Is the eulogizing premature? After all, Strom Thurmond crawled into late veneration, and Robert Byrd is an angelic shell of his former pork-barrel self. There is something strained and bizarre about all this, as if pundits and Washington were trying to raise the ghost of bipartisanship through a collective act of remembering youthful innocence.
David Rogers makes Kennedy sound like some other titans of the Senate—all failed in bids for the White House—like Henry Clay (who could have been Kennedy’s drinking buddy), Daniel Webster, or John C. Calhoun. But "…passion once made Kennedy a polarizing force in national politics. But Kennedy is a man who discovered himself in the Senate, just as the Senate discovered more in him." is nearly epitaph-worthy. But, his is a rare script.
More common, and equally insulting in their own separate ways, are the post-Kennedy election bets and "Hillary Clinton is the next Teddy" arguments. The latter is a few degrees shy of insulting both the Senate and Kennedy, but it is a rather sly way of milking Kennedy’s endorsement of Barack Obama, instead of mourning the Massachusetts Falstaff’s opportunity to remain a Democratic kingmaker.
Yet, all change is exciting. Mind you, that’s a very broad emotion!