Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Sen. Ted Kennedy at the 1980 DNC: Wrong Campaign at the wrong time
When I look at Ted Kennedy the Senator in Congress. I look at one of the most effective Senators and Members of Congress in American History period. No one perhaps more effective ever as far as speaking to the important issues of the time, moving legislation. Leading his party as well as working with them. Even working with Congressional Republicans to pass legislation, his best friend in Congress. Was probably Sen. Orrin Hatch a Conservative Republican and a very effective one at that. Another close friend of Sen. Kennedy would be John Boehner, who was Minority Leader of the House. And now of course Speaker of the House and a very effective one in both roles. Even though Ted Kennedy's politics were more Socialist Liberal. A bit farther left then his brother Jack Kennedy a Liberal Democrat but Sen. Kennedy was a Legislature. And to be an effective Legislature, you have to be able to work with both sides of the isle. And no one understood this better then Ted Kennedy. But when I think of Ted Kennedy as a Presidential Campaigner, its pretty obvious why he only ran for President once in 1980. He ran the wrong Presidential Campaign at the wrong time, didn't seem to have any message. Other then things are real bad as they were in 1979-80. And that he wanted to help but didn't seem to have any message in how he would help the country. Other then that he had been in Congress for seventeen years which is not a message but a resume.
Ted Kennedy didn't seem to know why he was running for President. And looking back at it and hearing from his close friends and people who worked for him. As well as Political Analysts that covered Sen. Kennedy, I don't believe he wanted to run for President either. And I believe he ran because he felt he owed something to the Kennedy Family and their Family Legacy. Perhaps his own Political Legacy as well and be another Kennedy. Who was elected President of the United States. But what Sen. Kennedy didn't seem to realize at the time, is that he already had a great Political Legacy. Even at the young age of 47 in 1979, which is young for Public Service. He was already the most accomplished of the Kennedy Kids. Even more accomplished then President Kennedy who was President for 22 months and of course was assassinated. The 1980 Kennedy Presidential Campaign I believe also cost the Democratic Party, because President Carter was seen as very weak and he was very unpopular. So the Democratic Party was stuck essentially with two weak Presidential Candidates in 1980.
The Democratic Party again in 1970. similar to 1968 and 1972, was once again divided and the selected President Carter. The devil they knew so to speak and the Carter Campaign picked up early that the Kennedy Campaign didn't have a message. And they were left going up against a United Republican Party behind Ronald Reagan and lost in a landslide. Ted Kennedy's opportunity's to run for President, which I again is a job he didn't want. Would've been in 1976, where he would've a good shot at getting elected, if he gotten the Democratic Nomination. Running against President Ford in a bad economy just after Watergate. Or 1988 again had he gotten the Democratic Nomination. Because he would've ran a much better campaign against then Vice President Bush then GOV Mike Dukakis. Because he would've had the Kennedy Machine and been able to deal with the Bush Attacks. And he would've launched some of his own.
Ted Kennedy was a Natural Legislature and Member of Congress, one of the best America has ever produced. And thats his legacy, not as a Presidential Wannabe who keeps running. Without getting the job or even the Presidential Nomination, like a George Wallace. And should've realized this earlier and maybe taken one great shot at the Presidency. Only if he really wanted it like 1988 and not run a half ass Presidential Campaign like in 1980.