NEWS ROUNDUP: SENATOR EDWARD KENNEDY
SENATOR TED KENNEDY SHOWS UP FOR SENATE VOTE DESPITE HIS RECENT DEATH
Meanwhile, His Autobiography, A Legacy of Doggedness, Rockets to Number 3,473,567 on Amazon
Hyannis Port, MA--Ted Kennedy, the most boring of the Kennedy brothers, died yesterday after a somber withering away that took several months. It was a fitting end for the man who kept showing up for work long after his more fabulous brothers and several fabulous nephews were struck down in the primes of their fabulous lives. Asked to reflect on his 46 years in the Senate, Kennedy was direct. “I wish I’d died in a fiery crash or at the hands of a lunatic assassin,” he said. “Then I’d be a hero instead of this old bloviator growing thicker and paler behind a conference table.” Kennedy voted “yes” today, the day after his death, on a bill he co-sponsored, authorizing Congress to levy and collect fines on overdue books held by public library patrons who make in excess of $250,000 per year.
Kennedy had several shots at an early, tragic death, but managed to survive a late night swim in a Chappaquiddick Island reservoir, a ski jump in Wyoming, a saddle bronc ride in Montana, a 1964 plane crash, and a night of heavy drinking in Palm Beach. Many believe he’d have been a more effective legislator had he died young and tragically. “It’s clear,” said Charles Bowden, Professor of Twentieth Century American History at Georgetown University, “that both John and Robert had a greater influence on politics from beyond the grave than Ted had from his seat in congress.” President Barack Obama agreed. “It’s always good to have Ted around, but JFK got me elected.”
Ted Kennedy’s autobiography, A Legacy of Doggedness, has failed to capture the public’s imagination, and the movie “inspired” by the book, starring the late Tim Conway as Ted Kennedy, was dubbed My Dinner Without Andre by Elvis Mitchell, the Times’ film critic. “Imagine that film,” Mitchell wrote, “without Andre–and, well, without dinner—and you have The Ted Kennedy Story.” Last minute attempts to “spice up the movie” with Ted, his son Patrick, and nephew William, jogging along Palm Beach “Baywatch” style failed to excite moviegoers. After a brief run in suburban Massachusetts’ theaters, the film went straight to DVD.
In Massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick declared September 1st Ted Kennedy Day and asked that citizens celebrate by “relentlessly plodding through their dreary, insignificant lives.” Those who felt ambitious and wanted to celebrate the day were invited to appear on C-SPAN to explain the workings of some unpopular, unsexy piece of arcane legislature to an audience of the apathetic and the hearing-challenged. Plans for an annual parade were sent to committee for further study.