Lots of eulogies of Edward Kennedy. Here’s a larger view of the significance of this event.
This is the first time since 1956 that there has not been a Kennedy on the national scene in the first rank. At the 1956 Democratic National Convention, John F. Kennedy mounted a short-lived bid for the Vice-Presidential nomination. While he lost to Estes Kefauver, he emerged from that convention as a national figure and a contender for President in 1960.
Since then, there has been a Kennedy as a possible contender for top honors through the 1980’s. After Ted Kennedy’s loss of the presidential campaign in 1980 to Jimmy Carter, he gradually fell back upon Senate power. He was a major player in the Senate until his death a couple days ago.
There are other Kennedys, of course. A Kennedy may even be elected to replace him in the Senate. But no Kennedy will have front-rank stature and this marks a change in America’s politics.
No Kennedy in the front rank. An era has passed.