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A Big-Hearted Sort Of Politics

by Patrick Appel

From Andrew's column marking Ted Kennedy's funeral:

He was a senator able to be fiercely ideological and also fiercely pragmatic, able to develop friendships beyond politics – friendships that are the grease that makes the Senate work. He was a master of parliamentary procedures and the helm of a ship of highly skilled staffers.

He was also, of course, a politician. Despite being a proponent of green energy, he single-handedly prevented the construction of a wind farm off Cape Cod because it might obstruct his sea view. In 2004 he fought hard to remove Romney’s right to appoint a temporary senator if John Kerry were to win the presidency. And yet in the week before his death he urged a return to the appointment of a temporary senator – in order to keep a Democratic vote for healthcare reform intact. He could be partisan and hypocritical, as well as bipartisan and principled.

He was also, I can personally attest, the de facto father of the orphaned children of Jack and Bobby.