In just over a dozen paragraphs, the Boston Herald’s Track Gals have delivered what seven days of a brutally overdone, multi-part Boston Globe Ted K tribute wouldn’t: an honest disclosure on where this is all headed.
Obviously, we don’t wish suffering on our political opponents, even if Teddy did demonstrate a callous indifference toward Mary Jo Kopechne on that day in the summer of 1969.
Nonetheless, the idea of simply handing Kennedy’s US Senate seat to current wife Vicki Kennedy will not be without controversy. Between a thin résumé, weak ties to the Bay State and a surname that means a lot less than it once did, especially to voters under 55 or so, sympathy will only go so far.
Could this be Caroline II, Massachusetts edition? Quite possibly.
From the Gals:
Because of Kennedy’s condition, off-the-record speculation about the future of his Senate seat has been rampant this week – especially in light of a seven-part Boring Broadsheet opus that is being widely viewed as a premature obituary. And yesterday’s installment was interpreted by some close to the matter as the first step in a torch-passing to Kennedy’s wife, Vicki.
“It appeared to be setting up Vicki’s senate campaign,” said one insider.
The story described the former Victoria Reggie as “a great lawyer” with “tremendous political skills” and “great sense of humor.”
It portrayed her family as Kennedy doppelgangers and Vicki’s father, Edmund Reggie, as one of Ted’s closest companions.
“The Reggies and their six children had more than a little Kennedy in them,” the BB wrote. “Edmund was an unabashed liberal from the heart of Dixie . . . ‘Last one in the pool is a Republican!’ the judge was known to bellow at his kids.”
Although Edmund Reggie is quoted often – including in an anecdote that started the series off earlier this week – no member of Ted’s family has said anything to the Globe on the record so far.
Word on the Hill is that some Kennedy staffers are quite unhappy with the series, finding it far too critical of Ted. Not so when it comes to Vicki, who the BB portrayed as a politically savvy, stabilizing influence on Ted. She is credited with helping him to secure re-election in a hard-fought battle with Mitt Romney after the near-career-destroying Palm Beach rape scandal.
“You wonder how much control she had over who they spoke to,” said a Kennedy source.
Interestingly, the Globe never mentions any of the Reggie family’s legal woes in the opus. Edmund Reggie was convicted in 1992 of misapplication of funds from a savings and loan he founded in 1959 that failed in 1987. He pleaded no contest to a similar charge in 1993 and served 120 days of home detention and paid a $30,000 fine. Vicki’s brother Raymond Reggie was sentenced to a year in jail after being convicted of bank fraud in 2005.
Should Kennedy be unable to finish out his senate term, which ends in 2012, a special election must be held within 145 to 160 days of the seat becoming vacant. The big question is: Will Kennedy make it known that he wants his wife to succeed him – a move that would almost assuredly guarantee Vicki the seat?
That the Kennedy family somehow finds this series “tough” on Ted shows just how much they’ve come to expect kid glove treatment from Boston’s media establishment. It’s about as hard-hitting as a generous helping of Marshmallow Fluff spread on your child’s sandwich.
Clearly, our evil Globie friends are once against working against the people of Massachusetts by pushing to install Teddy’s wife in the US Senate. But they may be underestimating the potential for backlash, particularly in light of Caroline’s Empire State fiasco.
Working in their favor is the massive outpouring of sympathy that will be generated upon Ted K’s passing. Expect Obama, the Democrats and their media friends to milk it for all they can, it’s Paul Wellstone times 100.
Vicki Kennedy image: USA Today