Three Speeches That Define Ted Kennedy

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2009 1:34 PM CDT

(Newser) – He wasn't always the most articulate person in one-on-one conversations, but Ted Kennedy gave powerful speeches, writes Gail Russell Chaddock in the Christian Science Monitor. Three that resonate:

  • His 1980 concession: “For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." Sure, the words came from a speechwriter, but only Kennedy's delivery made it work, says one historian. “You had to listen to it to fully get the impact.”

  • Bork opposition: “Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters … and the doors of the federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is—and is often the only—protector of the individual rights." Supreme Court nominations haven't been the same since.
  • Bobby's eulogy: At his brother's funeral, Kennedy made the wise move of repeating Bobby's own words to close: "Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not.”