He suffers still from a back broken in a near-fatal airplane crash.His elder son lost a leg and almost his life to cancer.The reporter hovers his finger over the case, trying to coordinate the path of the lens with that of the case—but the case is all over the map, jiggling up, down, left, right.For a second, Kennedy gets it steady and the reporter swoops in—but there goes the hand again, and the case is off, jogging to the right and the left for another few agonizing seconds before Kennedy stills his hand and the reporter drops the lens home, safe.Ted is the reality, the 57-year-old living picture of a man who has feasted on too much for too long with too little restraint, the visible proof that nothing exceeds like excess. A reporter spots the lens and scoops it up with a forefinger.After the press conference, as reporters hustle around Kennedy for follow-up questions, it becomes clear that something is especially wrong today with his left eye, which he has been poking and rubbing. Kennedy takes out a contacts case and screws it open so the reporter can drop in the lens. The senator's right hand is shaking so violently that he cannot hold the case steady.
"What we can do with this bill, we can go into inner-city neighborhoods, we can go into places where there is very little hope, and we can say to the young people ' Become a teacher! His cruel marriage ended in divorce, with his wife a recovering alcoholic.
There is a great desire to remember him as we remember his brothers.
The Dorian Grays of Hyannis Port, John and Robert, have perpetual youth and beauty and style, and their faces are mirrors of all that is better and classier and richer than us.
But for Kennedy it seems a great challenge, and no fun at all.
He hastens tonelessly through his prepared statement like a court stenographer reading back testimony to the judge.
The senator slowly screws the top back on, to the evident relief of a young aide who stands at his elbow, clutching the boss's bottle of Visine.