"For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." – Edward Kennedy, 1980 Democratic National Convention
The presidential ambitions of Edward Kennedy, the last surviving son of Joe Kennedy, died on the floor of the 1980 Democratic National Convention. On that occasion Ted Kennedy delivered one of his most memorable speeches – a call to action for economic justice.
From the ashes of his failed bid for the presidency rose a remarkable career in the United States Senate that would see Ted Kennedy lead the fight for social and economic justice, for women’s rights, for better healthcare for the young and the elderly, for fairer immigration policies, and for the rights of the most vulnerable in society. A Liberal Lion was born – and he roared and left his mark on nearly every single piece of significant legislation that has benefited the American people in the last quarter of a century. Arguably no other legislator in American history has impacted positively the lives of more people than Ted Kennedy has.
Tonight, battling brain cancer, the Liberal Lion spoke once again at a Democratic National Convention. He said nothing was going to keep him away from the Convention and he pledged to be there next January on the floor of the Senate when the new administration begins its work.
The fire in him still burned tonight. He was older, a little slower, a little frailer. But he remained unbeaten. And the cause of his life – the welfare of the American people – still endures.
He ended his short speech tonight with words that pay homage to his late brother and to his own speech at the 1980 Convention. He said:
And this November the torch will be passed again to a new generation of Americans, so with Barack Obama and for you and for me, our country will be committed to his cause. The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on.
Ted Kennedy still endures. As we look forward to the possibility of a better tomorrow, we remember the remarkable career of Senator Edward Kennedy. I wish him strength as he continues to fight the good fight.