Monday, 1 February 2010

A Shudder in Massachusetts

I have just finished reading Ted Kennedy's autobiography, "True Compass".

The subsequent loss of what was the safest of Democrat Senate seats seemed like the postscript that he could never write himself.

The impossibly high expectations of the American public of President Obama after his Presidential victory sent into the stratosphere by the Nobel laurel were bound to end in a corrective though perhaps not on this scale. Parallels are already being drawn with the mid term victories led by Newt Gingrich which did not stop President Clinton going on to a second Presidential victory two years later.

The Kennedy autobiography is a very good read particularly in setting out the campaigns he led in the Senate and his passions ( health care and civil rights among them ) -- some of them bi-partisan.

The Chappaquiddick explanation may not be totally convincing but the narrative of a life of campaigning for what he believed in is compelling.

That it should be the loss of his former seat that takes away the two thirds majority in the Senate and sends a shock wave into the Obama White House is ironic. That it imperils the health care reform that Ted Kennedy passionately believed in is deeply sad.

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