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Kennedy Passes the Torch


Ted Kennedy speaking during day one of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Aug. 25, 2008. (Preston Keres / The Washington Post)

By Dan Balz
DENVER -- Ted Kennedy's appearance here on Monday night will be long remembered as one of the most compelling moments ever seen at a national political convention, capturing his courage, indomitable spirit and belief that his party's future now lies in the hands of a new generation. But his emotional valedictory also may have hinted at the future for Hillary Clinton.

Obama remains the centerpiece of all that this week in Denver is about, but as at past conventions, others play important roles in helping to define and shape a political party's future. Monday was Kennedy's day at the convention. Tuesday is Clinton's.

Kennedy has become the very symbol of unity at this convention, an ailing lion in the winter of life whose forceful presence on the stage in the Pepsi Center occasioned a moment of overwhelming emotion among Democrats young and old, a moment that reminded them of the values they share as a party and the cause that has brought them all to Denver.

Clinton, fairly or not, has become a symbol of possible discord and division within the Democratic family, emblematic of the lingering animosity among her loyalists and among Obama supporters, the legacy of a nomination battle that flared with tension and went to the wire before Obama sewed it up.

The historic nomination battle cast Kennedy against Clinton in a clash of Democratic families that knows few parallels. Their conflict might better be captured in a grand and sweeping political novel. Here were the two royal families whose records and legacies have defined their party for generations locked in a struggle over who would control the future. Kennedy's decision to pass his family torch to the young outsider helped seal Clinton's fate.

Now Kennedy has come to Denver as the unifier, his struggle with incurable brain cancer heightening the emotional power of the moment, while Clinton has come here surrounded by suspicions and questions as to whether she would do all that Obama needs for the party to leave this convention city united.

But in this moment, it is easy to forget that Kennedy was not always the figure of party unity. Scroll back 28 years to the 1980 Democratic convention in New York and recall his challenge to Jimmy Carter. Theirs was a nomination battle that left real divisions and real scars within the Democratic family and there was nothing that happened in New York that did much to heal those wounds.

Carter's hopeless chase around the podium on the night of his second nomination, as he tried to catch the elusive Kennedy for one photographic moment of arms upraised in mutual triumph, captured the depth of those divisions and the hopelessness of efforts at reconciliation.

Nothing of the sort exists here in Denver. A few hours after Kennedy's speech on Monday night, I ran into Harold Ickes, who was a proud Kennedy loyalist in that 1980 campaign and who served as a senior adviser to Clinton in the fight against Obama. I asked Ickes, who has seen much in his 67 years and who has played as hard an inside game as anyone in the party, to compare the divisions at the '80 convention with those here in Denver. No comparison, he said.

That's not to minimize the reality that there are hard feelings here in Denver, or to suggest that the Hillary and Bill Clinton do not have grievances with the Obama forces, or to pretend there is not impatience or frustration inside the Obama operation over what sometimes seems like a prolonged soap opera involving the Clintons. All that is real. But as Ickes and other veterans know, this is not a party divided the way the Kennedy-Carter forces were in 1980.

In New York, Kennedy actively chose not to be a symbol of unity. His speech was one of defiance that concluded with some of the most memorable words of any convention address, a call not for unity but for continued resistance: "For all those whose cares have been our concern," he thundered that night, "the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."

In Denver, there is little expectation that Clinton will close out her speech Tuesday night with a similar exhortation to her vanquished followers. Whatever sniping may go on among those in her greater circle, Clinton has given no hint that she will use her public moments for anything other than delivering as many of her followers as possible to the cause of electing Obama president.

There is a future for Hillary Clinton far beyond the Pepsi Center in Denver. No one knows whether her presidential aspirations are over. Much depends on what happens this fall in the battle between Obama and John McCain, but certainly an Obama victory would virtually eliminate her hopes of someday becoming president.

But it was only after 1980, when it was clear that Kennedy's presidential hopes were extinguished, that he truly made the transition to the role he has played ever since, that of the unquestioned leader of the party's progressive forces, a legislator virtually without peer in the Senate, and a statesman within the party whose voice and direction have been looked to for leadership at critical moments.

Hillary Clinton, should she so choose, may someday come to play a similar role for the Democrats. She has many of the same attributes as Kennedy in her passions, her intellect, her work ethic inside the Senate. If that were to happen, if she stepped up to that role when Kennedy is no longer able, then this convention will have marked not one but two passings of a torch that Kennedy has carried aloft so gallantly for so many years.

By Web Politics Editor  |  August 26, 2008; 1:35 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , Cast of Characters , Conventions , Dan Balz's Take , Democratic Party  
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Comments

DaveyH-

You still have not answered my question. Why????

Posted by: TruePatriot | August 27, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

WHEN will the POST stop this garbage spewing forth unchecked?
RTFA
How are the comments any more garbage than it is?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, I have never bought into the whole Kennedys as American royalty, so Teddy's anointing Barack seems like so much marketing. Barack has had trouble introducing himself to America because he does not know who he is.

Posted by: David | August 26, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

There are "comments" here that have no business being online; they are disgusting, vile, and contribute nothing to public discourse. WHEN will the POST stop this garbage spewing forth unchecked? What ARE the standards (?!) for permitting foul language and ad hominem attacks? Dan Balz is one of your most distinguished journalists. How can you let this stuff get past the moderator? Is there one any more?

Posted by: choralsociety | August 26, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

From those comments of McCain's clones, one can tell how mean and low those people can be. You can only get McCain's nerve awake and excited when there is a war or a situation of potential war. His tone was raised 8 degree higher when he talked about Georgia. Never saw this guy in such a high spirit when facing domastic issues. He simply has no interests in economy. Period.

McCain presidency is a guarantee of another war.

Posted by: leiguo1959 | August 26, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

From those comments of McCain's clones, one can tell how mean and low those people can be. You can only get McCain's nerve awake and excited when there is a war or a situation of potential war. His tone was raised 8 degree higher when he talked about Georgia. Never saw this guy in such a high spirit when facing domastic issues. He simply has no interests in economy. Period.

McCain presidency is a guarantee of another war.

Posted by: leiguo1959 | August 26, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

This is the second, and probably the last time the Dem. party allows Teddy Kennedy to exert his dominating influence in choosing the party's presidential candidate. the first time being sen. John Kerry, a wealthy elite from Boston with strong military and political experience. In both times, the presidential and vp candidates were former senators . The fact is: during the past 40 years, the only Dem. candidates succeeded to become president were southern governors with no connection to either the US Congress or the Kennedy family. the key of their success seems to be: they were able to win more southern ( former confederate ) states, which Obama is seeking now.

Posted by: austin | August 26, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Hillary is probably aiming to succeed Ted Kennedy. In next 4 years will retire (or be voted out) at least 10-15 senators, so her seniority will jump up.

And no, she is not going to risk quite safe senate seat for risky presidential run in 4 years... even if MCCain wins and later decide to stay only one term.

Posted by: Mladen | August 26, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Hillary is probably aiming to succeed Ted Kennedy. In next 4 years will retire (or be voted out) at least 10-15 senators, so her seniority will jump up.

And no, she is not going to risk quite safe senate seat for risky presidential run in 4 years... even if MCCain wins and later decide to stay only one term.

Posted by: Mladen | August 26, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

We can thank Teddy Kennedy for two things:
the disastrous No Child law which his own party repudiates and
his being the only admitted murderer to serve in the US Senate.

It only shows what a corrupt party Hussein is fashioning that Ted "I like to rape 'em dead" Kennedy is the object of their adulation.

And now they want to nominate an Empty Suit Surrender Monkey!
Obama bin Biden!
Guaranteed to sell Americans down the river.
To betray us to their Moslem Terrorist buddies.
To sell Israel out to mollify the Iranian despots.

Isn't it funny that Obama bin Biden have no end to their hatred for Bush but are more than willing to kiss a** with the Tehran Terrorists, the enemies of America and Israel, to suck up to the enemies of freedom world wide?

But wait.
As if that weren't enough they are determined to raise taxes, to redistribute YOUR income to their Special Interest Groups.
Do we really want to go back to Tax and Spend DemoLosers?
Do we really want to hand power to the corrupt America Hating Left?
Want to know what Hussein thinks of America, wants for America?
Listen again to Jeremiah Wright, Hussein's "friend, mentor, advisor, spiritual guide"!

