The death of Senator Kennedy

September 4, 2009
By

The death of Senator Edward Kennedy was a tragedy of the first order for Massachusetts.

His death was our demise in the Senate, and in Washington, where Massachusetts held a very special position from year to year when budget time arrived.

Senator Kennedy’s death ends our privileged place in the nation’s capital.

No matter who his successor is, we will never know in our lifetime another senator who could strongarm the national government to do as he wanted.

Senator Kennedy’s impact on the national government, his thoughts on foreign policy, his beliefs about prejudice being eradicated and discrimination put to an end – well – they won’t be matched by his successor.

His successor is doomed to the place held by all those following in the footsteps of legends.

It is, frankly, a space nearly impossible to occupy as you are always being compared with what and who came before.

Even another Kennedy taking over where Edward Kennedy left off will fall short of the late senator’s ability to create legislation and to follow it through to passage.

Another Kennedy will find it frustrating to begin anew at a task the late senator had mastered during more than 40 years in the senate.

Massachusetts faces a brave new world without Senator Kennedy.

In politics, where everything done and everything not done is about quid pro quo, Kennedy’s absence on the floor of the Senate will be hugely missed.

No one in the Senate is indispensable.

The Senate goes on even as the old guard dies off.

But Senator Kennedy was indispensable to us, to the people of Massachusetts.

His death is a sad reminder to us all that nothing remains the same forever.

That leaders come and leaders go but the institution remains.

Senator Kennedy will be sorely missed – and we will realize this in the days and months to follow.

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