Ted Kennedy: The Morning After

1219683079Everyone from the national pundits to the woman who applied a full face of makeup next to you on the Green Line this morning has an opinion about Sen. Ted Kennedy’s speech at the Democratic National Convention last night. Was watching the ailing senator a sad reminder of our mortality, or tangible proof that the dream shall never die? After the jump, we review the reaction from around the Internet.

Jon Keller
[Responding to a viewer’s opinion that watching Kennedy’s oration was “disappointing and a bit sad.”] I respectfully disagree. . . . I may not agree with Ted Kennedy about some things, and I’ve had my share of criticism of him over the years, but that was an impressive showing of grit and style by a man who’s shown those same qualities on more than a few difficult occasions. My hat is off to him. What on earth are we going to do without him?

Blue Mass Group
His dearest issue — health care — took on a personal urgency in his speech tonight, as he held out the hope, the humane demand, for achieving health care for all. The fight against sickness is what makes us realize how precious life is. The crowd leaned in, as if yearning to hear every word twice, afraid to hear the last.

beachchow, Herald commenter
After watching Teddy give his speech, now I know what Harry Potter looks like when he is old, fat, and senile.

Peter Canellos, Globe
He also – and perhaps most importantly – bequeathed the “dream” of charismatic liberalism that was embodied by President Kennedy to Barack Obama; with the martyred president’s daughter at his side, he made it clear that Obama, more than any member of the Kennedy family, would be the future custodian of the Camelot legacy.

David Rogers, Politico
Kennedy’s words echoed his 1980 speech in New York, when he had lost the nomination to Jimmy Carter but still brought the delegates to their feet when he invoked the memories of his slain brothers and Tennyson’s “Ulysses”: “To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield.”. . . Amid the poetry, Monday night’s political stagecraft also showed another side of Kennedy — less Tennyson and more the showman tub-thumper.

Peter Keating, New York Magazine
If you evaluate the Democratic convention as pure spectacle, five things happened on Monday to make its first evening a pretty big success. . . The optics couldn’t have been better for the Obamacrats: the liberal lion summoning a last roar, the Kennedy who has grown old passing the torch to the leader of a new generation. Kennedy filled the arena with genuine emotion, had the TV anchors tripping over themselves to praise him, and basically rendered the first night of the convention immune to Republican criticism.

Jonathan Cohn, The New Republic
On Monday in Denver, Kennedy once again did his best to help Obama’s cause. And, should Obama win, Kennedy has promised he will be ready in January—with a proposal for universal health care in one hand and a popular mandate to enact it in the other.

But universal health care, like public affection for liberalism, is not something Kennedy can produce on his own. He will need help—from his activist allies, from his political party, from his presidential candidate. And he cannot afford to wait.

Image from Ted Kennedy’s website