Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Last of the Kennedys

Love them or loathe them, the Kennedy brothers have been amongst the most remarkable trio of politicians in US history. Teddy Kennedy has just been admitted to hospital with a malignant brain tumour, marking perhaps the end game in the original Kennedy story. He is the most tarnished of the three brothers, especially with the mystery surrounding the Chappaquiddick tragedy which resulted in the death of a campaign worker. Nevertheless, Kennedy has, as a senator for over 40 years, proved to be an effective legislator, and an articulate spokesman for the liberal cause in America. His own rhetoric occasionally matched the heights of that of his brothers, no more so than in his speech to the 1980 Democratic convention. His campaign for the nomination - against incumbent president Jimmy Carter - was hugely damaging to his party, but his speech allowed them briefly to forget their woes and remember the soaring heights that politics can aspire to. Kennedy's peroration is below, and worth re-visiting.

1 comment:

benross said...

Someone in the democratic party had to run against Carter, his presidency was a shambles. You didn't even mention that he was one of the earliest of the superendorsers (no idea if hes a superdelegate, but he would have swayed a few at least) to jump ship from the clinton camp to the obama one.