NYT – Edward Kennedy, Senate Stalwart, Dies

As he underwent cancer treatment, Mr. Kennedy was little seen in Washington, appearing most recently at the White House in April as Mr. Obama signed a national service bill that bears the Kennedy name. Last week Mr. Kennedy urged Massachusetts lawmakers to change state law and let Gov. Deval Patrick appoint a temporary replacement upon his death, to assure that the state’s representation in Congress would not be interrupted by a special election.

While Mr. Kennedy was physically absent from the capital in recent months, his presence was deeply felt as Congress weighed the most sweeping revisions to America’s health care system in decades, an effort Mr. Kennedy called “the cause of my life.”

Sorry, when did they change the rules that to be a Senator means you have to die in office? If he was so bloody concerned about his replacement, why didn’t he retire in May 2008 when he first realized he was dying of a tumour in his brain? Or better yet, when he was 65? Who knows how much the stress of being a prominent politician hastened his end. Anyway, that wasn’t the interesting part. This is:

Senator Kennedy was at or near the center of much of American history in the latter part of the 20th century and the early years of the 21st. For much of his adult life, he veered from victory to catastrophe, winning every Senate election he entered but failing in his only try for the presidency; living through the sudden deaths of his brothers and three of his nephews; being responsible for the drowning death on Chappaquiddick Island of a young woman, Mary Jo Kopechne, a former aide to his brother Robert.

And this from the NYT! Now they tell us! Meanwhile…

The Times – The Kennedy clan: blessed and cursed

I think, after reading that, if they weren’t so rich they’d be better described as a family of a bunch of drunks with bad luck in airplanes. And cars.

(Plus, the accompanying family portrait is pretty cool)