But then Hussein thinks the Oval Office is another Affirmative Action job.
He thinks all those years getting stoned as a "community organizer" somehow qualifies him to be president.
Not because he has earned it.
Not because he has accomplished anything for America.
Not because he could be bothered to even serve in the Guard.
No, only because we are to believe "it is his turn!"
What a joke Hussein is becoming;
all his empty self importance laced with evasion and hatred for America.

And the DemoLosers know all this.
They know what a LOSER Hussein is.
That's why they spend all their time crying Wah Wah Wah
and blaming HRC for Hussein's failures.
What a laugh.

Obama bin Biden are the very nadir of what democratic politics have become in America.
The empty headed Left gives us their Empty Suit nominee.
In Denver we get to watch them drink the Kool Ade to their screeching Kumbayah.
They are proving that ObamaNation is just another name for Jonestown.

Posted by: JamesT | August 26, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

the hypocrosy here is startling

the kennedy's were blatant womanizers so it does not surprise me that ted kennedy would endorse a man over a woman

woman do not faint at the kennedy name because ted left a woman at the bottom of a river in a dui accident, and rather than save her, saved himself and let her drown while he sobered up

john f kennedy embarrased and humiliated his wife with his womanizing and the only reason it wasn't publicized like clinton's indescretion is because in those days - people were discreet and since everyone was fooling around it was kept from the american public

bobby kennedy was also a womanizer and shared marilyn monroe with his brother

and there were many many others

ted was a spoiler at the carter convention so again, lol

the hypocrosy of the press in these matters is as I said startling, and if the dem party doesn't get it - too bad

if you don't get it -- too bad

damage done - good luck

i am voting against mccain not out of loyalty to the democratic party of which i dropped out of and became an independent - i am voting against mccain because I am anti war

i suggest everyone do the same

Posted by: lndlouis | August 26, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Obama and Kennedy are cut from the same woman exploitation cloth - to make such oppressors and a murderer into heros is a reflection of the pathetic propaganda machine called the American press and Democratic Party.

Unfortunately the American public remains as susceptible as always - most of the young people cheering Ted Kennedy and Barack Obama have no idea what happened at Chappaquiddick. And the Kennedys, the Obamas, the Democrats and the Media are anxious to keep them ignorant.

Enough is enough - time to vote for McCain.

Posted by: Democrat for McCain | August 26, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

the hypocrosy here is startling

the kennedy's were blatant womanizers so it does not surprise me that ted kennedy would endorse a man over a woman

woman do not faint at the kennedy name because ted left a woman at the bottom of a river in a dui accident, and rather than save her, saved himself and let her drown while he sobered up

john f kennedy embarrased and humiliated his wife with his womanizing and the only reason it wasn't publicized like clinton's indescretion is because in those days - people were discreet and since everyone was fooling around it was kept from the american public

bobby kennedy was also a womanizer and shared marilyn monroe with his brother

and there were many many others

ted was a spoiler at the carter convention so again, lol

the hypocrosy of the press in these matters is as I said startling, and if the dem party doesn't get it - too bad

if you don't get it -- too bad

damage done - good luck

i am voting against mccain not out of loyalty to the democratic party of which i dropped out of and became an independent - i am voting against mccain because I am anti war

i suggest everyone do the same

Posted by: lndlouis | August 26, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Balz is quite right but also captivated by the amusement of a parallel which I find too narrow. I want to see Mrs Clinton on the Supreme Court, where her pre-marital values and gifts for analysis and advocacy and, yes, negotiation, are even more urgently needed than in the United States Senate, strictly on the basis of the intransigent foursome of the apocalypse needing, constantly, to be stopped dead in their tracks. But, more than that, she greatly deserves a role independent from the conduct of her erratic and impulsive husband. As an elected official, she will be constantly held hostage, and even said to be indebted, to his chronic indiscipline. Beyond politics, beyond Bill, no one can doubt this woman's gifts or her good will.

Posted by: Carter Nicholas, Charlottesville | August 26, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Like his politics or not. One has to admire the man as a Politician. He serves in the Senate with honor and distinction. The Chappaquiddick incident aside he has served each and every one of us. 100% of Americans lives are touched in a positive way by this man. More than his Brothers in many ways. BTW I feel this way about Ronald Reagan, they both have flaws and daemons they have to reconcile with history but they both have influenced America in positive ways.

Posted by: rcc_2000 | August 26, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Balz is quite right but also captivated by the amusement of a parallel which I find too narrow. I want to see Mrs Clinton on the Supreme Court, where her pre-marital values and gifts for analysis and advocacy and, yes, negotiation, are even more urgently needed than in the United States Senate, strictly on the basis of the intransigent foursome of the apocalypse needing, constantly, to be stopped dead in their tracks. But, more than that, she greatly deserves a role independent from the conduct of her menacingly impulsive husband. As an elected official, she will be constantly held hostage, and even said to be indebted, to his indiscipline.

Posted by: Carter Nicholas, Charlottesville | August 26, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

How shop worn are these so called speeches.

get the hook.

Posted by: JohnAdams1 | August 26, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

How shop worn are these so called speeches.

get the hook.

Posted by: JohnAdams1 | August 26, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

ARE YOU PEOPLE ALL CRAZY. SENATOR TED KENNEDY IS "PASSING THE TOURCH". MY GOD PRESIDENT JOHN KENNEDY MUST BE TURNING OVER IN HIS GRAVE. SENATOR OBAMA IS NOT ANOTHER JOHN KENNEDY AND NEVER WILL BE AND AS FOR MICHELLE OBAMA BEING ANOTHER JACKIE KENNEDY, PLEASE GIVE ME A BREAK. HERE WE HAVE SENATOR OBAMA A NO NOTHING, NO EXPERIENCE EMPTY SUIT BEING "PASSED THE TOURCH" AND MICHELLE OBAMA , A FIST BUMPIMG WOMAN WITH NO SOCIAL GRACES, NO STYLE AND A VERY POOR REPRESENTIVE OF WOMAN, BLACK OF WHITE. JOHN KENNEDY NEVER SAID THAT CHINA OR ANY OTHER COUNTRY WAS BETTER THEN THE U.S. AND JACKIE NEVER SAID THAT SHE WAS FINALLY PROUD OF THIS GREAT COUNTRY OF OURS.

PLEASE SEND THEM BACK TO THE SOUTH SIDE OF CHICAGO WHERE THEY CAME FROM.

VOTE FOR SENATOR McCAIN IN 2008 AND THEN HILARY IN 2012.

Posted by: BOO HOO | August 26, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Back in 1980, I supported Kennedy. When Carter won (running in my opinion a dirty campaign), I started out being an Anybody But Carter person who supported John Anderson, but Ronald Reagan won me over.

Point being, I understand how Clinton supporters can be bitter. You can quibble -- Obama is highly competent, Carter was an utter failure -- but from their POV, they're no different from me in 80 -- bitter that my candidate lost.

Ted Kennedy -- rightly, in my opinion -- did not seek to rally the party behind carter, precisely because Carter was running away from traditional liberal Dem policies. That's the difference between this year and 1980; there's not a dime's worth of difference between Obama and Clinton in terms of policy.

Posted by: gbooksdc | August 26, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

TruePatriot, you need to change your alias to "true moron". You are the prototype self-loathing, apologetic, know-nothing liberal that makes we wonder how you can even be from the planet earth, let alone the USA.

Are you serious? Do white people have some sort of near-omnipotent power to cause extremely high illegitimacy and dropout rates in the black community? Can you enlighten us as to how that's done, since you're clearly on a different level of intellect than everyone else (I might add, that clearly doesn't mean a greater level of intellect)?

If you want to point the finger at someone or something, then start pointing it at the many years and trillions of wasted dollars on out-of-control and utterly useless social programs started and championed by left-wing liberals, the most notorious being LBJ's "Great Society". Complete failures, and they achieved the exact opposite of what they were supposed to fix. Those programs created a long-lasting, some say permanent underclass and culture in American society, promoting free rides on the back of John Q. Taxpayer while crushing individual responsibility, progress and achievement among minorities. There are tens of thousands of African-Americans that have taken the right path, worked hard, followed the rule of law, and are smashing success stories today... Obama, while I'm certainly no fan, is a good example. Many have done it in spite of racism and risen above it.

God-willing I'm alive still, I'll be interested to see how this totally ridiculous, tired, old and severely overused crutch is used in 2050, when Caucasians are a minority in this country. What will your "enlightened" opinion reflect at that point?

What will your "progressive" excuse or apology be then?

Posted by: AbnRANGER | August 26, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

TruePatriot, you need to change your alias to "true moron". You are the prototype self-loathing, apologetic, know-nothing liberal that makes we wonder how you can even be from the planet earth, let alone the USA.

