For at least a half-decade, the Kennedy men have been a symbol of wealth, power, influence, and magnetism. They weren’t infallible by any means, but they were handsome as sin and charming enough to make the public forgive them their foibles. Alas, there was a curse put upon them and slowly, but surely each and every one them passed away. Yesterday, the end of Camelot was punctuated by the death of Senator Ted Kennedy. He was 77 years old.
Only one Kennedy man reigned during my lifetime, John Kennedy, Jr. With that head of dark hair and those goofy, half-smiles, he was like a Ralph Lauren model and the cutest guy in History class all rolled up into one. But then he was gone and that was that.
Senator Ted Kennedy had quite a ride and as it’s not good manners to speak ill of the dead, I’ll just mention that his political career made a huge impact on America. He was a major influence in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the National Cancer Act of 1971, the Federal Election Campaign Act Amendments of 1974, the COBRA Act of 1985, the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Ryan White AIDS Care Act in 1990, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, the Mental Health Parity Act in 1996 and 2008, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program in 1997, the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002, and the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act in 2009. He was also very involved in immigration reform and universal health care.
And so the reign of Camelot comes to an end. The girls are left behind to weep and carry-on. It seems that while the Kennedy men were full of life and vigor, the ladies always held themselves to the background. Except for Jackie, but then she was only really a Kennedy for 10 years. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll talk about the curse and of course, the Chappaquiddick incident, which I’m sure you’re all recalling. But for today, I’ll just say, rest in peace, Ted and goodbye to Camelot.