The answer to that question depends on which tabloid you read this morning. The Daily News reports that Kennedy himself wants his wife to take his Senate seat “when his time is up.” The Post, meanwhile, reports that his nephew Joseph Kennedy II (son of Robert F. Kennedy) is the favorite “successor.” The news notes that Joe Kennedy is a controversial pick, as he went through a “messy public divorce” and has “close ties with Venezulan strongman Hugo Chavez,” whose Citgo oil company provides fuel to the poor through the younger Kennedy’s fuel program. Who tops the successor list may be a moot point, as Massachusetts law requires a special election to determine who’ll occupy a Senate seat if the Senator leaves before the term was up. (The law was enacted during Democratic Sen. John Kerry’s run for president in 2004 out of fear Republican Governor Mitt Romney would appoint a GOPer to Kerry’s seat should he become president.)
The Post also continues with its classy coverage of Kennedy’s ordeal by including this photo of the back of his head, complete with bandage covering the site of his biopsy. The Daily News also continues with the “hey, this guy is dying” theme with the headline “Ted boldly sails off into the rest of his life” on page 4. Mike Lupica also takes the opportunity to compare Kennedy’s legacy with that of the Clintons, noting, “The Clintons act as some kind of political dynasty, but compared with Edward Kennedy’s work as a senator from Massachusetts, they are a lemonade stand.” Accompanying the column is a photo of screaming young woman holding “Kennedy” signs at the 1980 Democratic National Convention.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 22, 2008