Are you serious? Do white people have some sort of near-omnipotent power to cause extremely high illegitimacy and dropout rates in the black community? Can you enlighten us as to how that's done, since you're clearly on a different level of intellect than everyone else (I might add, that clearly doesn't mean a greater level of intellect)?

If you want to point the finger at someone or something, then start pointing it at the many years and trillions of wasted dollars on out-of-control and utterly useless social programs started and championed by left-wing liberals, the most notorious being LBJ's "Great Society". Complete failures, and they achieved the exact opposite of what they were supposed to fix. Those programs created a long-lasting, some say permanent underclass and culture in American society, promoting free rides on the back of John Q. Taxpayer while crushing individual responsibility, progress and achievement among minorities. There are tens of thousands of African-Americans that have taken the right path, worked hard, followed the rule of law, and are smashing success stories today... Obama, while I'm certainly no fan, is a good example. Many have done it in spite of racism and risen above it.

God-willing I'm alive still, I'll be interested to see how this totally ridiculous, tired, old and severely overused crutch is used in 2050, when Caucasians are a minority in this country. What will your "enlightened" opinion reflect at that point?

What will your "progressive" excuse or apology be then?

Posted by: AbnRANGER | August 26, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Sen Maj leader! Thats a joke from Obamabots!
She should start her 2012 campaign rt away!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Re: Democrats for McCain 2008:
uh...robocrats you mean? O r maybe dumbocrats...
Why would upposedly sane people cut off thier noses just to spite their faces...I cannot comprehend this madness...or maybe thes folks are not telling the whole truth about who they really are in their hearts.
uh....

Posted by: dave | August 26, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Sen Maj leader? What a joke!
She should start her 2012 campaign rt away!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Back in 1980, I supported Kennedy. When Carter won (running in my opinion a dirty campaign), I started out being an Anybody But Carter person who supported John Anderson, but Ronald Reagan won me over.

Point being, I understand how Clinton supporters can be bitter. You can quibble -- Obama is highly competent, Carter was an utter failure -- but from their POV, they're no different from me in 80 -- bitter that my candidate lost.

Ted Kennedy -- rightly, in my opinion -- did not seek to rally the party behind carter, precisely because Carter was running away from traditional liberal Dem policies. That's the difference between this year and 1980; there's not a dime's worth of difference between Obama and Clinton in terms of policy.

Posted by: gbooksdc | August 26, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Throughout the media's embarrassing onslaught, Clinton dispatched herself admirably, never complaining,

Posted by: observer12 | August 26, 2008 5:31 PM

Is that really the story you're going to stick with?

Posted by: Aleks | August 26, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse


I hope Teddy didn't give Michelle O a ride home from the party.

By the way, when do OJ and John Edwards speak?

Posted by: Dems Da Jokes Folks | August 26, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Hillary should become the Senate Majority leader. She could much more over many years than she would ever accomplish in the White House.

Posted by: thebob.bob | August 26, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

I am sure Mary jo Kopechne's parents are not as enthralled by Ted Kennedy as this writer and the Dems who are dewy eyed over him.

I am a Democrat and I am appalled at how Ted is being courted and complimented for "courage" -- I am old enough to remember Mary Jo Kopechne. Once again, her memory is besmirched by this rogue.

I am disappointed that Obama didn't find a way to excuse Mr. Ted from the convention.

Posted by: Jane Smith | August 26, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I hope Dan Balz knew what he was talking about. Ted Kennedy can only pass a bottle of wisky, and maybe an arrogant personality to the younger politician. He only spoils any real progress with his idiology driven tendencies. His endorsement of Obama only produced a defeat of Obama at his home state -- Huge embarassment for him.

Posted by: God Father | August 26, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

An interesting, if bewildering article. Kennedy's partial reprise of his decades-old call for universal healthcare sounded more like an endorsement of Clinton than of the man who won the Democratic primary. Surprised you didn't notice.

This is just another instance of the mudslinging and infighting that so marred the Democratic primary when Kennedy's support for Obama seemed to have less to do with politics and more with a spotlight feud between the Kennedys and the Clintons. As for mudslinging, your occasional praise for Clinton is ironic given how much WaPo did to prevent her winning the nomination, including ignoring all relevant issues while scrutinizing her pantsuits and physiology.

Throughout the media's embarrassing onslaught, Clinton dispatched herself admirably, never complaining, not even when it concerned her daughter. Now, true to form, she is doing everything she can to support her one-time rival.

Will Clinton supporters vote for him? I have no doubt that many will, notwithstanding bitterness about the campaign, disappointment that a moderate rather than a liberal has once again won the Democratic presidential primary. A few, out of sheer outrage, will vote for McCain. As for the other "many," who have not even partially recovered from the onslaught and cannot vote for McCain, look to their homes to locate them on election day.

If Obama wants them to vote for him, he'd better do something FOR Clinton, and he'd better do it fast.

Posted by: observer12 | August 26, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

An interesting, if bewildering article. Kennedy's partial reprise of his decades-old call for universal healthcare sounded more like an endorsement of Clinton than of the man who won the Democratic primary. Surprised you didn't notice.

This is just another instance of the mudslinging and infighting that so marred the Democratic primary when Kennedy's support for Obama seemed to have less to do with politics and more with a spotlight feud between the Kennedys and the Clintons. As for mudslinging, your occasional praise for Clinton is ironic given how much WaPo did to prevent her winning the nomination, including ignoring all relevant issues while scrutinizing her pantsuits and physiology.

Throughout the media's embarrassing onslaught, Clinton dispatched herself admirably, never complaining, not even when it concerned her daughter. Now, true to form, she is doing everything she can to support her one-time rival.

Will Clinton supporters vote for him? I have no doubt that many will, notwithstanding bitterness about the campaign, disappointment that a moderate rather than a liberal has once again won the Democratic presidential primary. A few, out of sheer outrage, will vote for McCain. As for the other "many," who have not even partially recovered from the onslaught and cannot vote for McCain, look to their homes for where they will be on election night.

If Obama wants them to vote for him, he'd better do something FOR Clinton, and he'd better do it fast.

Posted by: Observer12 | August 26, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

For - TruePatriot

I did not write it.

I am assuming you can read knowing you typed your reply. I think you need to work on comprehension (memory) after reading things. I didn’t write it(2nd time to help you remember), I only posted it for its statistics.

Posted by: DaveH | August 26, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Obama-Biden in 08!

Posted by: Bye Bye McCain | August 26, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse


And now for the rest of the news:

The first Gallup tracking poll for the full period since Obama named Biden his running mate finds that McCain has taken the lead, 46% to 44%.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/109834/Gallup-Daily-Bounce-Obama-Post-Biden-Tracking.aspx

Posted by: WylieD | August 26, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I don't know where you were seated, but I was at home. Teddy's speech was inspiring. Michelle's speech was a home run. Jim Leach, even with his deer in the headlight look, had a great speech. He delivered all the best reasons to vote Democrat. If we don't we are doomed to another 4 years of the same ideology that has brought our country down. Republicans are not the same party they were 30 years ago.

As someon who has worked a Dem Convention (2000) I know that there is one writer who re-writes every politcian's speeches for time, content, theme...etc.

Every speech last night, including Michelle's was wooden and uniform. Kennedy had the same teleprompter problems everyone else had. While his appearance was inspirational, his speech and everyone else's was not.

Theatrical criticism - poorly done. Director needs to take notes and do a better job tonight. Writer needs to let the pols be themselves and not rewrite their personality out of the speeches.

Posted by: Former Staffer | August 26, 2008 4:27 PM

Posted by: Lynne | August 26, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

that's right. africa suck and it's not our fault

Posted by: dick cabesa | August 26, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

That really was Sen. Kennedy? I thought it was a balloon from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Posted by: Franklin D. Blumenthal | August 26, 2008 3:56 PM

Franklin I hope you realize you are exposing your arse here with this comment, the man has incurable brain cancer, his doctors told him not to travel, he went anyway, you are probably not half the man that Senator Kennedy is nor have you ever helped 1/100th of the people he has helped thru legislation he has crafted to make their lives better, either civil rights, minimum wage, medicaid, medicare, food stamps, his help for veterans with VA claims, the disabled and elderly with problems with SS etc, he was rich beyond all dreams at birth, he chose to become a public servant, and the voters of Mass kept re-electing him every 6 years since the early 60s, you on the other hand seem to be a pathetic excuse for a person

____________

And you probably never killed anybody, which makes you the better man or woman

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse


Outside of Democratic Party faithful and long-time Washington journalists, Ted Kennedy is not a figure of respect. He brings in no new votes and he alienates independents and those in the mainstream.

