From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual,” by Arnold Kunst
Ted Kennedy started out as a spoiled playboy - a chip off the old block, he was a womanizer, he was rich and, finally, [unlike his more famous brothers] a drunkard. As the youngest of the Kennedy clan he was probably coddled by his mother; certainly not much was expected of him. His oldest brother Joe was the one being groomed to become President, and when he died in 1944 it was the second oldest, John, who was then groomed to become President; little Teddy wasn't even an afterthought, and Teddy delivered accordingly.
He did the pamperred-rich-kid-in-college thing and cheated probably more than once on his bumpy way through Harvard. Then at age 30 he got the senate seat of JFK his big brother because he was told to. Chappaquadick was the great symbol of his coast-along-and-tell-me-what-to-do approach to life in general and the life and death responsibility for all the Mary Jo Kopehnes of this world. Later he ran for the presidency because, would you believe, he was told to.
But it seems he did have one saving characteristic: unlike his three brothers he happened to live for a long time. And during the course of those years he discovered he really liked being in the Senate. He also learned that things could get done by forming long-term relationships, if you were patient, if you approached problems incrementally. As he aged he made haste slowly, something we Americans aren’t very good at. He was even praised in the end because he achieved surprisingly dazzling success through dogged persistence.
Given his silver-spoon beginnings, who would have thought such fulsome praise possible?