Decent people do not take potshots at others (unless the other is a Hitler or Stalin) in the 24 hours of the other’s death. I have never, literally never, written any good words about Ted Kennedy. But there was one time when I was impressed and in a weird way inspired by him. At the Democratic convention last year, when he willed himself out of the hospital, in a terribly weakened condition, to make what truly was a superbly written and even, despite his ailments, a well delivered speech in support of the man, Obama, who WOULD NOT have been about to be the nominee without Kennedy’s support, Kennedy’s speech — with its deliberate echoes of his 1980 convention speech, “the dream shall never die” — was a triumph of courage and commitment. Sitting in the convention hall covering it for the Washington Examiner, I literally got chill-bumps. In terms of valiance, it was like seeing Willis Reed hobble onto the court in the NBA finals against the Lakers, only to an even greater Nth degree.
In a reckless life spent pursuing the wrong goals through wrong and often vicious means, it was a magnificent moment of grace.
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