RFK, 40 Years Gone


The Kennedys were masters of political stagecraft and imagery, so getting Bobby Kennedy to jog along the California beach just before the 1968 primary must have seemed like a brilliant stroke, epitomizing youth and vigor. Nobody  could have known this picture would become one of the iconic images of RFK after his death.
I’m still moved by the words of Edward Kennedy at his brother’s funeral, though I’m long past believing that any single politician, however gifted, can do all the things we still seem to believe, even after endless disappointments, our leaders should do. Charisma is not the same as wise governing–but it’s oh so hard to resist.
“My brother need not be idealized or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, who saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it. Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world.

As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him: “some men see things as they are and say why; I dream things that never were and say: why not?”

Senator Edward Kennedy, funeral oration for his brother


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