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Old 08-26-2009, 06:39 AM   #1
ablarc
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Ted Kennedy Dies

Sen. Ted Kennedy dies at age 77 after year-long battle with brain cancer

By Larry Mcshane
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Updated Wednesday, August 26th 2009, 1:44 AM

Somodevilla/Getty Sen. Ted Kennedy has passed away at the age of 77.


"Edward M. Kennedy, the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply, died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port (Massachusetts)," the Kennedy family said in a statement.

Kennedy was diagnosed in May 2008 with a malignant brain tumor, discovered after he suffered a seizure at his family's famous compound in Hyannis, Mass.

Doctors initially said the cancer could kill Kennedy within a year. But the tough old Democrat fought bravely to outlast the grim prognosis.
His large family took advantage of the extra time.

"It let us have the chance to tell him how much we love him," said his son, Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.). "And him to be there to hear it."

Kennedy was largely absent from Washington after the diagnosis.
Rumors of his deteriorating condition heated up when Kennedy missed three big August events: His sister Eunice's funeral, the confirmation vote for Sonia Sotomayor, and the ceremony where he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Kennedy's low-profile over his last month was a dramatic contrast with his tumultuous life.

Thrust into the role of family patriarch by the assassinations of his two brothers, the star-crossed Kennedy endured a heart-rending series of tragedies - several of them self-inflicted.

The Massachusetts Democrat never fully escaped the taint of Mary Jo Kopechne and Chappaquiddick. He struggled with alcohol, and suffered through the untimely deaths of nephews David by drug overdose, Michael in a skiing accident and JFK Jr. in a plane crash.

He never reached the White House, absorbing a stinging defeat in his 1980 challenge to incumbent Jimmy Carter. Critics said he lacked his brother John's intellect and his brother Bobby's passion.

The white-haired Kennedy, with his well-worn visage and thick New England accent, amassed a staggering legacy of legislation that made him one of the nation's most respected senators.

His extraordinary reach covered issues from health care to immigration to gun control; his strident opposition helped doom the 1986 Supreme Court nomination of Judge Robert Bork.

His "titanic record of legislation," Time Magazine once wrote, impacted "the lives of virtually every man, woman and child in the country."
His personal demons, which rendered Kennedy equally alluring to gossip columnists and political pundits, receded after his 1992 marriage to second wife Victoria Reggie. The aging senator embraced life in the slow lane - along with two new stepchildren.


Through it all, for four decades after brother Bobby was gunned down during the 1968 presidential race, Ted Kennedy became the compelling public face of the family known worldwide as American royalty.
Edward Moore Kennedy, the grandson of Irish immigrants, was born in Boston in 1932. The boy known as Ted was the ninth and last child of one of Massachusetts' original power couples, multi-millionaire Joseph Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald, whose father was once mayor of Boston.

The brood's father was a politically-wired Democrat determined to put a son in the White House. He served as ambassador to England under President Franklin Roosevelt, and political talk was a staple at the family dinner table.

Tragedy, later a recurring theme, struck early in young Teddy's life: he was just 12 when eldest brother Joe Jr. died in a plane crash during a World War II mission.

Kennedy's first public embarrassment, another recurring theme, came at Harvard. He followed brothers John and Bobby to the Ivy League - but was booted in a freshman year cheating scandal.

Kennedy did a two-year Army stint during the Korean War, spending his time - perhaps through paternal influence - in Paris.

He returned to graduate from Harvard in 1956; two years later, he was working on brother John's 1958 Senate campaign and marrying Joan Bennett, a college classmate of his sister Jean.

He helped again in JFK's run for the White House in 1960. Two years later, he virtually inherited his brother's Senate seat, kept warm by JFK's college roommate until Kennedy turned 30 - the required age for a senator.

His opponent for the Democratic nomination, Massachusetts Attorney General Edward J. McCormick Jr., delivered a riposte that lingered long after the election: "If your name was simply Edward Moore instead of Edward Moore Kennedy, your candidacy would be a joke."

Kennedy enjoyed the last laugh, winning his first term. He was reelected seven times.
On Nov. 22, 1963, the Kennedy's "Camelot" crashed when JFK was shot to death in Dallas. Kennedy then nearly perished in a 1964 plane crash that killed the pilot and an aide. The senator was pulled from the wreckage with a punctured lung, broken ribs and internal bleeding.

