The Wall Street Journal
Teddy Kennedy is gallant. He attended the swearing-in of the new president on Tuesday in the midst of serious illness, white-haired and frail—in his jaunty fedora he looked like his father, old Joe Kennedy, in 1939, when he first burst on the scene as the new American ambassador to the Court of St. James. The senator smiled as he walked toward his seat, sweetly blowing a kiss to a friend in the stands. Later, at the congressional lunch, he collapsed.
Four years ago it was Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who rose from his sickbed to swear in George W. Bush for a second term, and who died 7½ months later of the cancer from which he'd long suffered. Such personal gallantry has long graced our national life, and in its way makes that life possible. And so it should always be noted, with gratitude, and a tip of the hat. As I write I can hear the ambulance that is taking Sen. Kennedy to the hospital. He is a courteous person, much like the Bushes in being an old-school writer of notes and maker of calls, and one suspects very soon we'll be hearing that he called the new president to apologize for stepping on his story.
All this did have a somewhat subduing effect on the day. But then the Inaugural Address itself was somewhat subdued.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with