Politics » Politics Feature

Teddy Says Hello... and Maybe Goodbye

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In the minds of the American public, Kennedys do not grow old. Or sick and infirmed. John and Bobby are forever young. But last night, we saw the youngest and last of the Kennedy brothers slowly totter to the podium to deliver an emotional farewell, for he is quite possibly dying.

Introduced by niece Caroline, Ted Kennedy’s swan song was one for the ages. Although his delivery is usually thunderous, brain cancer has reduced his voice to a lower key that at times was almost a whisper. The trademark thatch of white hair was thinner and completely gone in places. The usually pink Irish skin was pallid.

Teddy’s presence reminded us once again of the passionate idealism that his brothers inspired in a time when hope and optimism was allowed to flourish. But most importantly, Teddy’s role was to pass the baton of the family legacy to Obama family. And indeed, the baton was passed as Michelle Obama, accepted it with a style and grace that channeled Jackie Kennedy. Her touching speech about her life, her husband, and their children was truly Kennedy-esque. The legacy had come full circle.

For a man stricken with terminal cancer to leave his sick bed against the advise of his doctors is a testimony of determination that exemplifies a will stronger than forged iron. His promise to be at Senator Obama’s inauguration brought tears to the eyes of thousands in the crowd. “The work begins anew. The hope rises again. The dream lives on”. It was the measure of a man who has the heart of a lion. In Denver, the lion roared for the last time.

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