The Kennedys. Oh, bless their hearts.
I’m sorry, I love Caroline Kennedy, but she just…isn’t a great public speaker. Slightly monotone, lacking excitement. Speaking about her uncle, who since a young age was like a father to her, and walked her down the aisle the day she got married, you’d think she’d be a bit more enthusiastic.
While her facial expressions (thank you C-SPAN) show emotion, her voice? Not so much. She lacks the inspiration and conviction that you would expect given her heritage.
With the diagnosis of Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s (D-MA) brain cancer earlier this spring, the Democratic National Convention wouldn’t have been the same without him making an appearance. When it was finally publicized that his doctors had given him the okay to make the trip, it was as if he had come back from the dead. An impression emphasized by the quasi-memorial tribute video screened at the convention.
I am by far the biggest fan of Teddy. I interned for him in his Boston office my senior year of college, and ask any of my pals, I can spew out Kennedy trivia on command. But really? This memorial/tribute? Senator Kennedy is not dead yet, thank goodness, and I hate that the evening’s programing makes it feel like he is. I know people are worried that he won’t make it to the next convention but really now? This is…moving, and depressing. I can’t imagine a Democratic Party without Senator Kennedy, let’s not bring that to reality any sooner than necessary.
The man finally took the stage, with stoic laughter, and a modest thank you or two or four, with the wounds from his brain surgery obvious, and his face thinner because of chemotherapy. For someone who has been through so much in the past six months, his energy seemingly never faltered.
His energy, courage, and dedication are incredibly moving and motivating. “New hope,” he speaks of, not only does it resonate as the theme for for Senator Obama’s campaign, but also as the political legacy of the Kennedy family. As “Still the One” plays, you see emotion throughout the crowd – through Senator Joseph Biden’s (D-DE) glassy eyes, and through awe-struck Democrats who happen to be lucky enough to witness what could possibly be Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s last convention speech.