• Short Summary

    Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts -- the only survivor of the three political minded Kennedy brothers -- remains adamant in his decision not to run for any national office in the United States this year.

  • Description

    Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts -- the only survivor of the three political minded Kennedy brothers -- remains adamant in his decision not to run for any national office in the United States this year.

    But the 40-year-old senator has pledged to do everything possible not only to influence the direction and policies of the Democratic Party at its National Convention in Miami Beach from July 10 to 14 -- but also to do his utmost to oust President Richard Nixon from the White House in the November elections.

    In an outspoken attack on Mr Nixon in January this year, Senator Kennedy accused the President of playing politics with the war in Vietnam. Tens of thousands of people would die in Indochina this year, he declared, "for the simple reason that President Nixon will not allow the Saigon government to falter until he is secure at home for another term of office".

    Statements like this have gradually established for Edward Kennedy a position of Liberal appeal on virtually every major issue of the day, both domestic and foreign, -- enabling him to pick up the mantle from his murdered brothers, President John F. Kennedy who was assassinated in office and Robert Kennedy, who had his eyes set firmly on the Presidency when he was gunned down in Los Angeles in June, 1968.

    In the years since Robert Kennedy's murder, Teddy Kennedy -- as he is generally known in the United States -- has carried the torch of the famous but tragic family. And this is in keeping with the prediction of the late President, who noted that "If anything happened to me, my brother Bobby would run. And if Bobby died, Teddy would take over from him".

    Inevitably, in the train of events that have struck the family, there has been talk of the Kennedy's being stalked by death...that they are cursed, and that the most vulnerable of them all is the wearer of the political crown.

    Edward Kennedy admits that this is indeed uppermost in his mind. For although he says he will not run for national office this year because he feels the mood of the nation is not right, he also concedes that the possibility of assassination is an "overriding concern...the one thing above all others that militates against a Kennedy candidacy".

    Even so, many people believe he will make a bid for the Presidency -- if not this year, then in 1976 or 1980 -- despite the nagging doubts caused by the Chappaquiddick incident, in which secretary Mary Jo Kopechne was drowned when a car driven by Edward Kennedy toppled off a wooden bridge.

    Senator Kennedy later went on television to deny "immoral conduct" with Mary Jo Kopechne or being under the influence of drink when she drowned. But he admitted that not reporting the accident to the police for nine hours was "indefensible".

    The incident was a blemish on his career that proved difficult to shake off. Yet his career is studded with achievement. After serving two years with the U.S. army in France and Germany, he graduated from Harvard College in 1954 -- going on to the International Law School in the Hague and subsequently being admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1958.

    Kennedy cut his political teeth in the same year, when he served as manager of John F. Kennedy's campaign for a second term in the senate. And he gained national experience in 1960 when he acted as the western states' coordinator for his brother's Presidential campaign. Two years later, he was elected to the U.S. Senate to fill the unexpired term of his brother.

    There, he had much to do with the reform of draft laws, crime and juvenile delinquency, gun control legislation, health measures for the poor and refugee problems in the Far and Middle East. His interest in the latter took him on an extensive tour of India and Bangladesh this year.

    Edward Kennedy's Senate career, however, was interrupted briefly when he broke his back in a plane crash after a visit to Alaska. But the Kennedy determination shone through again -- and the young senator continued his work, campaigning by telephone from his hospital bed. Just before his 37th birthday, he was appointed the Senate's Democratic Whip.

    Today, Edward Kennedy is undoubtedly a political power in the land. Many people still believe he may ultimately decide to run as a compromise candidate in this year's elections despite his assertions that he has no intention of doing so. Whatever Kennedy's intentions, one thing is certain: his refusal to endorse any of the candidates seeking the nomination this year until after the Convention in Miami Beach opens is keeping the Democratic Party in a state of suspense.

    SYNOPSIS: In the years since the assassination of his brothers, Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts has carried the torch of a family marked by tragedy. And Edward Kennedy admits that the possibility of his own assassination is one that causes him overriding concern....
    A devout Catholic, Kennedy has this year been cited as a possible Democratic nominee for the Vice-Presidency. And many supporters would like him to fill the post held by his brother, the late President John F. Kennedy. This appearance, at his home town of Hyannis Port in nineteen-sixty-nine, was one of the few times he was seen in public in the weeks after a Kennedy worker drowned in his car.

    But a year later, the Senator -- who's forty -- paid a brief personal visit to the home of his ancestors -- the Irish Republic. It was the first time a member of the family had returned since the deaths of John and Robert Kennedy, who was shot and killed in nineteen-sixty-eight.

    In nineteen-seventy-one, Edward Kennedy visited Israel for talks with Abba Eban, the Israeli Foreign Minister. The visit -- to study health facilities -- was one of many he made to a series of countries in the Middle and Far East on official and private missions.

    Kennedy's Senate career, which also took him to India, is a record of achievement. He began his political career as a manager for his brother John's campaign for a second term in the Senate. Now, Edward Kennedy is himself in the Senate seat held by his brother, and has been much involved with health measures for the poor, and refugee problems.

    The Senator saw at first hand the conditions of some of the estimated seven million East Pakistanis who crossed into India after the outbreak of civil war in March last year.

    After the war, Kennedy told excited Bengalis in Dacca that they had the support of the American people. Whether Kennedy has similar support remains to be seen. But even if he does, it's by no means certain he would respond to it. For on one point, Edward Kennedy remains adamant......

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAA5H0901OKHTD7FO78UY9NHM1Q
    Media URN:
    VLVAA5H0901OKHTD7FO78UY9NHM1Q
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    05/07/1972
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:03:01:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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