In Politics and Love, Vicki Rescued Ted

Politically savvy wife brought long-sought happiness to senator
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2009 8:42 AM CDT
Ted, Victoria and other members of the Kennedy family gather at the gravesites of President John F. Kennedy and wife Jacqueline, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 1995.   (AP Photo/Mark Wilson)
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(Newser) – As a love story and a political partnership, Ted Kennedy's relationship with wife Victoria defined the last decades of his life, the New York Times reports in a piece on the most powerful and politically savvy of the Kennedy wives. When the senator fell in love with banking lawyer Victoria Reggie in 1991, he was a scandal-plagued aging playboy and she a recently divorced mother of two; at her side he found a happiness that had long eluded him.

"Canny, razor-sharp" Vicki shaped Ted into a dignified statesman, showing keen political instincts, as when she crippled Mitt Romney's 1994 campaign against Ted by unearthing Romney's role in mass layoffs at a stationery factory his firm took over. "The two of them never wasted a day," a friend said. "They sailed, they sang, they laughed, they told great old Irish political stories," even as she helped Ted through his final days.