The Youngest Brother Is His Own Man

Yes, he's a Kennedy, but Ted is loved for effectiveness, not flash
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2008 2:24 PM CDT
In this 1962 file photo, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., center, poses with his brothers US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, left, and President John F. Kennedy at the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Ted Kennedy's malignant brain tumor adds yet another chapter to the tragic epic of the Kennedy clan, Robert Kaiser writes in the Washington Post. The youngest of Joe Kennedy's sons got a huge boost from his older brothers when he entered politics, Kaiser notes, but he built his legacy of different stuff than theirs—not so much brilliance and charisma, but effectiveness, admired on both sides of the aisle, at making government work.

"JFK brought charm and wit to government," Ronald Steele, author of a book on Robert Kennedy, tells Kaiser. "Bobby is remembered for what might have been—but Ted should be thought of as someone who showed how government could be made to serve the people."