If Kennedy truly cared about the Party, he would have curbed his convention appearances over the past decades. Ah, but how can the good of the Party ever compete with Ted's need for an ego boost?


Posted by: WylieD | August 26, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

truepatriot: Man have you been brain washed. ITS NOT White peoples fault about blacks they do this stuff to themselves, get off the "slave thing" thats been over 140 years ago. Just look at Africa now, its the same backward contient its always been since time began. If your argument were true then Africa would be booming by now as no white people run any country there and they have had only about 5,000 years to do something with it all and their still sh**ting in the desert/jungle like they have for the last 5,000 years if you feel so bad about it all move there.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

First, what of the Chappaquiddick incident?
The basic details are that after a small gathering on Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts, Kennedy was giving his "friend", and unfortunate passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne a ride home. He drove off of a bridge and she drowned in the car while he escaped to safety. Kennedy did not report the accident until the next morning. Those are the cold hard facts and there is no way he can avoid it. However, there are juicy details that I, for significantly less than $8 million, will tell you.

That night, Kennedy, 36, had a small, but loud, booze laden party with five of Bobby Kennedy's female staffers in Chappaquiddick, Massachusetts. All of the women were in their twenties and single and all of the men were married. That night an allegedly drunk Ted Kennedy, with a driver's license expired for over five months, drove his car off of the Chappaquiddick bridge into water below.

Kennedy escaped to safety but Mary Jo was left in the car where she died. Kennedy returned to the party to get two of the other men to see the scene of the accident. NO EFFORT was made to rescue Mary Jo. He may even say that the water was dark, or deep; however, it was only eight feet deep! After trying to convince his cousin, Joe Garghan, to say he was driving, Kennedy filled out an accident report the next morning. When it was time to include Mary Jo, he did not even know her name. He put "Miss Mary ______." This helps his claim that she was not pregnant with his child since he supposedly didn't know her name but it doesn't rule anything out because no autopsy was ever done on her body. So a possibly drunk, definitely married Ted Kennedy left his possibly pregnant "friend" to drown on his way to a hotel while his definitely pregnant wife was absent. It's hard to believe that even Ted Kennedy would leave someone to die if she was just a friend and he was just a little drunk.

Perhaps the most troubling fact about this incident is, not only did he get away with it, but investigators strongly believe that Mary Jo was trapped in an air-pocket underwater where she was alive for hours while Kennedy retreated to his hotel to call lawyers and associates. This quote from State Police Detective George Killen will probably be left out as well. Killen believe that Kennedy "killed that girl the same as if he put a gun to her head and pulled the trigger."

Kennedy, to this day, will not answer questions about the night of July 18, 1969. The only consequence he has ever suffered for it was in 1980 when he was denied his God-given right as a Kennedy to become President, due to questions raised about the accident. However, the "incident" is still considered "out of bounds" to personal and direct questions.

Posted by: The noose awaiteth | August 26, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Thank God when this guy is dead and gone and is no longer able to destroy American values. Commie rat bastar d.

Posted by: Robert | August 26, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Okie Skeptic, you are right - I'm a Kennedy naysayer and I can't think of a single one of his senatorial accomplishments. Maybe you can help us by naming at least one for all of us dumb people. Just one, please, just to show me how dumb I am. Just one.

Posted by: CherokeeBrave | August 26, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Knowing how the Humphrey Dems disabled Carter's presidency, your article is very much to the point.

Isn't it easy to say to Hillary that it is nothing personal but we want to move on, no more Clinton dynasty of mediocrity?

Why should we have to break that news to such political specimens as the Clintons?

Please, Hillary, quit trying to destroy Liberalism and all Hope in what you do and say. Start tonight by asking your supporters to vote for Obama. You have not yet done so.

Posted by: walden | August 26, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

It is unfortunate that Teddy was not taken
out of politics many many years ago.

Posted by: Gene Strong | August 26, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Teddy should have done time in the slammer for manslaughter and leaving the scene of a crime. That this boozing, skirt-chasing, cowardly, bloated buffoon is being lauded as a political icon is ludicrous. Pass the torch, my arse. He already burned Camelot down.

Posted by: RUBY2 | August 26, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Dave H, you are a racist. you say, "Is white America really responsible for the fact that the crime and incarceration rates for African-Americans are seven times those of white America?
Is it really white America's fault that illegitimacy in the African-American community has hit 70 percent and the black dropout rate from high schools in some cities has reached 50 percent?"

Yes Davey, it is our fault. Let me ask you this: If the roles were reversed and whites were brought over as slaves and represed for all these years by blacks, do you think we would be any better off?

If you answer yes, you are a true bigot, racist and moron and do not deserve to be an American.

If you answered no, well then davey, congratulations on becoming a truely enlightened human being.

Posted by: TruePatriot | August 26, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse


Balz wins the prize. He actually managed to use "Ted Kennedy" and "courage" in the same sentence.

Posted by: WylieD | August 26, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Following is the list of keynote speakers and topics at the upcoming Democratic Convention:

Marion Barry --- Drug Abuse

Rep. Denny Kucinich --- How to garner 1 % of the vote in every primary entered

Sen. Chrissy Dodd --- Obtaining Countrywide loans

Sen. Chucky Schumer --- How to initiate a run on a bank

Jesse Jackson ---- Marital fidelity and Castration

John Edwards ---- Ambulance Chasing and Spousal support in time of need

James McGreevey ---- Gay rights

Mayor Ray Nagin --- Emergency evacuation preparations

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick – Email etiquette in the workplace

Al Sharpton ---- Race relations

Sen. Evan Bayh --- How to ignore the Liberal wing of the Democratic Party and support the war in Iraq

Al Gore --- Snow Removal

Louis Farrakhan --- Muslims in America and Muslim in the White House

Posted by: gary | August 26, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse


Balz wins the prize. He actually managed to use "Ted Kennedy" and "courage" in the same sentence.

Posted by: WylieD | August 26, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Teddy should have served time in the slammer for manslaughter. That this boozing, skirt-chasing, cowardly, bloated buffoon is considered a political icon is ludicrous. Pass the torch, my arse. He's already burned down Camelot.

Posted by: RUBY2 | August 26, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

We democrats have always found a way to lose. This time no exception. Even after this devastating Bush Cheney 8 years unparalleled deception and destruction we still manage to yield the power to these manipulators.

After this 2008 election, depending on the outcome, I have an option open of never again being a Democrat and never again looking to Americal politicians and politics for any hope of solving any problems of scale.

Posted by: chuck | August 26, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

We democrats have always found a way to lose. This time no exception. Even after this devastating Bush Cheney 8 years unparalleled deception and destruction we still manage to yield the power to these manipulators.

After this 2008 election, depending on the outcome, I have an option open of never again being a Democrat and never again looking to Americal politicians and politics for any hope of solving any problems of scale.

Posted by: chuck | August 26, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

united soviet republic, we'er proud of you
ted! a socialist to the end

Posted by: j brown | August 26, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Kay Amonett ... so you admire the fact that Obama and his wife took those two little girls to Rev Wright's anti-white, anti-America church and were members there for 20+ years?
... and you don't like the Clintons or Ted Kennedy .. so you must be a democrat for Obama only ... and not a real democrat!

Posted by: Francisco Cardenas | August 26, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

For the Kennedys, especially nobodies like Caroline,supporting Obama was the perfect chance to come to limelight and prevent another democratic party dynasty from taking shape in the Clintons.Its a shame that the same people whose criticism of the Clintons centered on her pro war vote,washington insider charge as well as the the dynasty issue,nominated a washington insider who voted for the war as VP and is actively promoting another dynasty with shameless stagecraft.

Posted by: ss | August 26, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

For the Kennedys, especially nobodies like Caroline,supporting Obama was the perfect chance to come to limelight and prevent another democratic party dynasty from taking shape in the Clintons.Its a shame that the same people whose criticism of the Clintons centered on her pro war vote,washington insider charge as well as the the dynasty issue,nominated a washington insider who voted for the war as VP and is actively promoting another dynasty with shameless stagecraft.

Posted by: SS | August 26, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

The ignorance (lack of true info.), hatred, malevolence, dimwittedness never ceases to amaze me. 80% comes from the right. They never seem to get the whole story. They just assume what they read or heard is fact. There should be a written exam in order to be able to vote. If that were the case all governing bodies would be 95% Democrat.

