Remembering Senator Ted Kennedy

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Crossposted at Daily Kos and The Stars Hollow Gazette

An Incomparable Record of Achievement

Senator Ted Kennedy – 1932-2009 by R.J. Matson, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Buy this cartoon

“Kennedys Never Complain”

No observation by Joseph Kennedy Sr. had as much lasting influence as a similar dictum: “There’ll be no crying in this house.”

The “House” he had in mind, I am certain, was the House of Kennedy.  He repeated this admonition to all of us, and he pronounced it with the force of moral law, and all of us absorbed its import and molded our behavior to honor it… To understand the profound authority of this charge to us is to understand much about my family.

— Edward M. Kennedy, True Compass, p. 41

There are another 10-15 editorial cartoons about Senator Ted Kennedy in the the diary I posted at the GOS.

Take a look at them.

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Senator Edward Moore Kennedy was a man of incredible decency and good manners.  Always true to his political convictions and beliefs, he, nonetheless, treated opponents in the same considerate and graceful manner as he did his friends, staff, and allies.

The youngest of nine children and born into privilege, Senator Kennedy had what his mother Rose called the “9th child sense” of trying to survive and thrive in a large family. It was perhaps in that environment that he mastered the art of reconciliation, a trait that would serve him exceptionally well throughout his remarkable and long legislative career.

Editorial Cartoonist Chan Lowe of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel is grateful that Senator Kennedy was never apologetic about calling himself a proud liberal when many others shied away from that label

Ted Kennedy by Chan Lowe, (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

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It has become fashionable in the last couple of decades to hurl the term “liberal” around as an epithet.

Those who do so — and they tend to be those who do not even understand how they and their loved ones have benefited from so-called “liberal” policies — use the term as an amalgam of “communist,” “degenerate,” and “unpatriotic.”

Ted Kennedy wore the label with pride.

Whatever your politics, you should acknowledge that Ted Kennedy was a giant.  If you don’t, it says more about you than it does about him.

RIP Ted Kennedy by Nate Beeler, Washington Examiner, Buy this cartoon

Ted Kennedy by Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette, Buy this cartoon

In the United States Senate, he spent his entire career trying to make life a bit more bearable and a lot more livable for millions of minorities as well as the dispossessed and underprivileged in this country.  In that respect, he largely succeeded.  Considered a “liberal icon” for much of his life and, more so than scions of wealthy families who enter public service, his unlimited capacity for compassion and empathy ensured that all of us — the real beneficiaries of his legacy — live in a society made fairer by this giant of a man.

Thanks, Ted by J.D. Crowe, Mobile Register, Buy this cartoon

Lalo Alcaraz, L.A. Weekly, Buy this cartoon

Cartoonist Ed Stein — who used to draw for the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News and is now a freelance cartoonist — wrote this in his blog

Ed Stein

Edward M. Kennedy by Ed Stein, (formerly of the Rocky Mountain News)

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Ted Kennedy, the third longest-serving senator in history, left behind an unmatched legislative legacy.  He helped craft some of the most important bills of the last half century, and his influence changed this country for the better.  Medicare, voting rights, family leave, civil rights, immigration reform, greater access for the disabled, all bear his mark.  He particularly embraced the cause of the little guy, the under-represented, the disabled, the poor, the elderly.  Despite being the favorite liberal whipping boy of the far right, he was adept at reaching across the aisle to achieve a bipartisan consensus on many of his landmark achievements….

Still, it is proper to recognize his great success as a senator, and to celebrate the ways in which he made this country a better place for so many of its citizens.

Senator Kennedy was blessed with one advantage over four of his older siblings: the gift of longer life. Jack was 46 years, Bobby 42 years, Joe, Jr. 29 years, and sister Kathleen only 28 years old when their lives ended abruptly and violently.  Those tragedies and many others in the Kennedy Family would have diminished a lesser person.  Not Senator Kennedy.  Instead, he embraced service to family and country as not only his duty but sacred trust.  In doing so, he epitomized and prolonged memories of the era the country simply remembers as “Camelot.”

Kennedy Brothers by Steve Greenberg, Freelance Cartoonist (Los Angeles, CA), Buy this cartoon

Ted Kennedy by David Fitzsimmons, Arizona Star, Buy this cartoon

Edward M Kennedy, 1932-2009 by Jim Day, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Buy this cartoon

Editorial Cartoonist Bob Englehart of the Hartford Courant was present at Madison Square Garden for Kennedy’s memorable and passionate speech at the 1980 Democratic National Convention

Ted Kennedy by Bob Englehart, Hartford Courant, Buy this cartoon

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I was sitting in the press section behind the podium next to Jane Pauley.  She was wearing a short skirt that showed off her very pretty, tanned knees.  When I was able to intermittently focus on Kennedy’s speech, I had to agree that it was a real stemwinder.

