Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the youngest of the four magnificent, yet terribly flawed Kennedy brothers, passed away last night.
Unlike his three older brothers, he managed to live through the 20th Century, and into the 21st. He served in the U.S. Senate six years longer than did Alaska's Ted Stevens.
Unlike Ted Stevens, Ted Kennedy became more powerful, more well-respected, more creative in his legislative accomplishments in a meaningful way, as his career developed. Indeed, Kennedy's iconic, struggling figure, looming over the health care debate, as he succumbed to a fatal brain tumor, stands in stark contrast to the waning days in the Senate of Stevens. Even before his arrest, trial, seeming conviction, narrow electoral defeat, and so-called exoneration (by some - more accurately, being "let off the hook" because of Bush-era DOJ screwups), Stevens' exit was the exact opposite to the denouement of Teddy Kennedy.
Alaska bloggers are already paying tribute to the man some called "The Lion of the Senate," for his raging speeches advocating one idea or another. Celtic Diva, in her tribute to Kennedy, posted this YouTube of Kennedy's speech, which she witnessed last year in Denver, at the 2008 Democratic National Convention:
Other Alaska blog tributes to Teddy Kennedy:
The Immoral Minority
Just a Girl from Homer
image - Ted Kennedy addressing the 1968 Alaska Democratic Party Convention in Sitka (video available too!) from the Alaska State Library via Matt Browner Hamlin