His recovery was followed by more devastation: the Los Angeles assassination of brother Bobby during the 1968 presidential campaign.

The baby of the four Kennedy brothers was now the last Irishman standing, a ill-fitting mantle he wore uneasily. He was the only one of the brothers to make his 50th birthday.

On June 8, 1968, he delivered Bobby's eulogy inside St. Patrick's Cathedral. Choking back tears, Kennedy asked that his brother "be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw suffering and tried to right it, saw war and tried to stop it."

It was a reunion for campaign workers one year later that sent Kennedy's career to its nadir.

Mary Jo Kopechne, 28, had come to Chappaquiddick on July 18, 1969. Kennedy claimed he was driving her to catch the ferry back to Martha's Vineyard when his car went off a bridge.

He swam to safety and fled the scene, leaving Kopechne to die and taking nine hours to notify authorities. Kennedy eventually pleaded to leaving the scene of an accident, and received a two-month suspended sentence.

The tragedy, with its murky circumstances, submarined Kennedy's presidential for a decade. In 1979, the reluctant heir to Camelot finally mounted his own White House quest against incumbent Carter.

But a decade after Chappaquiddick, while campaigning in Louisville, Ky., Kennedy was greeted by the effigy of a female corpse and a sign reading "KILLER."

Kennedy acknowledged his behavior that summer night remained "irrational and indefensible and inexcusable and inexplicable."

The senator suffered another self-inflicted wound during an interview with television reporter Roger Mudd, who posed a simple question: "Why do you want to be president?"

Kennedy offered a baffling, meandering reply. "I would basically feel," he concluded, "that it's imperative for this country either move forward, but it can't stand still or otherwise it moves backward."

Kennedy failed to unseat Carter, who lost to Republican Ronald Reagan - although the Massachusetts senator found his voice at the Democratic convention.

"It is the glory and greatness of our tradition to speak for those who have no voice, to remember those who are forgotten, to respond to the frustrations and fulfill the aspirations of all Americans seeking a better life in a better land," he said.

For the next dozen years, Kennedy remained the loudest liberal voice in a conservative GOP federal government, galvanizing his troops for a variety of causes through the decades.

He helped block Reagan Supreme Court nominee Bork in one of his greatest political triumphs, but Kennedy also championed lowering the voting age to 18; the first bipartisan campaign finance bill; increases in the minimum wage; Title XI legislation, requiring colleges to equally fund men's and women's athletics; and the Voting Rights Act amendments, which increased minority representation in Congress.

His marriage to Joan, who waged a long battle with alcoholism, ended in divorce in 1982. The couple had three children, including future Rhode Island Congressman Patrick. Their eldest son, Edward Jr., lost a leg to cancer in 1973.

He also served as surrogate father to his brother's children, remaining close to Bobby's large family and John's two kids, Caroline and John Jr.
Kennedy's involvement with scandal stretched into the '90s, when he roused nephew William Kennedy Smith to grab a drink on Good Friday 1991.

Smith was subsequently arrested for raping a woman he'd picked up while drinking with Kennedy. The nephew was subsequently acquitted, but the senator was once again tarred.

Kennedy - held up as a national bogeyman by liberal-bashing Republicans - settled in as a senior statesman during the Clinton administration.
His personal life settled down as well, with a subdued Kennedy doting on his new wife and stepchildren.

When the Republicans returned to power in 2000, he remained an outspoken voice for his convictions - most notably voting against the Iraq war in 2004. "Iraq is George Bush's Vietnam," he said in one particularly prescient comment.

Kennedy, to the end, maintained his sense of humor. Asked in 2006 about his long Senate career, Kennedy replied, "I sort of laugh and say, `I'm going to stay in the Senate until I get the hang of it.'
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Old 08-26-2009, 08:10 AM   #2
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Re: Ted Kennedy Dies

Yeah, I'm going to be avoiding Boston.com for a few days...


The election process for his successor should be....interesting.
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:00 AM   #3
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Re: Ted Kennedy Dies

Yes I am CRYING to, so am thinkin of HAPPY thots like mayor eletion. Goodbye old EMK.
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Old 08-26-2009, 11:10 AM   #4
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Re: Ted Kennedy Dies

Quote:
Originally Posted by statler View Post
The election process for his successor should be....interesting.
What election process? Back room dealings among the Beacon Hill scum will produce our next Senator.

