December 9th, 2009
04:53 PM ET

Coakley, Brown to vie for Kennedy's Senate seat

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/08/27/kennedy.senate.clout/art.kennedysenate.gi.jpg caption="Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley won the Democratic nomination and Sen. Scott Brown won the Republican nod Tuesday night in a special primary election to narrow the field of candidates vying to succeed the late Sen. Edward Kennedy. "]

Mark Preston
CNN Political Editor

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley won the Democratic nomination and Sen. Scott Brown won the Republican nod Tuesday night in a special primary election to narrow the field of candidates vying to succeed the late Sen. Edward Kennedy.

Top Republicans and Democrats congratulated the respective winners of the seat long occupied by Kennedy, a fixture in national politics who established himself as one of the most powerful lawmakers to serve in the Senate.
Coakley's Twitter account claimed victory shortly after polls closed Tuesday. "We did it! Thank you for your support!" On her Web site, Coakley released a statement to Massachusetts voters.

"You helped me convince the voters to send a different kind of leader to Washington, one who can see all the possibilities and who will get to work on those problems that have seemed impossible to change," she said.

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Filed under: Sen. Ted Kennedy
September 3rd, 2009
12:36 PM ET

Teddy, we knew you too well

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Ken Olshansky
AC360° Contributor

In the week or so since Ted Kennedy died, I’ve been thinking about how we choose our presidents. Unlike the early 60’s, when Kennedy’s brother Jack was elected, we are now inundated with personal information about our presidents and presidential candidates.

Some of this information has been disqualifying – Gary Hart’s relationship with Donna Rice, for example, or Newt Gingrich’s adulterous relationship during the Monica Lewinsky impeachment episode. But should it be? Would it be better for the country to focus less on a candidate’s private life and more on his or her public life?

In the case of Ted Kennedy, that’s the question I’ve been wrestling with ever since he got sick. There are an awful lot of negatives on the personal side of the ledger, from cheating at Harvard to partying with William Kennedy Smith. But the most awful Kennedy mistake of all is Chappaquiddick.

Chappaquiddick is inexcusable. When you visit the site, you see exactly what happened that night. Teddy left a party alone with Mary Jo Kopechne. She left her purse and keys at the party. He dismissed his driver, who was also at the party. The Senator drove her down a long dirt road that was clearly not the road to the Chappaquiddick Ferry, as he claimed. He drove too fast, he missed the turn to the tiny Dike’s Bridge, and drove his car into the water. Then he left the scene with Kopechne still trapped in the submerged car. He spoke with numerous people after the accident, but did not report it to police until the next day, after her body had already been discovered. Drinking, an extramarital relationship, a death, leaving the scene of the crime… this cannot be ignored.


Filed under: Ken Olshansky • Sen. Ted Kennedy
August 31st, 2009
07:15 AM ET

Kennedy a champion for disabled

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Andrew J. Imparato
Special to CNN

The disability rights movement has lost a giant in our global struggle for equal opportunity, human dignity and self-determination. Sen. Ted Kennedy's leadership as a disability champion was part of a broader commitment to civil and human rights.

But his accomplishments in the area of disability law and policy may prove to be his greatest and most long-lasting success as a legislator.

Senator Kennedy's commitment to the cause of disability rights was informed by his experience as the brother of Rosemary, who was born with an intellectual disability; and the brother of Eunice, who devoted her life to improving the world's treatment of people with intellectual disabilities.

It was deepened when his son Ted Jr. had his leg amputated at age 12 after being diagnosed with bone cancer; and deepened again when his son Patrick experienced bipolar disorder and substance abuse as an adult.

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Filed under: Sen. Ted Kennedy
August 28th, 2009
05:16 PM ET

Schedule of events for Sen. Ted Kennedy's memorial service

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Funeral services for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy will begin Thursday, August 27, with events scheduled through Saturday, when he'll be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Check out this schedule to say updated on all of the events over the weekend.

Click here for more details on the services.

Filed under: Sen. Ted Kennedy
August 28th, 2009
01:30 PM ET

Kennedy a worker, not a playboy

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/08/28/wides.kennedy.work/art.burton.wides.jpg caption="Former Kennedy aide Burton Wides says the senator had a zest for politics and an appetite for hard work."]
Burton Wides
Special to CNN

For half a century, Ted Kennedy was the most prolific senator on the political scene, making major strides in civil rights, civil liberties, education, human rights abroad, arms control, good government and of course health care.

You name it, he was there - and in the lead. To some tabloid readers, he was largely a spoiled Kennedy playboy. To his colleagues and staff who watched him up close year after year, and to millions of Americans who saw him fighting on so many fronts, he was a committed champion of equality, justice, peace and protection of those in need.

How did he do it? With incredibly long hours, amazing energy and hard work, coupled with a zest for politics - in the best sense - and legendary legislative mastery acquired over the years. His staff knew that when he was starting an initiative, his first priority instinctively was to win over as staunch a conservative as he could find to be his partner and original co-sponsor. It worked so many times.

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Filed under: Sen. Ted Kennedy
August 28th, 2009
01:26 PM ET

Outside the JFK Library

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/08/28/kennedy.funeral/art.kennedy.book.cnn.jpg caption="Mourners sign condolence books at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Massachusetts."]

Kay Jones
AC360° Coordinating Editorial Producer

The lines outside the John F. Kennedy library are beginning to break up, after more than 30,000 people made their way to pay their respects to Sen. Edward Kennedy over the past 20 hours.

