Day By Day

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Teddy Kennedy Is Dead!

Sen. Edward Kennedy died tonight in his vacation home on Cape Cod at the age of 77.

Read it here.

It's not a surprise -- we've known for some time that it was coming -- but it still comes as something of a shock. He's been a fixture of the national landscape for so long. I never cared much for him or his brothers -- either their lifestyles or their political leanings -- but there was no denying that they were important figures in our national culture.

After his brothers were murdered Teddy carried on his family's political legacy. He never became president, but few senators in my lifetime have had so illustrious or so contentious a career. He was the lion of mainstream liberalism, a powerful voice in Democratic Party councils, as recently as 2004 a kingmaker in his party, and a hero to many on the left side of the political spectrum.

Looking back over it all you can point to admirable and despicable incidents, but in the end what best characterizes Senator Kennedy is the fact that he lived an important and useful life.

My sincere condolences to his family, his friends, and the many, many people who loved and admired him.

Goodbye Ted.

BBC coverage here.