September 21, 2009

Obama as Ubiquitous Leader

Appears on "60 Minutes" just over a week ago, then hits five -- count 'em, five -- Sunday morning talk shows yesterday, to be followed by a schmooze with Letterman on tonight's show. Anyone else think this guy is eminently overexposed? What next, a cameo on upcoming Brady Bunch reunion in Hawaii flick?

September 9, 2009

Gee, what a surprise

Radio host Ed Schultz, who also has a TV show on MSNBC, talking today about Obama's speech before Congress on health reform --
We're waiting to see what the president says tonight, the pregame show well underway, we're 7 hours and 53 minutes and 16 seconds before the speech. You know, we're the only network, MSNBC, that's giving us a countdown on exactly when the big show's gonna start.
Yes, the man is easily amused.

September 2, 2009

Kennedy abandoned pursuit of presidency after '80 campaign? Not so

Among the revisionist myths aired after Ted Kennedy's death, one that comes around frequently -- that after Kennedy's disastrous run for president in 1980, he gave up his dream of restoring Camelot at the White House and focused on becoming a great legislator in the Senate. Two examples of why this isn't true --

First, from the "People" column of Time magazine, Feb. 2, 1981, of Ted and Joan Kennedy announcing plans to divorce. Note the timing of the announcement --
With the exception of Rose Kennedy, 90, who was informed early Wednesday, and a few intimates, no one expected the announcement they were to issue 24 hours after Ronald Reagan took office. ...
... Clearly with an eye toward the '84 campaign, with Kennedy wasting no time shedding what he perceived as baggage.

Even after Kennedy decided against challenging Reagan in 1984, speculation continued that he would seek the presidency a second time, in 1988, until Kennedy announced otherwise in December 1985. As reported by the Associated Press on Dec. 20 that year --
BOSTON -- Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's much heralded bid for the presidency ended before it began with the leading Democrat's surprise announcement that he will not be a candidate for the White House in 1988.

"I know that this decision means that I may never be president, but the pursuit of the presidency is not my life. Public service is," Kennedy said in an unusual, paid political announcement televised Thursday evening in his home state of Massachusetts. ...

September 1, 2009

"September 1, 1939" resonates still

"I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade ... "

The rest of Auden's poem here

Rest in peace, Senator Kennedy

Didn't agree with his politics but interviewed the man several times over the years, mainly during my time as political reporter at the Cape Cod Times, and he was invariably gracious. He will probably always loom large to me if for no other reason than being the brother of JFK, my boyhood hero.

At left, a photo I took of Kennedy in April 2003, meeting with the troops at Otis Air National Guard Base on Cape Cod a few weeks after the outbreak of war in Iraq.

It's the most won-der-ful time of the year ...

One kid back in school today, the other following tomorrow. Ah, autumn!