From where we were sitting, we could only see the back of Teddy’s massive head, but his voice was loud and clear and we watched him on TV monitors.  When he finished to thunderous applause, he turned around to leave the podium.  He had the most pained smile I’ve ever seen on anyone before or since.  His face was as red as a strawberry pie.  I thought his head would explode.  I even stopped thinking about Jane Pauley’s knees for a couple seconds.

I never had the pleasure of meeting Senator Kennedy but every time I saw him on television or read about him, I instinctively felt that I knew him.  He was that rare political figure who engendered admiration and respect from strangers and an instant personal connection with average, ordinary Americans.  In that sense, he was quite unique.

Ted Kennedy by Jimmy Margulies, New Jersey Record, Buy this cartoon

Kerry Waghorn,

Ted Kennedy Tribute by Dave Granlund,, Buy this cartoon

So, Senator Kennedy, thank you for making our lives a bit better over the years.  You did good by your family, friends, and, most importantly, your country.

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I found a few more editorial cartoons that have been published since I posted this diary.  Somewhere, Senator Kennedy is probably smiling at this minute!  🙂

Pat Oliphant, GoComics/Universal Press Syndicate

(click link to enlarge cartoon)

Dan Wasserman, (Boston Globe)

Jeff Danziger, GoComics/New York Times Syndicate

Mark Streeter, Savannah Morning News, Buy this cartoon

Stuart Carlson, GoComics/Universal Press Syndicate

(click link to enlarge cartoon)

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Heartfelt tributes continue to pour in for this remarkable human being.  Even some conservative editorial cartoonists — who rarely give Democratic leaders any kind of break — acknowledge the greatness of one Senator Edward M. Kennedy.  They know in their gut that the universality of policies championed by Kennedy benefited every American, no matter their political persuasion.

Jim Morin, GoComics/Miami Herald

(click link to enlarge cartoon)

Bill Day

Bill Day, (Memphis Commercial Appeal)

Charlie Daniel, Knoxville News Sentinel

Bob Gorrell, Creators Syndicate, Buy this cartoon

Joel Pett, GoComics/Lexington Herald-Leader

Tim Goheen, McClatchy Newspapers

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John Sherffius, (Boulder Daily Camera)  

For almost fifty years, I have represented people who are facing injustice. Life can be violent and grim, but I think of the Resurrection and I feel a sense of hope.  When I’ve started down a spiral of depression or negativism or loss, I’ve been able to see another side that can catch me on the way…

Life is eternal.  Work continues.  It is a calling, an opportunity to do things about injustice or unfairness.  It helps to have a goal.  I’ve always tried to have one.

— — Edward M. Kennedy, True Compass, p. 505

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Note: I first wrote a version of this diary on August 25, 2009 (the day of his passing) and have reformatted/updated it with quotes from Senator Kennedy’s memoirs, True Compass.  In the comments section I’ll post a few more editorial cartoons that I’ve found about the senator.

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  1. … seems greater today than a year ago on this day.  They just don’t make United States Senators anymore like Edward Moore Kennedy.

    Clay Bennett

    Clay Bennett, (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

    Senator Kennedy reflected on his life and the solace he found in sailing after the death of his brother, Senator Bobby Kennedy, in 1968

    And that is the truly magical time of sailing, because the North Star appears: the North Star, which has been the guiding star for all seamen through time.  The North Star guides you through the evening.  Its light is the most definite thing you can see on the surface of the dark water.  And so you have the North Star, and the sound and swell of the shifting water.  And sometimes the fog will come in and you must go by the compass for a period.  But you are always waiting to see the North Star again, because it is the guide to home port; it is the guide to home.  And so the voyage becomes all-inclusive; you are enveloped in the totality of it: you are a part of the beginning, you are a part of the end.  You are a part of the ship and of the sea.

    I gazed at the night sky often on those voyages, and thought of Bobby.

    — Edward M. Kennedy, True Compass, pp. 274-275

    • banger on August 26, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Politicians are brokers not leaders in today’s political world. The Kennedy brothers were leaders and brokers. Teddy survived and knew and understood politics and did everything he could to help all of us–that was his motivation and that is what made him great. Yes, he was full of hot air but god if I could could only feel that again!

    Who is left in the Senate? Bernie Sanders and few others. That’s it. The rest are only power brokers out to enrich themselves, their families and their friends. That isn’t going to change.

  2. Senator Kennedy is sorely missed and perhaps even more so than a year ago.  Great loss for the U.S. Senate and the country.

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    David Horsey, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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