Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Senator Ted

I made a point of watching Ted Kennedy's speech at the Democratic National Convention, not live, but later, which is easy enough in the age of YouTube. It's also easy enough to be ambivalent about him and the rest of the Kennedys, but he is a presidential brother, and a doyen of the US Senate. He's also near the end of the line, though he looked well enough considering his condition.

Naturally, it was little more than a pep talk -- which is all you're going to get from the televised parts of a convention. But I was glad to see him cite the Moon landings as a prime example of American determination (and by implication, Kennedy moxie): "Today an American flag still marks the surface of the Moon."

Alas, he didn't suggest accelerating the manned mission to Mars. I'd get behind that. I'd even pay a little more in taxes to see it happen.

I saw Ted Kennedy make a speech in the spring of 1980, during his effort to dislodge President Carter. Why his campaign thought speaking at Vanderbilt was a good idea, I couldn't say. But he did draw a crowd to the largest auditorium on campus. I remember that because crowd control outside the venue was spotty that evening, and it was so jammed outside the entrance that it was impossible to move around before the doors were opened. But fortunately he wasn't enough of a draw to cause a Cincinnati-style Who concert stampede (an incident fresh in everyone's mind at that moment).

Pete 'n' Bob, roommates who lived on my hall, had strong opinions about Ted Kennedy, and planned to heckle him. They even talked of making signs that said, "Where'd You Go, Mary Jo?" and "A Blonde in Every Pond," but since I didn't end up sitting near them, I don't know if they actually made them or got into the auditorium with them. As for Kennedy, I don't remember a thing he said.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home