Posted by: Godhimself | August 26, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Politicians are invariably rich people with huge egos and small brains. Otherwise, why would any tremendously wealthy person wish to become a politician? To help humanity? Yeah, right...give me a Bill Gates any day!

Posted by: wcmillionairre | August 26, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse


For Mike – this was written by Mr. Buchanan it help us realize how much the “help” has really not helped.

by Patrick J. Buchanan


Barack says we need to have a conversation about race in America . . .

Fair enough. But this time, it has to be a two-way conversation White America needs to be heard from, not just lectured to. This time, the Silent Majority needs to have its convictions, grievances and demands heard. And among them are these:

First, America has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600, 000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known.

Wright ought to go down on his knees and thank God he is an American.

Second, no people anywhere has done more to lift up blacks than white Americans. Untold trillions have been spent since the '60s on welfare, food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, Pell grants, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits and poverty programs designed to bring the African-American community into the mainstream.

Governments, businesses and colleges have engaged in discrimination against white folks -- with affirmative action, contract set-asides and quotas -- to advance black applicants over white applicants.

Churches, foundations, civic groups, schools and individuals all over America have donated time and money to support soup kitchens, adult education, day care, retirement and nursing homes for blacks.

We hear the grievances. Where is the gratitude??

Barack talks about new 'ladders of opportunity' for blacks.

Let him go to Altoona? and Johnstown, and ask the white kids in Catholic schools how many were visited lately by Ivy League recruiters handing out scholarships for 'deserving' white kids.?

Is white America really responsible for the fact that the crime and incarceration rates for African-Americans are seven times those of white America?
Is it really white America's fault that illegitimacy in the African-American community has hit 70 percent and the black dropout rate from high schools in some cities has reached 50 percent?

Is that the fault of white America or, first and foremost, a failure of the black community itself?

As for racism, its ugliest manifestation is in interracial crime, and especially interracial crimes of violence.
Is Barack Obama aware that while white criminals choose black victims 3 percent of the time, black criminals choose white victims 45 percent of the time?
Is Barack aware that black-on-white rapes are 100 times more common than the reverse, that black-on-white robberies were 139 times as common in the first three years of this decade as the reverse?

We have all heard adnauseam from the Rev. Al about Tawana Brawley, the Duke rape case and Jena. And all turned out to be hoaxes. But about the epidemic of black assaults on whites that are real, we hear nothing.

Sorry, Barack, some of us have heard it all before, about 40 years and 40 trillion tax dollars ago.

Posted by: DaveH | August 26, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

B.S. Obama's victory would be a victory of showmanship over experience, of short-cut over hard work. Obama's victory says this to our youth: what is the point in impressing people with labor when you can schmooze them with revolutionary talk.

Posted by: From a Hillary supporter | August 26, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

The torch had to be passed to Obama 'cause all the Kennedy men are in rehab

Posted by: malach hamovess | August 26, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Great piece, but the idea that "an Obama victory would virtually eliminate her hopes of someday becoming president" is simply simplistic. Anything can happen. Maybe... an Obama victory in 2012 would "virtually elimanate" her chances, but for now... the future is still wide open.

Posted by: Sam | August 26, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

"...an Obama victory would virtually eliminate her hopes of someday becoming president."

I don't get this type of thing. I'm an Obama fan all the way. BUT, in 2016 Hillary will be younger than McCain is now.

Posted by: rare bird | August 26, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

That really was Sen. Kennedy? I thought it was a balloon from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Posted by: Franklin D. Blumenthal | August 26, 2008 3:56 PM

Franklin I hope you realize you are exposing your arse here with this comment, the man has incurable brain cancer, his doctors told him not to travel, he went anyway, you are probably not half the man that Senator Kennedy is nor have you ever helped 1/100th of the people he has helped thru legislation he has crafted to make their lives better, either civil rights, minimum wage, medicaid, medicare, food stamps, his help for veterans with VA claims, the disabled and elderly with problems with SS etc, he was rich beyond all dreams at birth, he chose to become a public servant, and the voters of Mass kept re-electing him every 6 years since the early 60s, you on the other hand seem to be a pathetic excuse for a person

Posted by: mike | August 26, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Obviously, Kennedy's many accomplishments over his Senatorial career have not received nearly as much publicity as the incident at Chappaquidick. It is likely not one of the nay-sayers here could name any of them. Despite that public lack of knowledge, Washington insiders are well aware of the pivotal role Kennedy has played.

Even if that were not true, no one without
mind-numbing bias could have listened to that speech last night, and not be reminded of JFK at his best. And his best was considerably better than most who have followed him since.

Those who say Obama is no Kennedy are right, of course. The Kennedy family, for better or worse, are the closest thing to a royal family this country has had. Obama's story is very different. He is the man he made himself, and he's done a good job of it.

What those who make negative comparisons with JFK fail to see is that both men have dreams of a better America and a better world. That was the message both Ted Kennedy and MIchelle Obama delivered, and they did it with great style and grace. Anyone who was not moved by their comments has forgotten what this country is supposed to be about.

We can be far better than we have been in the past eight years. It is very unlikely that whomever we elect could match the total failure of George Bush. But, in Obama we have a candidate who believes in our better nature; who thinks we can still accomplish great things; and best of all, thinks we can do that by putting aside the
bitter partisanship which has made our national government so ineffective, and joining together to do what is right for our nation and ourselves.

Posted by: Okie Skeptic | August 26, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

As someon who has worked a Dem Convention (2000) I know that there is one writer who re-writes every politcian's speeches for time, content, theme...etc.

Every speech last night, including Michelle's was wooden and uniform. Kennedy had the same teleprompter problems everyone else had. While his appearance was inspirational, his speech and everyone else's was not.

Theatrical criticism - poorly done. Director needs to take notes and do a better job tonight. Writer needs to let the pols be themselves and not rewrite their personality out of the speeches.

Posted by: Former Staffer | August 26, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Fantastic article Mr. Balz. Thank you.

Posted by: Echo21 | August 26, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

"Rumble"-Link Wray(1978)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUHz0i8_ziA&NR=1

Obama/Biden '08

Posted by: Eagle nas gadooshu | August 26, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

semperfi, well said. Disheartening but accurate.

Posted by: nice day here | August 26, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

It is sad to see the depths of vulgarity some myopic, uncivil individuals will permit themselves to fall to. I should not be surprised by the amount of dung an elephant drops.

Posted by: P J | August 26, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I am one of the privileged blacks voting for John McCain ... when I am on top I like to shake off those below me. Who cares how many houses he has ... he is smart ... he married rich.

Posted by: Republic | August 26, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Geez, Scrivener, when will you ever give it up? Hillary's substantial support is LESS than half the delegates. If she could throw the election to someone, my guess it would be herself. Will you finall

Your clutching of this fantastical scenario leaves one to doubt the credibility of your energy weapons link (posted again and again and again and...)

BB

Posted by: Fairlington Blade | August 26, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

bury him face down so he can see where he's going

Posted by: dick cabesa | August 26, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

An extremely bad day for the Baracky Hussein Obama campaign.

After all this time and wait, he chooses a man (Joe Biden) with the personality of a "dead fish" - and that is putting it mildly.

I can't believe that Baracky Hussein Obama did not even consider Hillary Clinton.

I can only assume that he believes that he has the women's vote locked up.

I hope that all Hispanic voters realize, that they will be at the bottom of the barrel if Baracky Hussein Obama is elected in November. He will have to pacify the black electorate after receiving 99 % of their vote.

Democrats for John McCain in 2008.

Posted by: gary | August 26, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

history will remember teddy as a lowlife drunk and murderer. period.

Posted by: dick cabesa | August 26, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

If the commments on this page are truly representative of what America is today, we are doomed.
We have become a nation almost equally divided, incapable of governing ourselves.
We are incapable of civil intelligent discourse. The enemy is within the gates, and it is us.
Like Egypt, Greece and Rome we have become a weak, immoral and decadent culture, with too many diverse factions and no unanimity of vision.

Posted by: Semperfi | August 26, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

''same as it ever was''

Posted by: alfonso | August 26, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Democrats courting Republican and Independent Voters!

The Chantay's - Pipeline (Lawrence Welk Show)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j09C8clJaXo

Obama/Biden '08

Posted by: Yeil Raven | August 26, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

A Mr. Kenelburg inquired as to the good things Sen. Kennedy has done. I'm the guy to whom he paid $50 to take his Spanish test at Harvard. (After which he got the boot.) I'd say that's about $800 in today's money. He helped a struggling minority and suffered for it.

