Monday, January 28, 2008

Ted Kennedy Again

I was there when Ted Kennedy ran in 1980. My father loved JFK and felt tremendous affection for all things Kennedy. When he lost the NH primary and walked into the Manchester, NH office, he electrified the crowd. It was exciting to be 12 and feel the energy in the room, except...

In 1980, he upended the incumbent, Pres. Jimmy Carter, in a show of ultimate party disloyalty. Carter was dealing with a difficult economy, high interest rates, high inflation, and the Iran hostage crisis. I remember how he had all that momentum behind him until that article came out in Reader's Digest about Chappaquiddick incident. I'm sure that Kennedy did not make it easy for Carter's run when he fought it all the way to the convention.

Now he's considered a great senior Senator. No one doubts his dedication or his desire to help the working man, but to jump in over a tough campaign seems irrational. That's what primaries are all about. Get the tough stuff out there, so that people are battle ready for the general election. He has the right to advocate for whoever he wants, but to do it because of a hard fought primary?

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