Topics
Administration
Congress
Democrats
Elections
Ethics
Governor -- Alabama
Governor -- Alaska
Governor -- Arizona
Governor -- California
Governor -- Colorado
Governor -- Connecticut
Governor -- Delaware
Governor -- Florida
Governor -- Georgia
Governor -- Hawaii
Governor -- Illinois
Governor -- Indiana
Governor -- Iowa
Governor -- Kentucky
Governor -- Louisiana
Governor -- Maryland
Governor -- Massachusetts
Governor -- Michigan
Governor -- Minnesota
Governor -- Missouri
Governor -- Montana
Governor -- Nevada
Governor -- New Hampshire
Governor -- New Jersey
Governor -- New Mexico
Governor -- New York
Governor -- North Carolina
Governor -- North Dakota
Governor -- Ohio
Governor -- Oregon
Governor -- Pennsylvania
Governor -- Rhode Island
Governor -- South Carolina
Governor -- Texas
Governor -- Utah
Governor -- Vermont
Governor -- Virginia
Governor -- Washington
Governor -- Wyoming
Governors
Health Care
House
House -- Alabama -- 02
House -- Alabama -- 03
House -- Alabama -- 05
House -- Alaska
House -- Arizona -- 01
House -- Arizona -- 03
House -- Arizona -- 05
House -- Arizona -- 08
House -- Arkansas -- 01
House -- Arkansas -- 02
House -- California -- 04
House -- California -- 12
House -- California -- 26
House -- California -- 32
House -- California -- 50
House -- Colorado -- 02
House -- Colorado -- 04
House -- Connecticut -- 04
House -- Connecticut -- 05
House -- Florida -- 06
House -- Florida -- 08
House -- Florida -- 13
House -- Florida -- 15
House -- Florida -- 16
House -- Florida -- 18
House -- Florida -- 19
House -- Florida -- 21
House -- Florida -- 24
House -- Florida -- 25
House -- Georgia -- 05
House -- Georgia -- 10
House -- Georgia -- 12
House -- Idaho -- 01
House -- Illinois -- 01
House -- Illinois -- 03
House -- Illinois -- 05
House -- Illinois -- 06
House -- Illinois -- 10
House -- Illinois -- 11
House -- Illinois -- 14
House -- Illinois -- 18
House -- Indiana -- 03
House -- Indiana -- 07
House -- Indiana -- 09
House -- Iowa -- 03
House -- Iowa -- 04
House -- Kansas -- 02
House -- Kentucky -- 02
House -- Kentucky -- 03
House -- Louisiana -- 01
House -- Louisiana -- 02
House -- Louisiana -- 04
House -- Louisiana -- 06
House -- Maine -- 01
House -- Maryland -- 01
House -- Maryland -- 04
House -- Massachusetts -- 05
House -- Michigan -- 01
House -- Michigan -- 07
House -- Michigan -- 09
House -- Michigan -- 13
House -- Minnesota -- 01
House -- Minnesota -- 03
House -- Minnesota -- 06
House -- Mississippi -- 01
House -- Mississippi -- 03
House -- Missouri -- 09
House -- Nevada -- 02
House -- Nevada -- 03
House -- New Hampshire -- 01
House -- New Hampshire -- 02
House -- New Jersey -- 03
House -- New Jersey -- 05
House -- New Jersey -- 07
House -- New Mexico -- 01
House -- New Mexico -- 02
House -- New York -- 13
House -- New York -- 15
House -- New York -- 20
House -- New York -- 21
House -- New York -- 23
House -- New York -- 24
House -- New York -- 25
House -- New York -- 26
House -- New York -- 29
House -- North Carolina -- 03
House -- North Carolina -- 08
House -- North Carolina -- 10
House -- North Dakota
House -- Ohio -- 01
House -- Ohio -- 02
House -- Ohio -- 05
House -- Ohio -- 07
House -- Ohio -- 10
House -- Ohio -- 15
House -- Ohio -- 16
House -- Oklahoma -- 05
House -- Oregon -- 05
House -- Pennsylvania -- 03
House -- Pennsylvania -- 04
House -- Pennsylvania -- 06
House -- Pennsylvania -- 10
House -- Pennsylvania -- 11
House -- Pennsylvania -- 12
House -- Pennsylvania -- 15
House -- South Carolina -- 01
House -- South Carolina -- 02
House -- South Carolina -- 05
House -- South Dakota
House -- Tennessee -- 07
House -- Tennessee -- 08
House -- Tennessee -- 09
House -- Texas -- 07
House -- Texas -- 10
House -- Texas -- 14
House -- Texas -- 22
House -- Utah -- 03
House -- Virginia -- 01
House -- Virginia -- 05
House -- Virginia -- 09
House -- Virginia -- 11
House -- Washington -- 08
House -- West Virginia -- 02
House -- Wisconsin -- 08
House -- Wyoming
Inauguration 2009
International
Issues
Judiciary
Local Elections
Media
Miscellaneous
Morning Thoughts
Politics Weekly
Polls
Rankings
Republicans
Senate
Senate -- Alaska
Senate -- Arizona
Senate -- Arkansas
Senate -- California
Senate -- Colorado
Senate -- Connecticut
Senate -- Delaware
Senate -- Florida
Senate -- Georgia
Senate -- Idaho
Senate -- Illinois
Senate -- Indiana
Senate -- Iowa
Senate -- Kansas
Senate -- Kentucky
Senate -- Louisiana
Senate -- Maine
Senate -- Massachusetts
Senate -- Minnesota
Senate -- Mississippi
Senate -- Missouri
Senate -- Montana
Senate -- Nebraska
Senate -- Nevada
Senate -- New Hampshire
Senate -- New Jersey
Senate -- New Mexico
Senate -- New York
Senate -- North Carolina
Senate -- North Dakota
Senate -- Ohio
Senate -- Oklahoma
Senate -- Oregon
Senate -- Pennsylvania
Senate -- South Carolina
Senate -- South Dakota
Senate -- Tennessee
Senate -- Texas
Senate -- Utah
Senate -- Virginia
Senate -- Wisconsin
Senate -- Wyoming
Sports
Supreme Court
WH 08
WH 08 -- Democrats
WH 08 -- Republicans
WH 12
WH 12 -- Republicans
White House