Posted by: Ricardo Sánchez P. | August 26, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Was his speach in English or Spanish ???

Posted by: jake | August 26, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

The Clinton legacy depends largely on their behavior at this Denver convention. Americans have rarely given a loser a second chance at the Presidency. But as a senator, Hillary is predestined to step right into Ted Kennedy's towering Senate role as the natural successor in his life-long health-care dream.

Posted by: bodo | August 26, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

This was the emotional highlight of the first convention night. The old lion of the Senate roars again. A reminder of why we support Obama. When the Kennedy clan joined Senator Ted Kennedy on stage it became a rally cry. Join us! Yes we can! Obama/Biden '08

Posted by: Cooday | August 26, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

When you become disgusted or outraged by comments like so many of these, just remember that this function on TWP Web site is a safety valve. If some people weren't allowed to vent here, with or without benefit of facts, they would be more likely to throw rocks or bombs.

Think of this (and other) comments section as The Padded Wall.

Posted by: reflection | August 26, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

For DaveH -

Thanks. Re all the good things Sen. Kennedy has done, to my knowledge, no one's yet submitted a list.

Posted by: John F. Kenelburg | August 26, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

THE COMMENTS ON THIS PAGE SAY MORE ABOUT THE STATE OF AMERICA THAN ANYTHING ANYONE COULD FIND ANYWHERE.
WE ARE IN A DOWNWARD SPIRAL AS A NATION BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF A NATIONAL VISION. WE AS A PEOPLE NO LONGER EXIST, WE ARE A NATION OF HYPHENATED INDIVIDUALS WHO CARE NOT ABOUT THE COUNTRY OR OUR CULTURE BUT ONLY THEIR OWN HEDONISTIC PLEASURES.

Posted by: F. THOMAS CAIN | August 26, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

It barely matters who gets elected president. Unless WE give the boot to 90% of the congress and senate, things will not change.

Take SCHIP for example. Even if signed right now, the program would have to recruit 20+ million new smokers to pay for it in order for it to break even. Since that won't happen, that supposed health care program is in debt right out of the gate. What'd the idiots who drew up that plan take- 5 minutes to think about it?

If WE the people actually sat at a round table and gave it some real thought I'd bet WE'd come up with a plan that would be fair to all and actually work. If we're really serious about the welfare of kids, add a nickel tax each to a soda pop, bag of chips, cupcakes, any imported toys, stupid video games, ( anyone remember books? )etc, etc, etc.

The Bozo's in congress simply can't add. Unless it's to their own personal bottom line.

That's where the problem lies. Not all at the top. It's the nutcases in congress mostly.

Look at Medicare - in debt and addled with corruption and fraud. It's beyond ridiculous.

You want REAL CHANGE? Elect both a new president AND fire at least half if not 90% of the incumbents in congress and the senate. Only that will afford us real change.

It's not my business to tell anyone how to vote as it concerns party affiliation. But I can tell you unless we really shake up the morons in DC, it'll be the same deadlocked crap for four more years no matter who gets elected president.

Give some new blood a chance all across the board. Then we'll see some action. Or at least have the feeling we've really tried.

Posted by: Mike | August 26, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

That really was Sen. Kennedy? I thought it was a balloon from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Posted by: Franklin D. Blumenthal | August 26, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

John F. Kenelburg - Sorry I cant get past the murder.

Posted by: DaveH | August 26, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

btw lets not forget tk's real legacy-- a woman found dead from drowning at the end of a pier. but tk using his wealth and power to escape real people justice. what a guy. yea love those camelot peeps. what a joke.

Posted by: dk | August 26, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Where's the woodwork these critics are emerging from? What about all the good things Sen. Kennedy has done, er, "people?" Well?!

Posted by: John F. Kenelburg | August 26, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, has everybody forgotten about Chappaquiddick? Ted Kennedy is a bum. He could have saved that poor girl but ran off and left her to die. His "reputation" was more important to him than her life. What a louse! And I'm not a Kennedy basher and I'm not a Republican.

Posted by: jtx472 | August 26, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

"Pass the torch?" Is that what JFK had in mind, passing the torch to a gaggle of far-left radicals who never served their country? Ol' Uncle Ted would have been more credible passing the bottle.

Posted by: Owen Jessup | August 26, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

The Obama people clearly do not even KNOW what the Camelot Kennedy era was! Those of us who were actually around for those wonderful years....
Posted by: librairie | August 26, 2008 3:37 PM


wonderful years??
yea i'm sure jackie kennedy loved those years as well, her husband sleeping with a million women, bay of pigs at our door, blacks being slaughtered in the south. yea those days were real heaven on earth.
puleeze!!!!

Posted by: dk | August 26, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

All the aquatic imagery last night reminded me that Uncle Teddy walked - or ran - on the water at Chappaquiddick when he should have had a dinghy or two life-preservers.

Posted by: Sargent Schilstein | August 26, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Whether you like him or not, Kennedy has done all that is said here, and can hold his head high. Others need to strive to do the same.

Posted by: Bullmountaininc | August 26, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

The Obama people clearly do not even KNOW what the Camelot Kennedy era was! Those of us who were actually around for those wonderful years KNOW that Obama, Michelle, et al, are NOT Camelot people. Did anybody feel like they were last night????? Where is all the FEELING we got from Jackie & John????? NOT in the Obama camp! After watching the Convention last night, it was EMBARASSING to see all these people practically BEGGING the viewers to believe that Obama and Michelle are just like John and Jackie. OBVIOUSLY, they DO NOT have a clue what it meant to be a part of that history. These guys just want to throw all the history out, and try to convince us that they are the chosen ones.....Not sure WHO???!!! chose these people, but I am definately sure it is ALL media driven......kind of like EVERYTHING on t.v. now.......all MADE UP.....smoke & mirrors. This man has NO EXPERIENCE......and he thinks we think he is Kennedy.......I would be laughing if this wasn't so pathetic.
Write In Hillary 2008

Posted by: librairie | August 26, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Had JFK not been assassinated, it's doubtful his name would be offered up so often as a great president. I had much more hope for RFK, not nearly as much hope for Teddy. Ted found his place in Congress, and he has accomplished much more there than he could ever have hoped to accomplish as president. I have a feeling that Hillary should follow that path as well. It would be great to have a female president, but does anyone realistically believe that she could accomplish anything much given the antiClintonism and misogyny that still drives Washington?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Remember folks the professional politians (both Democratic and Republician) have sold out the American citizen for years.

They are incapable (nor do they even attempt) of honorably serving the Country.

Just look at the $100 Trillion deficit in the Medicare and Social Security System ( Democratics programs since their inception). Both parties have pillages and plundered the funding of these programs for 35 + years.

Ted Kennedy is no great American - he and his unindited, co-conspiritor, congressional fellows have been stealing from us for years.

Unfortunately there is nothing the American citizens can do about it.

Posted by: Sherman | August 26, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I have not been inspired by Teddy for 15-20 years. I think it is about time these old people step aside and let younger people take over. How can anyone feel passionate over a murderer??

Posted by: babs | August 26, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

A NEW HOPE

Kennedy's phrase "a new hope" cannot go passed without comment as it is the sub-title of the first (197X) Star Wars movie, which makes Barack Luke Skywalker who is destined to rid the empire of Dick Cheney, AKA Darth Vader.

The speech writers cannot have been unaware of this connection. It's just too delicious.

Posted by: Kurt | August 26, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

kennedy coat of arms, empty bottle of scotch and a dead girl ah ahahahahah

Posted by: dick cabesa | August 26, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Kay Amonett:

Try Google on "Larry Sinclair" ...

Posted by: JakeD | August 26, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Ted Kennedy doesn't represent anything that I would like to admire, nor do the Clintons. It's time the democrats quit putting these people on a pedastel and realize their true values or lack of values. Barack Obama is a completely different type of politician. So far no scandals have arisen to show his deficienes in the values area. They should be proud that he is a democrat. They shouldn't let those 2 families steal any of his "thunder" in Denver!

Posted by: Kay Amonett | August 26, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Wow. To those commenters who refer to "purple lips" and applaud and joke at the idea of a human being dying of brain cancer, you really need to just go away. I'm sure you are the same group that used to joke about the size of John Kerry's nose during the last presidential election. Are you 10? No, you just don't have the brains to speak intelligently about why you will or will not vote for an individual and you're just plain mean. Please, just go away...or at least stop writing comments. We'll all be better for it.

