Ted Kennedy: Tragedy Scandal & Redemption
Born into a family of great wealth and privilege "Ted" was the 9th - and final - child of Rose and Joseph Kennedy patriarchs of the closest thing America had to a "Royal Family." After the untimely and tragic deaths of his three older brothers Ted inherited the weight of his father's political ambitions and served as surrogate father to the 13 children of his slain brothers. From early scandals - from the tragedy of Chappaquiddick to public displays of womanizing and drunkenness to his stellar marks as U.S. Senator the life and career of Edward Moore Kennedy is revealed through his close friends family members and through his political colleagues - and opponents. (Produced by CBS Enterprises Executive Producer for Biography-® Michael Cascio) Running Time: 50 Min.
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Joseph Kennedy was out of step with both his party and government, and because of a speech he gave about democracy being finished in England, and maybe in America, his public career was finished. His asperactions were then turned to the ambitions of his sons, which was to effect Ted for the next 25 years.
The turmoil started for Ted, and at the age of nine his sister Rose was committed to an institution, then his brother, Joe jr., was killed in an air explosion over England.
Ted then attended private schools from 1940 - 1945, but never fitted in, so he reinvented himself which helped him later in his political life. Then in 1948 his sister, Katherine, was killed when her private jet crashed into a mountain side.
He developed a flair for politics while campaigning for John as he pushed for the presidency. The resolute was that John won by a mere 120,000 votes, and because of this John asked Robert to be Attorney General as he could not trust anyone else.
In Massachusetts Ted's detractors tried to derail him at a debate by trying to defame his name, but Ted stood his stance and became the unsung hero by not losing his cool, and won by 69%. In 1963 he took the oath as a senator, and made a speech about segregation that went way back beyond his brothers' time.
At the time of John's assassination, Ted was in Washington presiding over the Senate when he was told about his brother's death. The idea of Camelot weighted heavy on Ted as he picked up the banner which trapped him and shaped his life, and from then on he would benefit and suffer.
Tragedy after tragedy followed with the assassination of Robert in 1968, and a plane crash that nearly killed him, so his wife Joan, took over his campaign for the next five months. Now there was only five of the nine children left which created a divide in him. He had a great burden on his shoulders as the last brother of the clan, and became a surrogate father to the 13 children left behind.
Ted's political life was full of ups and downs but mainly downs as his drinking continued. Then the tragedy at Chappaquiddick struck, and only Ted can answer what happened, and if because of his name, he received a reprieve then Ted will have to live with the consequences for the rest of his life.
The other two tragedies from Chappaquiddick was his wife's miscarriage and the end of his political career.
When his father died Ted was the last of the dynasty, he was alone and in decline. In the 1970s his private life was in the dirt from affairs and drinking, but ran for the presidency in 1979. He lost because he could not focus on the job at hand.
There was a war with Ted Kennedy, with one side saying that Camelot was destroyed so leave it alone. I have always believe that this was a threat to stop Ted in his tracks, but I always hoped that I was wrong.
Ted continued to be a senator, but the press hounded him because of his affairs, and in 1991 he realised that his life and affairs were his responsibility and had to live with the consequences.
After 30 years of pain, affairs, tragedy and scandal, he has seemed to call the battle a draw.
Because of his birth into the Kennedy family, Ted was trapped by the ambitions of a father and the achievements of his brothers, and often followed a path that led to tragedy. He continues to be a great voice on Capital Hill, and if he is lucky, his career as senator may out-shadow his private life. If this is the case, he would go down in history as the Kennedy who archived the most.
This dvd is a must have for people who are interested in the last member of the original Kennedy Clan. It is a five star story that continues to be played out in Washington, and I hope, despite all his failings, some day the American people can accept him for what he is, a human who had to endure more pain than most could.