To the nation, Ted Kennedy was a symbol — an icon of progressivism or an avatar of evil. To those of us lucky to be his constituents, he was a regular guy who went about the mundane business of representing his state with diligence, seriousness and joy. Or so I argue in the Guardian, in a piece I wrote over the weekend in anticipation of this sad moment.
Kennedy was a good senator and a fine but flawed man. He has been dying for more than a year, and I’m not sure there’s a lot more to say at this point. Unlike his brothers, Ted Kennedy had the good fortune to receive all his accolades while he was still alive — including, most recently, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Although word of the senator’s death was unwelcome, it was a pleasure to see Marty Nolan’s byline gracing the front of the Boston Globe today.
A minor aside: I wonder if WBZ-TV (Channel 4) will go ahead with its Boston mayoral debate, currently scheduled for today at 7 p.m.? Not only would no one be watching, but I can’t imagine WBZ wants to hold moderator Jon Keller out of its Kennedy coverage.
Note: This item has been corrected.
Update: The mayoral debate has been postponed, according to a statement by WBZ spokeswoman Ro Dooley-Webster. She writes: “Jon Keller is in touch with the campaigns, and they are working to find a date when the debate can be rescheduled.”
Update II: The debate will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 2, from 7 to 8 p.m. on WBZ-TV (Channel 4) and WBZ Radio (AM 1030).
Photo taken from Kennedy’s Senate Web site, kennedy.senate.gov.