Despite this horrible tragedy, Ted Kennedy made a very successful and productive life for himself afterwords. Ted Kennedy, was basically still a frat boy in 1969 even at 37. He was married and already had kids, but wasn’t very serious about his marriage and liked other women. He was still dealing with the assassination of his brother Bobby and perhaps Jack as well. He simply wasn’t ready for the national spotlight and people to be looking at him as the future leader of the country. Because he was still trying to grow up, something that he didn’t really accomplish at all until the mid or late 1990s when he was already in his sixties with grandchildren. Up till then he was still trying to balance his personal life which could be chaotic and his professional life as a U.S. Senator.
If you watched the 2009 HBO documentary about Ted Kennedy which really was Senator Kennedy in his own words I really think you see how responsible and hurt he was from his own childish and immature actions that cost the life of a young women Mary Joe Kopechne. First of all, he’s driving this women home instead of his wife from this party. Which I believe is a big clue there. And driving her home when he’s had too much to drink. Ted, was still dealing with alcoholism in his early sixties. He drives the car into a lake and the first thing that comes to his mind is his personal survival. And the second thing his is professional survival. Not the women who was in the car with him. That came after it looked like he might be held personally responsible for her life.
Of the three Kennedy brothers that served in Congress and had successful careers in politics, Ted Kennedy had the best and longest career. Even though he was never president. But compare his Congressional record with his brothers and most people who have ever served in Congress in either the Senate or House and Senator Kennedy is in the first class, whatever you think of his politics. And all of this despite his lack of maturity and personal responsibility. He was never built to be President of the United States. By the time he was personally ready for that and to even make a strong run at that, he was in his early sixties. And Bill Clinton was already president and the Democratic Party was moving away from Senator Kennedy’s more social democratic politics. But Senator Kennedy, once he finally grew up became a great man and a great senator.