Sen. Edward M. (Ted) Kennedy, arguably the most powerful and influential senator of the past half century, has been fighting brain cancer for months; he vowed at the Democratic Convention in Denver last August that he would attend the Inauguration of Barack Obama.
Today he did just that, then later collapsed, possibly (it’s not yet entirely clear) due to a seizure during the Inaugural Luncheon. He was carried out on a stretcher and, as of this posting, is said to be awake and alert in the hospital while they figure out what happened.
The link between the Kennedy family and the Obamas was there was much talk throughout the campaign that a torch had been passed from those who held the legacy of Camelot and this historic young candidate.
Before his assassination, John F. Kennedy was the President under whom the Civil Rights Act was initiated, and Ted Kennedy’s first speech on the Senate floor in 1964 was for its passage. He was also instrumental in the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Obviously, the changes those two laws brought about in this nation were vital in creating an atmosphere which made possible the emergence of Barack Obama as a viable presidential candidate.
My bet is he’s taking a new vow right now, to be on the Senate floor soon to greet his niece Caroline Kennedy when she is appointed to fill Hillary Clinton’s New York Senate seat later this week.