Last evening, the shrill Senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, quoted the late Senator Ted Kennedy, a true American scoundrel. Thirty-one years ago Kennedy lambasted Jeff Sessions, not because he had evidence against him, but because it was the politically expedient thing to do. Warren used the quote.
The quote: “Mr. Sessions is a throwback to a shameful era which I know both black and white Americans thought was in our past,” she said, quoting Kennedy. “It is inconceivable to me that a person of this attitude is qualified to be a U.S. attorney, let alone a U.S. Federal judge. He is, I believe, a disgrace to the Justice Department and he should withdraw his nomination and resign his position.”
Ted Kennedy was a shameful rake, an exploiter of women, a consummate drunk, and he killed a woman, a crime for which he paid no price.
Elizabeth Warren used the unsubstantiated comments made against Senator Jeff Sessions by the late senator to demonize Sessions.
Ted is the man who got away with manslaughter. It’s appropriate that a woman like Warren would elevate Ted. He’s the perfect hero for her.
Ted Kennedy was used to getting away with things. For example, he was expelled from Harvard for persuading another undergraduate to take his Spanish exams for him. It was an episode that should have served as a warning to the voters.
Kennedy joined the Army to redeem himself and was later readmitted to Harvard.
It was the eve of the moon landing but Kennedy was hosting a party for Mary Jo Kopechne and five other women, all veterans of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign.
Later that night, Kennedy was driving Mary Jo back to the Inn when he drove off the Chappaquiddick bridge into the pond. He was traveling at 34mph.
Kennedy escaped the car and said he dove down in an attempt to retrieve Kopechne from the sunken Oldsmobile. Failing, he stumbled back to the cottage, where he enlisted Gargan and another friend in a second attempt to save Kopechne. Or so the story goes.
He did not call the police, went back to the party, walked past emergency workers at the party, and went to the back room. It has been said his lawyers were in that room. He enlisted his cousin and another man to go back to the scene of the accident.
The three went to the ferry slip and determined they couldn’t save Mary Jo. Kennedy said he dove into the water and swam back to Edgartown, a mile away.
Ted Kennedy was guilty of manslaughter and any other American would have gone to jail for his actions that night.
The truth about Chappaquiddick was quickly buried and most media never reported on it.
On July 25, Kennedy pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, received a two-month suspended sentence, and had his license suspended for a year. That evening, in a televised statement, he called the delayed reporting of the accident “indefensible” but vehemently denied that he been involved in any improprieties with Kopechne.
There are unexplained facts in the case.
When he returned to his room at the Shiretown Inn, he changed his clothes, stepped out to speak to the innkeeper, possibly to establish a motive. He did not call the police.
In Leo Damore’s Senatorial Privilege–the Chappaquiddick Cover-up (1988), the author recounts an interview with Joe Gargan in which Gargan claimed that Kennedy had plotted to make Kopechne the driver and sole occupant of the automobile.
At 9am that night, Kennedy joined Gargan and Markham on the ferry back to Chappaquiddick Island. Steve Ewing, the ferry operator, reported Kennedy in a jovial mood. It was only when Kennedy reached the island that he phoned the authorities about the accident that had taken place the previous night.
That was 10 hours after the accident.
There were doubts about the way Kopechne died. Dr. Donald Mills of Edgartown, wrote on the death certificate: “death by drowning”. However, Gene Frieh, the undertaker, told reporters that death “was due to suffocation rather than drowning”.
John Farrar, the diver who removed Kopechne from the car, claimed she was “too buoyant to be full of water”. It is assumed that she died from drowning, although her parents filed a petition preventing an autopsy. They were afraid she would be found to be pregnant.
I knew the brother of one of the divers who said she was found with her mouth pursed as if she was sucking in the last of the air in the car.
Other questions were asked about Kennedy’s decision to swim back to Edgartown. The 150 metre channel had strong currents and only the strongest of swimmers would have been able to make the journey safely. Also no one saw Kennedy arrive back at the Shiretown Inn in wet clothes. Ross Richards, who had a conversation with Kennedy the following morning at the hotel described him as casual and at ease.
Some said he was drunk that night.
At the height of the scandal, Kennedy went on TV to explain himself in an extraordinary 13-minute address in which he denied driving drunk and rejected rumours of
‘immoral conduct’ with Kopechne.
Kennedy lawyers arranged for him to pay tens of thousands to the Kopechne family from his own pocket with a further tens of thousands from his insurance. Mary Jo’s mother later said: “I don’t think he ever said he was sorry.”
He liked to joke about Chappaquiddick.