I managed to get through the Martha’s Vineyard summer attending only one fundraiser. That’s a record. And, for the first time in at least a decade, I did no fundraising for the causes I care about. I must admit it felt good. Fundraising is hard.
The single event I went to – for our Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick – was a good one,. It happened to be scheduled for the day after we found out Ted Kennedy died. Deval spoke about Kennedy. He said, “ I knew him before I ever met him because my mother used to say, to no one in particular” (and here he slipped into a drawl), “I just love me some Kennedy.”
An extraordinary number of people “loved some Kennedy.” His passion for life was unique, complete, and inclusive, but his commitment and dogged perseverance did not seem to overwhelm his humility or make him take himself too seriously. I liked what his son Teddy said, “He used to say that it didn’t bother him that he wasn’t president; it just bothered him that someone else was.”
I’ve always been a big admirer, but Kennedy disappointed me the last few years by opposing Cape Wind. The stories, these past few days, about his deep and enduring connection to Nantucket Sound, have brought me greater understanding. I no longer feel that his opposition was hypocritical; rather, I think it came from his fear that something inside him would be injured and his inability to overcome that fear. His capacity to overcome fear and adversity was mighty, but we all have our limits. Even Ted Kennedy.
All is forgiven.