for all the future fifth-place finishers on “American Idol.”
Edward Kennedy: Last of the clan
(The Economist) BRAIN cancer, diagnosed last May, killed Edward Kennedy on Tuesday August 25th. America’s liberal lion, famous in later years for his girth, his flushed face and his mane of white hair, had been ill and largely out of Senate action for months. But when he did appear, he was unafraid of linking what he called the biggest political issue of his life to his own circumstances. “Over the last year, I’ve seen our health-care system up close. I’ve benefited from the best of medicine, but I’ve also witnessed the frustration and outrage of patients and doctors alike as they face the challenges of a system that shortchanges millions of Americans,” he wrote in the Boston Globe.
World Leaders on Kennedy: Mourned on ‘Every Continent’
(WSJ) The news of the death late Tuesday of Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy rippled around the globe as world leaders offered condolences and praise for the American political icon.
Ted Kennedy tributes: World remembers ‘Lion of the Senate’
(CSM) The longtime Democratic senator from Massachusetts will be mourned on ‘every continent,’ said British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Wednesday.
Obama pays tribute to Kennedy
(Politico) Obama said that he and his wife, Michelle, were “heartbroken” over the death of their “dear friend.”
Robert Scheer on Ted Kennedy: “Remembering the Real Deal”
(Truthdig) The light has gone out and with it that infectious warm laugh and intensely progressive commitment of the best of the Kennedys. I would put Kennedy alongside my other hero, George McGovern, as the most trusted standard-bearer of the Democratic Party’s too-often-sabotaged liberalism. I just could never imagine either of them ever selling us out. Indeed, I haven’t felt quite so sad about the passing of a political leader since the day when people started bawling all over the Bronx with the news that FDR had died. In a political world dominated by bipartisan cynicism, there are few touchstones of integrity for the common folk, and Kennedy was one of them.
How Ted Kennedy helped create Bangladesh
Yesterday’s New York Times obit of Kennedy devoted one paragraph to his international contributions, saying he “had less impact on foreign policy than on domestic concerns.” That’s probably true. But considering the impact Kennedy had in Chile, Bangladesh, South Africa, and Northern Ireland as well as the not-insignificant role he played in the debates over Vietnam and Iraq, this says more about the size of his overall legacy than anything else.
Who, now, will bear the torch?
(Boston Globe) With the death of its patriarch, … a clan that, no less than the Adamses, the Roosevelts, and the Bushes, has been defined by the public offices it held must set a future course without the compass and standard-bearer for its political tradition, Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
Future of Kennedy Family Legacy Unclear After Senator’s Death
(WaPost) This generation of Kennedys — Joe Jr., John, Rosemary, Kathleen, Eunice, Patricia, Bobby, Jean and Ted — went on to become America’s royal family, not just Boston’s. Eunice and her ball, Jack and his campaigns for Congress, the Senate and then the presidency, all the brothers and sisters and their dedication to public service embodied the American dream in upward motion and social progress, involving all those who participated in a contagious optimism about their improving future.
With Ted’s death late Tuesday, now only one sister, Jean, survives the eight other Kennedy brothers and sisters from that towering generation. As their generation dwindles, a six-decade chapter in America’s political and cultural history is coming to a close, posing the question: Is the Kennedy story ending as a public saga? If it isn’t, who will carry the torch now?

Kennedy’s Death Spurs Calls to Pass Health Legislation
The death of Sen. Edward Kennedy quickly became a rallying cry for Congress to pass health care overhaul legislation.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office sent an email to reporters at around 2:30 a.m. today, just hours after his death, calling for the passage of health care overhaul. “Ted Kennedy’s dream of quality health care for all Americans will be made real this year because of his leadership and his inspiration,” the statement read.
(Reuters) Kennedy’s force felt in healthcare debate

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