Political Director, New Hampshire Institute of Politics
Senator Edward Kennedy shook up the New Hampshire Primary for 50 years, from stumping for his brother, John F. Kennedy in 1960, to running against Carter in 1980, and then helping Barack Obama in 2008.
In the most recent New Hampshire primary, Kennedy surprised observers when he endorsed then-Senator Barack Obama instead of then-Senator Hillary Clinton. Stumping in the Granite state for Obama will be the last campaign Kennedy affected, but not the first.
On December 14, 1979, Senator Edward Kennedy officially entered the New Hampshire primary himself, running for president against incumbent President Jimmy Carter. The results of the New Hampshire Primary in 1980 were surprisingly close, given that Kennedy was challenging a sitting President. Carter won with 47 percent of the vote; Kennedy was 10 points behind him with 37 percent.
Senator Ted Kennedy had gone through the 1960 presidential campaign helping his brother , John F. Kennedy, win the New Hampshire primary win 85 percent of the vote. And in 2004, when he noticed his junior colleague, John F. Kerry, was trailing in the state, Senator Edward M. Kennedy traveled to New Hampshire and gave a full-throated endorsement of the Kerry's presidential campaign.
During the 2004 race, Senator Kennedy told a New Hampshire crowd at what was billed as a health-care rally, that Kerry deserved their vote because he had often toiled outside the spotlight on important issues, from normalizing relations with Vietnam or resolving a nursing strike in Brockton.
Voters and lawmakers of both parties will miss Senator Kennedy.
Sen. Judd Gregg said this today: "In the Senate, Ted and I had a remarkable working relationship, and a friendship I will always cherish. We served on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, alternating as Chairman and Ranking Member as the party majorities switched. During this time Ted was always willing to not only reach across the aisle, but had the unique ability to pull people together to get things done, with both substance and a great sense of humor. He was undoubtedly one of the single most effective senators in this history of our country."
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