Ted Kennedy's real record

By AL GIORDANO  |  August 26, 2009

Peter Flaherty, the conservative activist, sees another connection that l inks Kennedy's and Clinton's political prospects. "I think Ted's personal lifestyle difficulties have played into his reputation among conservatives," he says. "They see his lifestyle as something they don't like. It's the same thing with Clinton. If Al Gore were pushing those same policies, he wouldn't draw the same opposition."

Both Clinton and Kennedy, for example, have been branded immoral by the religious right for their sexual behavior. In effect, the right wing's personal attacks on Clinton and Kennedy are attacks on anyone who participated in the sexual revolution, or has a lifestyle that reflects a morality different from that of fundamentalist Christians. Clinton and Kennedy are bonded by more than mere policy: it's likely that Clinton, whose earliest hero was JFK, also feels an affinity with Kennedy because they are linked by their fiercest critics.

These factors, personal and policy, may explain the frequent campaign appearances by the president, his wife, the vice-president, and other administration officials in Massachusetts this year, and even before this campaign began. As Joe Moakley notes, "Ted's got the ear of the president. That's very important for Massachusetts. I think Clinton's spent more time in this state than he has in any other."

Just as Kennedy needs Clinton to win over younger voters who are unfamiliar with his history, Clinton needs Kennedy to enact his legislative priorities. Both of their political futures may thus be decided by Massachusetts voters on November 8.

< prev  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  | 
Related: Ted's turn, Have you heard the one about Chappaquiddick?, After Ted, More more >
  Topics: Flashbacks , Mitt Romney, Trade, Trade Policy,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
    It's Thanksgiving at the Smith home, across the Delaware River from Philadelphia.
  •   TED'S TURN  |  August 26, 2009
    A little-known provision in the crime bill now being negotiated by a House-Senate conference committee would greatly expand the number of prison cells available to house violent criminals, and it wouldn't be cost a dime. But it may be doomed unless Senator Ted Kennedy is willing to spend some political capital.
  •   TED KENNEDY'S REAL RECORD  |  August 26, 2009
    When a 32-year incumbent seeks re-election, there is a long and well-documented record that can be examined. So it's disconcerting to note that admit all the miles of newsprint and videotape that have been expended covering the US Senate campaign, little has been said of what Ted Kennedy has or hasn't accomplished.
  •   SEX, DRUGS, ROCK AND PEACE  |  July 22, 2009
    It is a nation of alienated young people. We carry it around with us as a state of mind in the same way the Sioux Indians carried the Sioux nation around with them. It's a nation dedicated to cooperation versus competition, to the idea that people should have a better means of exchange than property and money.
  •   DAMN YOU, BARACK OBAMA  |  September 26, 2007
    Now that Obama's small contributors have effectively rewritten the history of political-campaign funding, even die-hard cynics are drinking the Kool-Aid.

 See all articles by: AL GIORDANO