Obama, Biden to Honor Ted Kennedy at his Institute Opening

Sen. Barack Obama confers with Sen. Edward Kennedy before the State of the Union speech by President George W. Bush in 2008. (Photo: Win McNamee, Getty Images)
Sen. Barack Obama confers with Sen. Edward Kennedy before the State of the Union speech by President George W. Bush in 2008.
(Photo: Win McNamee, Getty Images)

When senators convene in the Senate chamber Monday to honor the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, it won’t be in Washington.

Instead, Vice President Joe Biden will preside over a full-size replica Senate chamber at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston, with current and former senators at their desks, high school students on the floor and Kennedy family members in the gallery.

The institute opens Monday with a dedication speech by President Obama and a who’s who of Massachusetts politicians, United States senators and Kennedy kin.

Dreamed up by Kennedy himself seven years before he died of brain cancer in 2009, the institute was shepherded into existence by his widow, Victoria Reggie Kennedy. Its mission: to immerse visitors in the experience of being a senator — debating the great issues in the nation’s history, visiting a facsimile of Kennedy’s Senate office, and sneaking sweets from the “candy desk.”

As they began to descend on Boston for the opening ceremony over the weekend, Kennedy’s former colleagues said the institute highlights the respect and affection Kennedy had for the body where he served for 47 years.

“I would not be vice president, and I would not have been a United States senator, but for Ted Kennedy,” Biden wrote in the Boston Globe’s Sunday magazine. “Teddy was the embodiment of what I believe the Senate best represents. It’s remarkable that one of the most liberal senators of the last century had so many of his adversaries ultimately respect him.”

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Kennedy’s unique background — “the Kennedy family is probably as close to royalty as this nation has ever had” — made him a formidable opponent.

“He dedicated his life to the institution, and thereby being able to become one of the most effective members of the United State Senate,” McCain said on CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday. “And I might add, probably the greatest antagonist I ever had on the floor of the Senate.”

Click here for more.

SOURCE: USA Today – Gregory Korte

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s