August 26, 2009
I met Ted Kennedy personally only a couple of times and he wouldn’t have known me from Adam. But I knew him well because he was everything I ever wanted to be, heroic despite his flaws, unfailingly true to the liberal values we shared, a man who always got bigger as those around him grew smaller. He was the most powerful liberal voice in the Senate, and a fierce battler for truth, justice and mercy, a giant. Yet he never got down in the gutter, never questioned the motives of his colleagues on the right, never hectored the sophomores surrounding him. As far as I know, he was bereft of arrogance and pettiness, loving to his family, kind to his staff, all rare traits for a United States Senator. He suffered more personal losses than any public servant in our history, but he handled each with dignity, grace and forgiveness. He was a rich man who cared most for those who weren’t so lucky, which, fortunately, included most all of us. He dies made all the more wealthy by the affection and appreciation of millions. Surely, there is no purgatory for Ted Kennedy.