Howard Dean sent a reminiscence to Talking Points Memo earlier this week on the occasion of Senator Ted Kennedy’s Death. In it, he recalls the late Senator’s charm and grace, and his ability to win people over—even political enemies.
We will miss Senator Ted Kennedy as a nation, and I will miss him as a human being. Over the next few months, as we debate his life’s passion, which was Universal Health Care, we will feel his presence everywhere. He will be in the Senate Chamber, in the committee rooms, in the White House, and in the minds of most of the reporters old enough to have witnessed the trajectory of this extraordinary generation of America’s First Family from it’s beginning. Much has been written about Ted Kennedy already. He was indeed extraordinary. My mother, who was a solid Upper East Side Republican until 2004, once happened to sit next to him at a wedding of a mutual friend. She had never met him before. I’m sure the exchange was lively, and being a Dean, I doubt my mother gave him much quarter. A week later, a beautiful, kind, and very personal handwritten letter arrived from Ted Kennedy. My mother, like so many other Americans, was hooked by the Kennedy charm and grace.