Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Edward M. Kennedy (1932-2009)

In 1979 it seemed like a lot of things would be happening to this 60's wannabe college freshman. First off, there were rumors that the Beatles were going to reunite for a benefit concert of some sort (never happened, Paul and Wings played a great set at the Concert for the People of Kampuchea, however).

The other thing was that Camelot would be coming back. Ted Kennedy was going to run for president and take care of all those annoying LBJ-Nixon-Ford-Carter blues we'd been having since 22 November 1963 (or 6 June 1968 or 18 July 1968).

Yup, this was a good time to be a College Democrat!

So when Teddy announced at Faneuil Hall that he'd be running for president (in a hopeless challenge against a sitting president no less!) it was GREAT!

I sure didn't understand "realpolitik" then (if I do know!), but it sure seemed like a good idea. My Economics 101 prof was excited (Kennedy will bring in great minds!); and, being in school in Washington, I joined the Kennedy Campaign. I didn't do much (stuffed envelopes at the National HQ building - a former Cadillac showroom [insert jokes here] - ran in a fundraising raise [I think I still have the tee-shirt]). My now wife (a Mass. native) also worked on the campaign and with a friend did a campaign roadtrip to Pennsylvania. There was a big party after the Penn. primary (Ted won!) at the Cadillac HQ, but Ted never showed up.

Being angry - and VERY NAIVE - when Ted lost the nomination (but gave the great convention speech which probably sealed the Reagan victory) I couldn't vote for Jimmy and ended up voting for John Anderson (who you ask???? aside: ran into Anderson at a movie theater in DC 6 months after the election, "I voted for you" says I, "thanks" says he").

And thus passes Camelot.

(image above, pin from 1960 John Kennedy campaign purchased at 1980 EMK fundraiser)

(remind me to tell you about Jerry Brown sometime!)




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