With the passing of Sen. Edward Kennedy, we can expect the usual suspects — liberal talking heads, Senate colleagues and the like — to tell us how Kennedy was a giant of the Senate, among the most influential Senators of the 20th century, etc.
This time, the usual suspects will be right.
I first visited the Senate in 1960, in time to see Lyndon Johnson in action. Johnson was the most important Senator of his era. Ted Kennedy may well be the most important Senator since LBJ.
A few years ago, I was with a group that was teasing a well-placed Massachusetts Republican about how his state had given the Senate Ted Kennedy and John Kerry. The Massachusetts Republican pushed back. “Don’t lump Kennedy and Kerry together,” he said. He went on to explain that no Senator works harder for his state than Kennedy does for Massachusetts and no Senator is better to have on your side.
A great many people thought Kennedy was on their side and the outpouring of sentiment we are starting to witness will, in part, be reflection of this fact.
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