Whatever else you might say about Ted Kennedy, there’s no doubt he was a titan of American politics. A pillar and in many ways a personification of liberal politics, his early support for Barack Obama broke the “inevitability” surrounding Hillary Clinton and began the catapulting of the President into the White House. Had he not fallen prey to a series of unfortunate events and poor personal judgment when he was 32 years old, he could have been President himself.
As it was, he served more than fifty years in the U.S. Senate, for so long that some people thought “Senator” was his first name; his is the third-longest tenure in the Senate in American history (although that record is likely to be broken by Daniel Inouye in two months). Think about it for a moment: Ted Kennedy served in the U.S. Senate for almost a quarter of that institution’s entire existence.
Kennedy finally succumbed to the brain tumor that had been dogging him ever since its diagnosis more than a year ago. American politics will not be quite the same with him gone.