Senator Edward Moore Kennedy has been Massachusett's Senator for over 45 years.
He has been a consistent bastion of liberal ideology and strength for all of those years, especially importantly during those years when it was very difficult to be a liberal in this country.
As a College Democrat, I was a very low level volunteer for his 1980 Presidential Campaign against Jimmy Carter, as well as his 1982 Senate re-election campaign. I first met him in person in 1982 when he did a train whistle stop speech at the antique Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts train station, where I had arranged for the Massachusetts Maritime Academy Band to play. He thanked me in his brief speech, which was thrilling for me, and then we all boarded the antique passenger train and met him personally while riding the rails to Hyannis. He was a very affable fellow, radiating a joyful affection for everyone there, with what appeared to be a tinge of nervousness at trying to speak with us individually without ignoring anyone. I liked him.
He's called Ted by most people, Teddy by his family, but his close supporters refer to him as "The Senator." He's been The Senator for as long as most of us have been alive, since 1962.
We'll pray for him here and wish him well in his fight with this terrible illness.