I arrived from Hyannis around noon today, and there has been a steady stream of Kennedy family members outside the library, greeting the public and thanking them for coming.

Sen. John Kerry is inside with his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, and while they were entering the building, Vicki Kennedy, Sen. Kennedy's widow, made her way through a throng a well wishers, thanking them for coming to pay their respects.

They have come from all over the globe, and every age appears to be represented here. Parents can be heard telling their children stories about the Kennedy family and locals have relished in memories of when they saw or met the Senator. It seems as if everyone has a story, and today is the best day to share it.

We have a few hours before the private memorial begins. I will try to bring you some behind the scenes stories from outside the library a little later on.

Filed under: Kay Jones • Sen. Ted Kennedy
August 27th, 2009
09:00 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Kidnapped child found 18 years later

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/08/27/california.missing.girl/art.fbi.raid.kgo.jpg caption="Officials search the property of Phillip Garrido, who police say kept an abducted girl in a shed for 18 years."]

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

Tonight the body of Sen. Ted Kennedy lies in repose at the John F. Kennedy Library. Thousands of people streamed past his flag-draped casket to pay their final respects; the public viewing will continue tomorrow.

Earlier today, after a private mass at the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port, a military guard placed the senator’s casket in a hearse and the motorcade departed minutes later, snaking for 70 miles from Cape Cod into Boston, with crowds lining much of the route. The motorcade paused at Faneuil Hall, where the historic bell rang 47 times, once for each year Kennedy served in the Senate.

As the ceremonies marking Ted Kennedy’s life and accomplishments unfold, we’ll dig deeper into some of the questions his death has raised, including who will fill his Senate seat and who will carry on his work?

We’ll also have the latest on the stunning ending to an 18-year cold case. In 1991, 11-year-old Jaycee Lee Dugard was kidnapped as she walked to her school bus stop in South Lake Tahoe, California. Yesterday, an FBI agent called her parents to tell them she’d been found.

Authorities say a sex offender admitted he abducted Dugard, now 29. At a news conference just hours ago, we learned disturbing details. Since her kidnapping, Dugard has lived in her alleged abductor’s backyard, in a shed. Police say she gave birth to two children fathered by the sex offender. All of this played out in a residential neighborhood. How could no one notice what was going on in that backyard? That’s one of the questions we’ll be exploring tonight.

We’ll also talk to Ed Smart and his daughter Elizabeth. The Smarts lived through a similar nightmare, when Elizabeth was snatched from her bedroom in the middle of the night in 2002. She was found nine months later.

Anderson is in New Orleans tonight as the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches. Four years ago, the ferocious storm was hurtling toward the Gulf Coast. In the days that followed, chaos would erupt. As New Orleans fell apart, violence broke out. Vigilantes armed with guns roamed the streets. There were shootings, some of them fatal. The question tonight—why has it taken so long to investigate the killings? Wait until you hear what it took to get the wheels of justice turning.

See you at 10PM EST.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Crime & Punishment • Sen. Ted Kennedy • The Buzz
August 27th, 2009
06:18 PM ET

Saying goodbye to a neighbor

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Kay Jones
AC360° Coordinating Editorial Producer

The streets were starting to fill up around 11: 45a.m. this morning, as residents of the Cape Cod area came out to pay their respects to Sen. Ted Kennedy's family as they brought his body to Boston.

I've spoken to many of the locals over the past few days and very few were willing to go on camera, but they were all willing to talk about their lives on the Cape, and their experiences with the Senator.

One woman I met last night told me that she and her husband are one of a small number of people who live here year round. She gave me a history of the area, including the street where the Kennedy compound stands and how the property was designed.

She actually laughed at me when I asked about the compound because she said it's really just four houses on land that is adjacent. She went on to tell me who owned what house and when.

I wish I'd had a tape recorder to get it all down because it was so fascinating, but unfortunately the notes I took now look like chicken scratch and I cannot begin to tell you who bought what house when.


Filed under: Kay Jones • Sen. Ted Kennedy
August 27th, 2009
02:54 PM ET
August 27th, 2009
11:34 AM ET

Kennedy opened door for Obama

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Thomas Maier
Special to CNN

With a sign from Dunganstown, Ireland, hanging in his U.S. Capitol office, a reminder of the famine-ravished farm where his ancestors began, Sen. Edward "Ted" Kennedy always seemed to understand that the Kennedys were perhaps America's greatest immigrant story - overcoming religious, ethnic and cultural barriers to reach once unimaginable heights.

"My brother Jack wrote 'A Nation of Immigrants' in 1958, and his words ring true as clearly today as they did half a century ago," said Ted early last year, a few months before he was struck with a malignant brain tumor that claimed his life Tuesday. "I'm constantly reminded of my immigrant heritage."

Indeed, the Kennedys' vision of "A Nation of Immigrants" - which Ted championed throughout his public career - dramatically transformed today's America, opening the door for millions of new citizens and paving the way for Barack Obama's presidency. It is the Kennedys' most lasting legacy.

John F. Kennedy's idealistic belief in America's dream of opportunity for all was clearly stated in "A Nation of Immigrants," which reflected so much of his family's story as Irish Catholic immigrants.

The essence of this little known, little-studied book became the 1965 Immigration Reform Act, which ended the discriminatory preference given to white Europeans and opened the door to millions from Latin America, Asia, Africa and around the world.

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Filed under: Immigration • Sen. Ted Kennedy
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