I first explored politics in 1985 when I worked for the New York State Assembly as an intern. I worked for an Assemblyman, now deceased, who was a great, great guy. NOT always a paragon of personal virtue. He did, however, honestly care about the people in his district and he genuinely wanted to make things better. Sure he had personal interests that were not always what they should have been, but he did try to make this a slightly better world the best he knew how. I am saddened even today to think about my ex-boss and how he left us too early.
I guess my opinion of Ted Kennedy is similar. He made some mistakes, had some serious deficiencies as a person. But he generally was able to focus enough on his job that he helped a lot of people. I am certain that no one expected out of Ted as much as he accomplished, particularly after losing 3 brothers at an early age.
I believe that we should not whitewash the history of the dead, but instead try to understand their lives and evaluate the good with the bad. At the end of the day, it is not us who will judge Edward Kennedy, but his God and history. RIP, Teddy.