Ted Kennedy is dead, and in the aftermath of his life, one thing still rubs dark his image as the lion of the Senate and continues to forever stain his legacy with blood: His cowardly tether to Mary Jo Kopechne.
The incident at Chappaquiddick rightfully haunted Ted Kennedy since Mary Jo died in a curious car crash on July 19, 1969.
Ted never fully explained his role in her death and his timeline and logic never quite added up in any substantial, human, way.
At the end of his life, Ted would not discuss Chappaquiddick — and it was in that continued cowardice in refusing to publicly confess the results of his actions that prematurely yellowed the calling of his life.
The lionization of Ted Kennedy will begin — but we’ll always have that nagging wondering about what really happened that evil night in 1969 when a young woman lost of the promise of her life, and a young politico lost any real magnitude he hoped to earn with the deeds of a wasted, political, career.
If you’re mourning Ted Kennedy today; please also put in a small prayer for Mary Jo Kopechne — because Mary Jo deserved so much more than to be forever pinned upside down in inside Ted Kennedy’s 1967 Oldsmobile Delmont 88 at the bottom of Nantucket Sound.
I regularly think of Mary Jo Kopechne.
I wonder what would have been if he had just explained exactly what happened.
That’s precisely the nut of it, Gordon. He didn’t notify the authorities until she was already dead. He was found guilty, but had his sentence suspended. He refused to discuss the murky matter late into his life even after dealing with the publication of 15 books and countless articles on the topic… all percolating his obsessive, guilty, role in her death.
Every moment he had to do the right thing, to take his punishment, to pay his dues, to publicly mourn the poor woman… he managed to mangle through insensitivity and privilege.
While his brothers Joe and John and Bobby were always of the people and for the people and had the touch of The Common Man, Teddy always came off as the lost, lonely, last, spoiled brat of a family built on entitlement instead of budding personal insight and terminal public suffering.
Wow…didn’t know the details – this is quite something.
Teddy should’ve been president — but Mary Jo’s death was something the rest of the most of us could never abide. He seemed to so publicly dismiss her from his mind and that was just too detached and too convenient in every way.