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RIP Ted Kennedy-A Memorial from an Unlikely Source

August 26, 2009

The Face of America's Royal family

The Face of America's Royal family

I don’t completely know, but I might be the last guy that should be doing a memoriam of Senator Ted Kennedy. I’m Canadian and I’m the editor of a sports and comedy site. Yes it can be serious at times, but The Gally Blog is more about a fun sided look at sports. Then there’s the other mitigating factor. I’m a staunch political Right Winger, well that’s kind of a sports reference. I’m also a gigantic conservative, though that has more to do with fiscal policies than social policies. After all, my idol is Hunter S. Thompson and he was the strictest of Liberals. If I can forgive him for his failings, then I’m sure that I can forgive Kennedy for being on his side of the fence. Sure we’re all going to see the Republican Party of the USA, as well as other conservative/liberal ruling parties bow down and give him the utmost deference. Possibly more than he deserves, but not likely.

The next 4 days are likely going to be worse than when Michael Jackson was Murdered. I don’t mean that in an overly cynical reason, well maybe I do. The next few days we are all likely to be subjected to a non stop barrage of stories about America’s Royal Family. Sure, the Bush family could be considered the royal family but who are we kidding? The USA has not seemed to have gotten over not having a actual ruling family. Princess Di was revered, even though she was part of the British Royal Family. The Kennedy’s have been a national power since around the 1940’s.

The family’s patriarch Joseph Kennedy, was born in 1888 in Boston and married the mayor of Boston’s daughter, Rose Fitzgerald. Joe was a successful businessman, although much of his success is attributed to bootlegging during Prohibition and insider trading before it was known as that. He was a shrewd businessman though, and survived the Great Depression with a greater wealth than he went into it with. He went on to become the first chairman of the Securities Exchange Commission and later on to be the Ambassador to the United Kingdom. Together with Rose they had nine children. The Children almost all went on to be very successful. There was a man who died in WWII, 2 Senators, a United States President, and all but one of the women went on to marry well. The one who didn’t was damaged further during a 1941 frontal lobotomy to cure anger outbursts.

They were all wealthy, attractive and successful It’s the reason why they were revered as celebrity Royalty. In fact most of the success has continued on, and some of the grandchildren and great grandchildren of Joseph Kennedy are either entering or considering politics. It does make some sense when you think about it. John Kennedy was the 35th President, and two of his brothers Robert and Ted became senators. That is the marking of a successful and powerful family.

The Kennedy’s were not without their tragedies though. John F. Kennedy was shot and killed November 22 1963. Robert was shot and killed June 6 1968. Then there was old Teddy. Edward “Ted” Kennedy was in 1969 involved in the Chappaquiddick incident. The car that he drove on that fateful day crashed off the road and killed his passenger Mary Jo Kopechne. He received a minor suspended sentence for fleeing the scene of an accident. But there was much doubt about his account of the accident. It was believed that he was a typical drunk Irishman driving drunk, but nothing could ever be proved. This situation is the greatest reason that he never became President of the United States.

Ted Kennedy was a great orator, and this was shown among many other times, Robert’s Eulogy and the 2008 election where pushed for Obama to become president.

He was also a brilliant politician. He was known as the Lion of the Senate, and during his considerable career he drafted over 300 bills which came into law. Even though he was a fierce Democrat, he had the respect of both sides of the political spectrum. He was that rare politician that could bridge the gap between the parties. He could swing needed situations so that the Dem’s would side with the Republicans, and vice versa. It’s a skill that few have, and I would suggest that few will ever have.

He entered Harvard like his brothers, and much of his family to follow. He was not the greatest student, and played on the Football team. He was worried about grades and had a friend write his Spanish exam for him. They were quickly found out and kicked out of Harvard. Harvard being much more generous than I would have ever gave them credit for allowed them to reapply in one to two years with good behavior. Apparently Harvard is run like a reverse prison. Ted decided to enlist in the Army. He was set to deploy but his fathers political connections kept him from going to Korea.

He was admitted back into Harvard and again played football for them. The Green Bay Packers even offered him a contract to play professional Football. He declined saying, that he was flattered but he wanted to go to law school and ‘go into another contact sport, politics’. Graduating with his Bachelor of Arts in Government in 1956, he enrolled in the University of Virgina Law School, graduating in 1959 but stopping at the The Hague’s International Law School in 1958. When John became President in 1960, Ted was elected to finish his term. He was then successfully re-elected another 8 terms.

Throughout his career, Senator Kennedy has been an advocate for health care, education, civil rights, immigration reform, raising the minimum wage, defending the rights of workers and their families, assisting individuals with disabilities, protecting the environment, and safeguarding and strengthening Social Security and Medicare. He is also a strong opponent of the war in Iraq.

Senator Kennedy is currently Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. He also serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he is Chairman of the Sea power Subcommittee. In addition, he is a member of the Congressional Joint Economic Committee and the Congressional Friends of Ireland, and a trustee of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.


His political career was more amazing than I could ever possibly put to words. He served for 49 years in the Senate. He opposed Vietnam. He fought LBJ at every step. He was in all accounts, a fantastic politician. If he wouldn’t have been a stereotypical drunken Irishman, he without a doubt would have been president. It’s a shame really. You American’s would have been blessed with Universal Health Care amongst other things. At times during the 70’s he had approval ratings that were higher than the Incumbent President Carter. At many various times during the 70’s he had people trying their best to convince him to run. McGovern even tried to get him to be his running mate as Vice President. He always turned them down, due to family issues and the fact that Chappaquiddick was too close by.

As Conservative as I am, I can honestly say that it’s a shame that Ted Kennedy never became president. As I mentioned earlier he had all the intangibles and even the measurable qualities to be the most powerful man on earth, and he had the ability to be the best President since Lincoln. It’s a shame that a fondness for the drink caught up to him as a relatively young man.

He was diagnosed with a malignant Brain Tumor in March of 2008. It slowed him down, and he wasn’t able to make the regular trips to government, but he was still able to summon the effort to get out there and promote Obama. Not only did he get out there and do it well, but in my humble opinion I would suggest Barrack would never have made it without his support.
Last night he finally succumbed to his cancer. It’s not only sad, but it’s a complete shame. The more I think about it, the more I’m saddened and disappointed by the whole situation.

As a Canadian of Irish descent, my thoughts go out to his family and the American and Irish communities. The world suffered a tremendous loss today. I can only hope that I could possibly contribute even 1/10th of a percent to the world of what Ted Kennedy did. He had a glittering career, and no one can deny this. You will be missed Senator Kennedy. Missed by all, even us stuborn right wing no-fun crackpots.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 26, 2009 5:29 am

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

    • gally82 permalink*
      August 26, 2009 12:30 pm

      Thank you. We’ll keep trying our best here.


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