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Ted Kennedy takes his star turn

DENVER -- He made it; how could he not?

In the first emotional high point of the Democratic National Convention, a somewhat unsteady -- but stalwart -- Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts took his place at the podium as the lights at the Pepsi Center went up after a video tribute to him.


His appearance had become widely expected; the crowd, in fact, was armed with "Kennedy" placards.

Still, it roused the audience as the party's liberal lion, battling a brain tumor, not only appeared but proceeded to deliver a patented stemwinder on behalf of his favorite cause -- healthcare -- and his favorite candidate -- Barack Obama.

Kennedy's voice was shaky at times, but mostly remarkably strong.

He told his listeners that "nothing, nothing" was going to "keep me away from this special gathering tonight."

That drew a huge cheer. But an even louder, more heartfelt one arose when he said, "I pledge to you that I will be there next January on the floor of the U.S. Senate."

That sparked chants of "Teddy, Teddy, Teddy..."

When Kennedy first appeared, state Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon of Texas wiped tears from her eyes and called out in joy when Kennedy appeared.

"When he came out my heart fluttered, she told The Times' James Rainey. "He represents the best in the Democratic Party and the best in the American people."

She added: "This is his moment in history, his moment to put a cap on his legacy. He saw someone he could pass the torch to and he wanted to be there to see it happen. It's a blessing."

She then danced and sang along as Kennedy took his curtain call to "You're Still the One."

-- Don Frederick

Photo: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times
Comments () | Archives (3)

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Kennedy was courageous and a great supporter of Obama. MICHELLE OBAMA WAS THE STAR TONIGHT. I am proud of her and she is an obvious embodiment of the American Dream. Brought up by a father with MS who did not allow his disease to keep his two kids from getting to college and getting ahead. OBAMA BIDEN YES WE MUST!

It amazes me that democrats blindly revere this sleazy old man. Lack of integrity is the norm for the party with a Jackass for a symbol. How incredibly fitting.

Have you fully lost your sense of truth and decency. How can you write a gushing paean to Ted Kennedy and still call yourself a journalist. "When he came out my heart fluttered...He represents the best in the Democratic Party and the best in the American people." A typical journalist trick in masking opinion in quotes. Shamefully, this statement is sickeningly untrue. No wonder your paper has slipped so low. No one believes the press.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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