As the media keeps mindlessly repeating, it's "the Kennedy seat" not "the people of Massachusetts' seat"
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Old 08-26-2009, 11:29 AM   #5
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Re: Ted Kennedy Dies

Can they still change the law and make it an appointment? I know they wanted to before he died, but can they still do it now? I'm a little unclear on that. I'm hearing different reports.
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:50 PM   #6
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Re: Ted Kennedy Dies

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Originally Posted by statler View Post
Can they still change the law and make it an appointment?
And that's better than what? An election?
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:55 PM   #7
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Re: Ted Kennedy Dies

Well...the theory goes that it will takes months to run a special election and cost lots o' money....So why not change the law to allow the Governor to make an appoinment.

That's the way it used to be....before they changed the law to take that power away from Romney in case Kerry won the presidential election!

Don't you miss living in Massachusetts?
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:02 PM   #8
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Re: Ted Kennedy Dies

The proposed law change would be to allow for an interim appointment as the special election cannot be held for 140 days (or somewhere in that neighborhood). The special election would still be held as scheduled, but MA would not be stuck with only one senator until that time. This is not about appointing a permanent successor but about, putting it rather crudely, having someone cast Senator Kennedy's vote in favor of health care reform.
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:04 PM   #9
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Re: Ted Kennedy Dies

What was the original law under Romney? Was he allowed to appoint a temporary or permanent successor?
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:28 PM   #10
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Re: Ted Kennedy Dies

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Originally Posted by statler View Post
What was the original law under Romney? Was he allowed to appoint a temporary or permanent successor?
Previously the law would have allowed Romney (now Patrick) to appoint a Senator who would serve until the next general election (or "permanently" as it pertains to this discussion).

Kennedy, according to reports, also requested that the appointed interim senator not be able to run in the special election, avoiding any claims that the interim senator would be given the benefit of running as the incumbent.

This is all of course politically motivated, but I think the proposed change is a good one. If the law is not changed now I'd like to see it changed after this is resolved.
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:43 PM   #11
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Re: Ted Kennedy Dies

I agree, but they really should have written the law this way in the first place. :S

And to avoid the the Blago situation, it should be written that if the remaining term is <1 year, than it will just be a permanent appointment until the general election, if >1 year, temporary appointment until special election.
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:46 PM   #12
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Re: Ted Kennedy Dies

Someone said Ted kennedy was the most important American who was never President. He gets stiff compeetition for that position from Benjamin Franklin.

But why is everyone talking about his sucession rather than his [mighty] accomplishments?
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:52 PM   #13
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Re: Ted Kennedy Dies

The living are more important than the dead.
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:50 PM   #14
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Re: Ted Kennedy Dies

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Originally Posted by ablarc View Post
Someone said Ted kennedy was the most important American who was never President. He gets stiff compeetition for that position from Benjamin Franklin.
I'd add Hamilton, Henry Clay and in a negative way, Calhoun, Lee and Jeff Davis.
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Old 08-26-2009, 03:07 PM   #15
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Re: Ted Kennedy Dies

Quote:
Originally Posted by ablarc View Post
Someone said Ted kennedy was the most important American who was never President. He gets stiff compeetition for that position from Benjamin Franklin.

But why is everyone talking about his sucession rather than his [mighty] accomplishments?
i heard Barney Frank on NPR say that Teddy was the most "powerful" american who was never president. Still debatable, but is much different (and more plausible) than "important"
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Old 08-26-2009, 03:36 PM   #16
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Re: Ted Kennedy Dies

Powerful ... important ... what's the difference?
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Old 08-26-2009, 03:45 PM   #17
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Re: Ted Kennedy Dies

I think J.P. Morgan would disagree.
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Old 08-26-2009, 04:03 PM   #18
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Re: Ted Kennedy Dies

That is a brilliant inclusion!
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Old 08-26-2009, 04:37 PM   #19
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Re: Ted Kennedy Dies

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I think J.P. Morgan would disagree.
So ... he was either powerful or important.

Which?
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Old 08-26-2009, 06:30 PM   #20
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Re: Ted Kennedy Dies

When someone writes checks to bail out a bankrupt US Government prior to the national income tax becoming legal. They are kind of a big deal.
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