The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate opens today in Boston, and the ribbon cutting, which featured a line of VIPs and high-profile speakers, has lent itself to a wealth of unintentionally hilarious Ted Kennedy tributes.
First, President Obama, who opened the Center, took a moment to consider a world where we were all more like Ted Kennedy: a world where, I suppose, we all conducted ourselves with blatant disregard for the human beings around us, as we failed repeatedly to bridge any sort of partisan divide, pursuing our own dogged commitment to amassing influence and tolerating large quantities of alcohol.
And then, Vice President Joe Biden, who, like many people, recalled that the erstwhile Senator was Virgil-like guide into the deeper, darker areas of Senate life.
Like, the naked ones.
Biden, speaking at the dedication of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston, mentioned how Kennedy would take him into the Senate gymnasium’s locker room to meet senators, and “like in a YMCA, the men walk around the shower and the stalls with nothing on.”
“And I remember going, ‘How are you?’” Biden described greeting longtime senators such as Jacob Javits, mimicking an averted gaze. “I swear to God.”
“I felt guilty I was fully clothed,” he said. “That’s true story. Oh God, was I embarrassed.”
I guess he was just showing Joe the ropes.
I crack myself up.
Anyway, this was where Ted Kennedy felt most comfortable. Or, at least, one of many DC’s locations where he felt he could let it all hang out. La Brasserie was his other favorite. In 1985, he’s reported to have engaged in a “waitress sandwich” there with then Senator Chris Dodd, and in September of 1987, he was discovered, with his pants around his ankles, doing some dirty business with a female lobbyist.