The Campaign Spot

We Would Never Want to Walk in His Shoes

My reaction of just a bit more than a year ago, upon hearing of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s brain tumor, stands.

There will be plenty of time to recall all of the reasons Ted Kennedy made enemies in this life, plenty of time for our traditional, “Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.” I’ve got the Michael Kelly collection that includes “Ted Kennedy on the Rocks,” his definitive profile from the early 1990s, which showcases all the highs and all the lows. I’ll go through it sometime soon to recall those sides of Kennedy that won’t be showcased in the montages today, stories like that “sandwich” with Chris Dodd, but today’s not the day for that.

A bit of a thought, though: Many of us have siblings, and many of us love them dearly. Many of us find the thought of losing them horrific; to lose two to assassin’s bullets would drive many men mad. From some stories of Kennedy’s behavior in the years immediately after, perhaps he did go a little mad, or at least sought to drown the pain with drink. Hate the man for his legislation, hate the man for his behavior, but save a little room for some sympathy, too; we would never want to walk in those shoes.

I’m guest-hosting the Hugh Hewitt show tonight, and obviously, Kennedy will come up. But we won’t echo those on the other side who have rejoiced at the deaths of conservative giants. Whatever life throws at us, they’ll act the way they act; we’ll act the way we do.


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