My Guy in D.C.
I may be the only politically active person in Berkshire County who doesn't have a personal story about Ted Kennedy. I remember being just a little awed when I first saw his name on my ballot. Somehow it seemed a tad surreal that he was an actual candidate who had to win his office.
It is interesting how here in the Commonwealth he was basically seen as our Senator. His political granduer was certainly acknowledged, but he was still just our guy in D.C.. Growing up in Detroit, the whole Camelot mythology was what people outside of the Bay State saw. It was not the man. They loved him or hated him. There was little middle ground. The vitriol tossed his way in life, and even on the day of his death by those who never came within a 1000 miles of the man only demonstrate the actual power of his standing.
Because Senator Kennedy passed during one of the great debates of our time - healthcare - I wonder if "they" will do to Kennedy what they did to Paul Wellstone immediately following his death. Wellstone was "my guy in D.C.."
I worked for his campaign and found my 20-something self truly inspired by the selfless nature of his agenda. I have never forgiven Limbaugh, Fox News, or any of the responsible characters, for the smears, lies and defamation that were tossed about after Wellstone's memorial service in '02 simply to try and add a Republican seat to the Senate. Seven years later it is still an open wound.
I pray that Senator Kennedy's family, friends and allies are prepared for the same. The merchants of malice are already sharpening their knives for one final battle over the Kennedy legacy.