Last summer, as I flew toward Denver for the Democratic Convention on a small jet with Ted Kennedy, his family and a few friends, I thought of another convention 28 years before. It was the one Kennedy addressed in New York City after losing the Democratic nomination for President to Jimmy Carter. The speech Kennedy hoped to deliver in Denver would echo the earlier one, although a slight change in the closing words would make for a profound shift in mood. The robust Kennedy of 1980, announcing "The dream shall never die," was a young lion in winter, defiant in his beliefs even in defeat. The ailing Kennedy of 2008, stricken with incurable cancer but sailing every afternoon, told me that he was determined to conclude with an affirmation of hope. So the convention and the country would not hear the word die from him. Instead, in that distinctive and commanding voice, he would proclaim, "The dream lives on."...

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