Posted by: M Baldwin | August 26, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

have another drink booze brain

Posted by: dick cabesa | August 26, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Why didn't we have a moment of silence for Ms. Kopeckney?

Posted by: Josh | August 26, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

There is a reason I rarely read these comments: they show all oo clearly how abysmally ignorant and bitter so many of our 'citizens' are. Do you people really have jobs and an education?
I'm not idealizing the convention or our government.
However, I'd prefer to see an educated discussion of issues rather than the closed-minded mudslinging that passes for commentary.
Or, maybe some of your are media pontificators in training.

Posted by: carig | August 26, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

EUROPE, CHINA, RUSSIA, SAUDI ARABIA, AND SOUTH AMERICA ARE WATCHING YOU


THE WORLD IS WATCHING AMERICA’S 2008 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.
THE WORLD IS WATCHING AMERICA’S 2008 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.
THE WORLD IS WATCHING AMERICA’S 2008 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.


AND THE WORLD WILL JUDGE WHETHER AMERICA IS SUITED TO BE ITS MORAL LEADER.
AND THE WORLD WILL JUDGE WHETHER AMERICA IS SUITED TO BE ITS MORAL LEADER.
AND THE WORLD WILL JUDGE WHETHER AMERICA IS SUITED TO BE ITS MORAL LEADER.

London, Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Madrid, Rome, Tokyo, Peking, and the other capitals all look forward to cooperating with President Irish-American Barack Obama of Harvard Law.

D Student McFail McCain Wall Street OOIIILLLL Millionaire-McBush policies of failures are afraid to stand on stage with Harvard Scholar Irish-American Barack Obama.

Mumbles D Student McFail McCain Wall Street OOIIILLLL Millionaire-McBush petitioned to have a dictionary close by to keep up with Irish-American Barack Obama of Harvard Law’s intellectual discourse.

D Student McFail McCain Wall Street OOIIILLLL Millionaire’s public insults towards his own wife and McBush’s public insults towards the AMERICAN PEOPLE have precluded them from moral judgment upon the World. D Student McFail McCain Wall Street OOIIILLLL Millionaire-McBush lacks moral and intellectual credibility to sit in judgment of the World and serve the AMERICAN PEOPLE.

AMERICA is voting in an intellectual scholar from Harvard Law to right OUR COUNTRY and prosecute the criminal Undeservedly Super-capitalists.

The World is watching how a self professed Christian Moral Nation handles its pivotal point in history during the 2008 presidential election.

Will AMERICA rise to the occasion with maturity, dignity, intellect and grace?

Or will AMERICA degenerate into the GOP Republican’s Policy of Hate?

Will GOP Republicans again toss evil words of hate to OUR PUBLIC and promote a filthy campaign worthy of pre-WWII Germany?

This is a pivotal time in AMERICAN history.

Will AMERICA run a dignified 2008 presidential election?

Or will AMERICA allow Hillbillies to take over the media and orchestrate the message of hate that will shock the watching World?

A barrel of OOIIILLLL was $24 when McBush took office.

It's time for AMERICA to nationalize OOIIILLLL and Energy Industries for National Defense.

Rich OOIIILLLL billionaires and Wall Street (Undeservedly Super-capitalism) selling out Our Country the United States of AMERICA for their own selfish profits is unpatriotic and treason.

AMERICA belongs to AMERICANS and not to Wall Street sell-out Undeservedly Super-capitalists who send trillions of OUR U.S. DOLLARS overseas in chase of the highest immediate return on their private investments. Greed does not work and greed is destroying OUR COUNTRY. Dependence on foreign OOIIILLLL and OOIIILLLL billionaire businessmen are destroying OUR COUNTRY.

Immediately nationalize OOIIILLLL and energy industries for U.S. National Defense. It’s the intelligent thing to do. AMERICANS are collectively much more important than a handful of billionaire Undeservedly Super-capitalists on Wall Street who have allegiance to no one, but their own private, selfish, destructive, and nation undermining capital gains.

McCentury McSame (McBush Part III) wants to continue McBush's failed policies.

McSame (McBush III) is not very smart and will go after Hillbillies and pig farmers votes.


GOP REPUBLICAN D STUDENT MCFAIL MCCAIN WALL STREET OOIIILLLL MILLIONAIRE-MCBUSH HOODWINKED AMERICA

D Student McFail McCain Wall Street OOIIILLLL Millionaire-McBush (policies of failures) has a lot to answer for:

War fought on the premise of uprooting weapons of mass destruction that were never found,

The failure to catch Osama Bin Laden,

D Student McFail McCain Wall Street OOIIILLLL Millionaire-McBush Disgraceful proclamation “mission accomplish”

D Student McFail McCain Wall Street OOIIILLLL Millionaire-McBush assumption that we would be greeted as liberators and not invaders

D Student McFail McCain Wall Street OOIIILLLL Millionaire-McBush invasion of our white house (America house)

Turning Iran into the "greatest beneficiary" of the Iraq war

Manipulating the price of OOIIILLLL from $24.00 a barrel to $145.00 a barrel. whose interest are they lobbying for? D Student McFail McCain Wall Street OOIIILLLL Millionaire-McBush policies are not in America’s interest.

Plans to keep American troops in Iraq for 100 years

Plans to initiate the draft to secure enough troops

These are just a few of D Student McFail McCain Wall Street OOIIILLLL Millionaire-McBush policies of failures that must stop.


AMERICA needs change now in a better direction.

Harvard Scholar Irish-American Barack Obama of Harvard Law will demonstrate how D Student McFail McCain Wall Street OOIIILLLL Millionaire-McBush has hurt OUR COUNTRY.

The World is watching how a self professed Christian Moral Nation handles its pivotal point in history during the 2008 presidential election.

Europe is looking forward to renewing friendship and cooperation with the united States through President Irish-American Barack Obama of Harvard Law.

The overwhelming majority of American soldiers are voting for Irish-American Barack Obama of Harvard Law

The World is Watching one America.

United Sates of America

GOP Republican McCentury D Student McFail McCain Wall Street OOIIILLLL Millionaire is a weak nominee who lacks the intelligence to receive the 3:00 am call.

Americans are tired of corruption from McBush and his Undeservedly Super rich Wall Street Robber Barons.
Stop Corporate Welfare.
Stop CEO Welfare.
Stop Millionaire Welfare.
Stop the rich from outsourcing American jobs.
Stop giving Golden Parachutes to the Rich for outsourcing American jobs.
Stop the Rich from using Our Public Offices for Private Ill Gotten Gains.
Stop the Rich from stealing Our National Treasury.
Stop the Rich from robbing Our National Treasury and raising the National debt.
Stop the Rich from Tax Avoidance and Tax Havens.
Stop the Rich from importing illegal drugs by the ton and destroying Our Country in the name of Wall Street high returns on investment.
Stop the Rich from eroding Our Constitutional Rights.
Stop the Rich (McBush, Cheney, Rice, D Student McFail McCain Wall Street OOIIILLLL Millionaire) from selling Our America to Saudi Arabia, China, India) in the name of outsourcing American jobs, selling American Banks, selling bulk shares of key American corporations.
Nationalize the American OOIIILLLL Industry for National Defense, if you love America.
America is not for sale now or ever.

Undeservedly Super capitalistic privileged C students with no business running hotdog stands illegally place themselves, their rich friends, and their rich family members into the highest positions of OUR COUNTRY to maintain, promote, and expand their ill gotten wealth at the expense of Average Americans. Do you still think that lieing GOP Republicans are patriots? I think not.

Greed and stupidity are destroying Our Country and it must stop.

America must get back to moral decency, family values, respect, honor, scholarship, and service to the general Public.

America is about Public Service and not private greed.

Change is happening and America, Europe and the World welcome cooperation.

Out with GOP Republican Wall Street Robber Barons.

In with the U.S. Constitution and the American People.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

We The People Are Voting For Harvard Scholar, Irish-American, and Constitution Law Professor Barack Obama of Harvard Law.

Posted by: We The People Will Run America | August 26, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Balz seems to have forgotten that in the United States of America is not a monarchy. We have no royal families!

Posted by: a concerned citizen | August 26, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

The tragic loss of Robert F. Kennedy still lingers and will forever overshadow the Democratic Party. The "torch" of his goals and dream for America remains to be carried by the vigilance for freedoms by the common man.

