The Kennedy Finale

Watching the final goodbye in Washington, D.C. to Sen. Edward Kennedy, it was hard not to draw the parallels to the earlier farewells for his two brothers.

But in 2009, this Kennedy’s death wasn’t a full scale shot to the mental solar plexus of many Americans, as he had been fighting brain cancer for a year.

Instead of going down to the Capitol to see it in person, I watched the hearse arrive at the Capitol with my family and some old family friends, as we celebrated my father’s 76th birthday.

He recounted standing in the terrible cold for hours to have the chance to file by the casket of President Kennedy in the Rotunda, as did two other longtime friends from Capitol Hill.

Only in Washington, D.C. could you have a group of people freeze-framing the TV to see how many staffers/lawmakers/former lawmakers we could pick out of the crowd on the Senate steps.

Among the notables, if you didn’t see Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV), he is now sporting a lengthy mane of white hair which one might have expected in the 19th century out of John C. Calhoun or Daniel Webster.

Byrd looked the best that I’ve seen him look in probably a year.  He is the longest serving Senator in Senate history.  Teddy was third.

I’m still interested to see what Massachusetts decides to do on a replacement and whether the state legislature will change the law to allow for the Governor to make an appointment, instead of a special election in January.

I’m sure a lot of his staffers are wondering too.  It’s a time of change on that front as well.