Op-Ed: Ted Kennedy, the man who so many people felt they knew personally

Posted Aug 26, 2009 by Oscar Brooks
Senator Edward Kennedy has died. He had suffered from a brain tumor for some time. The public watched him triumphantly return to Congress.
Barack Obama and Ted Kennedy
Barack Obama rally in Hartford, CT
Photo by ragesoss
The Kennedy name is synonymous with politics, wealth, fame and tragedy. Through it all, Edward Kennedy stood tall as the strong member of this family. He was there when his brother President John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert Kennedy were both assassinated during the 1960's. Later he was there when Jackie Onassis died and nephew John died in a plane crash 10 years ago. Kennedy's older sister Eunice died earlier this month.
We kind of felt like we knew him. We called him "Ted". Seems like he could have been a member of our family. Perhaps he is like someone in a lot of our families. He had his detractors as well as supporters. He had his share of controversy also. The incident in Chappaquiddick where he survived a car crash and his female passenger did not. Through it all, Edward Kennedy survived and even thrived. He was a powerful member of the U.S. Senate. He worked to have legislation passed that benefited millions of Americans.
He wanted to get a health care reform package passed. Sadly, he will not have a chance to do that. Many in the media are speculating what Kennedy family member will try to take his Senate seat and who will emerge as the next great Kennedy in public office. No one knows. Maybe we have seen the last of the Kennedy's playing a big role in U.S. politics. Stay tuned.