 

« AL: Rogers +21, Griffith +5 | Blog Home Page | Strategy Memo: Clinton's No-Win »

Kennedy Highlights First Night

dnc logo
DENVER, Colorado -- Senator Ted Kennedy's surprise appearance at the Democratic National Convention could not have been more appropriate. For a politician who has done as much to define the latter half of the twentieth century Senate as any other, skipping an event like a convention nominating Barack Obama, who Kennedy supported early in the primary campaign, would have been unthinkable.

The Kennedy family, forty eight years after John Kennedy was elected president, remains the closest thing America has to a regal dynasty. To those who fall on the left end of the political spectrum, the photo of a young Ted with brothers John and Robert is an image that still holds incredible resonance.

His speech to convention delegates, which followed a video tribute produced by the documentarian Ken Burns, is a quadrennial affair. Often called the liberal lion, Kennedy is the most visible representation of a wing of the Democratic Party that once ruled, and may be on the ascendance again.

This time, though, just months after a diagnosis of and surgery on a brain tumor, the speech held an added weight. "It means so much personally to every one of us," said James Roosevelt, who chaired the party's Rules and Bylaws Committee and who is the grandson of Franklin Roosevelt. From Massachusetts, Roosevelt echoed those who said Kennedy transcended his state. "To the party and the country, [Kennedy has] been such a wonderful leader, and that's what he was showing tonight."

Those who have held office for years and those who are new to elected office from both sides of the Democratic spectrum spoke of Kennedy's importance to the party. "It was the most powerful speech I've ever heard," said Rep. Jim McDermott, one of the more liberal members of Congress. "It's a great statement, and he's got an enormous amount of courage," said former Virginia Governor Mark Warner, a more moderate Democrat who called the speech "very powerful."

Kennedy's tenure in Congress has so far encompassed both personal and political zeniths and nadirs. From his first years during the heyday of Camelot to the dark days of personal tragedy, from his failed run at the presidency in 1980 to the countless laws which bear his name, Kennedy has served as an anchor to many. "He's been the workhorse. He's steadied the party, he's taken us through some pretty tough times," McDermott said. "But he' never lost his vision of what he thought was right."

The appearance, which was uncertain until just hours before he walked on stage, held special meaning to others who serve as anchors of the party. Vice presidential nominee Joe Biden arrived in town two days early to take in the speech, while Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd, one of Kennedy's closest friends, said he flew in to be there for a moment he called "very emotional."

Democrats will celebrate Obama's nomination for the next three days. But for some, the chance to see Kennedy speak in person will be the highlight.

Note: In the interest of full disclosure, this reporter worked for Dodd. Given his close relationship with Kennedy, though, it seemed appropriate to seek his insight.