Posted by: Jandia | August 26, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

scrivener:

Regardless of your directed energy weapons or other links, I think if Obama is not nominated Thursday, there will be race riots THAT NIGHT in Denver and across America.

Posted by: JakeD | August 26, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Wow.

Many of the comments made here make me shake my head in sadness over the ignorance and lack of civility of the body politic.

Posted by: James | August 26, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Ted Kennedy has no doubt been an institution over time, upholding the political legacy of his family. That said, remind us once again why the Democrats never chose him as their presidential nominee. Just why was it again? Now tell us again that he's reminding Democrats "of the values they share as a party and the cause that has brought them all to Denver."

Posted by: ttj | August 26, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

What a shame the Democratic Party will no longer have a drunk (who can leave a girl in his car underwater to die) to lead the party much longer. No longer will they have this type of leadership at the top of the party heap (or pile). But have faith the party has the Clintons. With the scandals, lying to the grand jury, impeachment and the sex (just not with each other) not even to mention the legal issues from Arkansas. They are naturals to become leaders of this party. It seems lying, murder, not paying the correct taxes, infidelity is the way to the top of the Democratic Party. People if you would like your children to learn to become Politicians, you must teach them the way of the Democratic Party Teddy, Hillary, and Billy have learned well.

Posted by: DaveH | August 26, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

It's just too bad he didn't simply pass away.

cmsix

Posted by: cmsix | August 26, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

JakeD:

Do you really think if Obama becomes the first African-American (or 1/2) to get to the White House (as VP) there would be "race riots"? It would be dancin' in the streets time.

Please don't tell me you're ideological soulmates with "Alex H," "Rufus" and "Dick Cabesa," the likely disinfo's who seem so obsessed with Teddy's demise...

BUT WILL THE ELECTION EVEN MATTER? Not when government-supported "vigilante injustice" squads are "gang stalking" American citizens, making a mockery of the rule of law:
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/get-political-vic-livingston-opinion-expose-state-supported-vigilante-squads-doing-domestic-terrorism

WHAT IF THEY COULD SHOOT YOU
WITHOUT LEAVING A TRACE? THEY CAN.
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/zap-have-you-been-targeted-directed-energy-weapon-victims-organized-gang-stalking-say-its-happening-usa-1


Posted by: scrivener | August 26, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

"I certainly hope this column was an editorial and not an attempt at unbiased journalism. It was certainly a romanticized "the end of the Camelot era" piece.
Be that as it may, I am disgusted by the trash I've skimmed over in the comments. If Republicans truly wrote these hate-filled diatribes, we far too easily expose ourselves to the left-wing portayals of us as "ignorant redneck illiterate trash""

Very good comment! If these people aren't ignorant redneck illiterate trash, why are they trying to act like they are?

Here is a tip for the GOP trolls on these comments. Learn something about McCain, SOMETHING TRUE, and tell us about it. We don't care that you heard from a cousin of a friend that Obama's middle name is Hussein, or that Obama is friends with a guy that did something bad 30 years ago. We want to here how McCain will reduce the national debt(he won't) or how McCain will help out the poor/middle class(he won't).

Posted by: LOL | August 26, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Oh, what joy on this blog today. The Kennedy's sacrificed three sons to the welfare of this nation and Teddy Kennedy has been a stalwart of his party and one of the most important BIPARTISAN figures in governance, not just politics, for 40 years. And if you want a laugh at the unfortunate addictions of the principals, take a look at this hilarious Cindy McCain parody ... glass houses, rocks ... you get the idea ...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xT4tbdoZMmc

Posted by: straight talk my a** | August 26, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I certainly hope this column was an editorial and not an attempt at unbiased journalism. It was certainly a romanticized "the end of the Camelot era" piece.
Be that as it may, I am disgusted by the trash I've skimmed over in the comments. If Republicans truly wrote these hate-filled diatribes, we far too easily expose ourselves to the left-wing portayals of us as "ignorant redneck illiterate trash"

Posted by: Lisa Mason | August 26, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Obama 08!

The truth shines through the smears this year.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

these comments are really sad

Posted by: faraway55 | August 26, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

When it comes to legacies, echo the comments above about Ted's and his brat son's behavior regarding Mary Jo and alcohol, but no one has mentioned the Clinton's legacy of illicit and illegal activities dating back to their AK days right up to the final day of his embarrassing presidency. There is no reason at all for anyone, anywhere, to emulate either of these wretched families. To speak of them in such glowing tones is shows the astonishing bias of the writer, and only Kool Aid drinking left wing loonies could believe this crap.

Posted by: The Jimbo | August 26, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Some creep wrote:L

"don't worry. when teddy is gone we will still have his booze addled son making the streets of d.c. unsafe for decent people to walk. and with the capitol police on the job, we can be sure that he never takes a breathalyzer no matter how smashed he gets at the hawk and dove before getting into his vehicle. after all, laws against drunk driving are for the little people, not dem royalty."

I trust you don't wonder why Republixcans are viewed by normal people as scum.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I did read that. Whether she manages to steal the nomination for herself or anyone else, including Al Gore, there would be race riots and John McCain would win in November.

Posted by: JakeD | August 26, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Kennedy's approaching death is definitely a capstone for the democratic party. It is a move away from power possessed by a ruling elite of families like the Kennedys and the Clintons towards a new leadership of outsiders who are more akin to the populist appeal of the democratic party.

Posted by: Ryan | August 26, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

JakeD:

Who said Hillary will be on the ticket in the fall?

What if, in a unity move, she tosses her substantial support to Al Gore, and Gore names Obama as his VP?

Let's just see what happens... have you read CC's item about Ed Rendell today? The supers are starting to talk...

Posted by: scrivener | August 26, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

scrivener:

I appreciate your keeping hope alive, but the chances are greater that Barack Hussein Obama is a secret Muslim extremist than for Hillary managing to steal the nomination from him at this point. Even if she did, she couldn't win the general election when 99% of the African-American vote goes to John McCain. My friend, give it up.

Posted by: JakeD | August 26, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

"Rufus," "Alex H" and "Dick Cabesa" (very clever, frat boy) appear to be the same person, and Dan's blog seems infested with paid disinformation "specialists". But who is paying them? With YOUR money, John Q. Public?

Maybe WaPo will investigate....

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

don't worry. when ted is dead and buried (without the benefit of embalming since he is already pickled) there will be an endless supply of drunken lowlife kennedys to take his place. irish mob trash

Posted by: dick cabesa | August 26, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Dan:

Obama has not "sewn it up" just yet. Please click on Chris Cillizza's "Fix" blog (8/26 @ 2:28 p.m.) to see the item concerning PA Gov. Ed Rendell.

The Hillary putsch is in Phase Three: The supers are starting to talk about what's been in the works for some time. Obama will lose the roll call and the mainstream media will have egg on its collective face.

"JOEBAMA" CAN'T SAVE DEMS. ONLY HILLARY CAN.
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/get-political-w-vic-livingston-joebama-cant-save-dems-ticket-now-only-hillary-can

Posted by: scrivener | August 26, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

don't worry. when teddy is gone we will still have his booze addled son making the streets of d.c. unsafe for decent people to walk. and with the capitol police on the job, we can be sure that he never takes a breathalyzer no matter how smashed he gets at the hawk and dove before getting into his vehicle. after all, laws against drunk driving are for the little people, not dem royalty

Posted by: dick cabesa | August 26, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Adios to The Swimmer!

Now there's a man who always had an "escape strategy!"

Such as leave Mary Jo Kopechne behind and swim to the surface.

Posted by: Rufus | August 26, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse


.
The torch has been passed: there is a new leader for the Ultra-Liberal, Loony-Left.

As the booze-impaired killer of Mary Jo Kopechne fades from the scene, the drug-impaired disciple of "God D@#! America" wright steps up. Human devolution.

White hair gives way to purple lips.

Some things just NEVER improve.

/

Posted by: ALEX H. | August 26, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it was one of the "most compelling moments" ever seen at a national political convention. We've had quite a few doozies over the years.

Posted by: JakeD | August 26, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Ted rocks!

Posted by: Yuri Lipitzmeov | August 26, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Many have learned much in forty years, and from the Reagan, Bush, and Cheney administrations, the Democrats much about how high the stakes, that cannot afford peevishness, petulance, and pettiness.

It is interesting that Kennedy's behaviour in 1980 was much like what that of many of the old guard civil rights leaders has been toward Obama now.

They would do well to look to the Kennedy youngest for an older brother's example in growing up.


Posted by: Hneftafl | August 26, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

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