Meet The Press
August 30, 2009
Sen. John Kerry
Kathleen Kennedy Townshend
Gregory: Maria did you enjoy the funeral?
Shriver: it was great to see the outpouring of affection for Uncle Teddy
Gregory: I knew he was a great legislator but I never knew he such a fun guy to be around
Shriver: yeah sorry he never invited you to Nantucket but Tim Russert ranked higher than you
Gregory: so sad for me
Shriver: Ted had been through a lot and people knew that he understood suffering and human weaknesses
Gregory: how is everyone doing?
Shriver: I’ve lost 2 relatives in 2 weeks how do you think I’m doing Fluffy?
Gregory: he was a force of nature
Shriver: we all thought he would live forever
Gregory: you lost you mother too
Shriver: yes but they lived a long and time and fought the good fight over many decades
Shriver: They never gave up and we’ve lost sight of that in the country - they think Obama should solve all of the problems Bush created overnight
Gregory: what did Ted think of Obama
Shriver: he thought Obama would finally get a lot
of this shit done
Gregory: was this an awesome year for Teddy?
Shriver: yes except for the dying part it was pretty good
Gregory: that’s nice
Shriver: he got to see how much people loved him and that’s another lesson for all of us
Gregory: The Kennedys made it because of him
Shriver: he became the family rock and that’s pretty incredible when you think about it
Gregory: what did he think about all he accomplished
Shriver: he took the good and he took the bad and accepted them both as what he had
Gregory: those are the facts of life
Gregory: how did his Italian heritage shape him?
Shriver: he was Irish
Shriver: people loved him because the Kennedys didn’t want to be rich or famous
Gregory: truly admirable
Gregory: are the Kennedys finished?
Shriver: when you are a Kennedy you can
only live your life and have it end in its own
uniquely tragic way
Gregory: so is it the end of an era?
Shriver: it’s Schwarzenegger time!
Gregory: Was he the hardest working man
Kerry: he just like James Brown - he was sweaty
and a great dancer
Gregory: what did Ted teach you?
Kerry: he taught me that all politics is not
local but personal
Gregory: so how did he change you?
Kerry: he loosened me and taught me to have fun
Gregory: are you kidding?
Kerry: yes I used to be deadly serious and ponderous - not happy go lucky like I am now
Gregory: dear god
Kerry: speaking of fun - Ted often though he would be assassinated and suffered a massive amount of loss, the war, with the shootings, the murders, the accidental deaths, the funerals, the fatherless children….
Gregory: truly you are a barrel of laughs
Gregory: you are now the senior senator
Kerry: fucking finally!!
Gregory: what happened to bipartisanship?
Dodd: fuck that - what happened to civility?
Gregory: Ever since Bork conservatives were forced to say liberals hate America
Dodd: look we put 300 Republican amendments on the health care bill - what the fuck else do they want?
Gregory: Ban all black Presidents?
Dodd: Teddy went through so much goddam tragedy and his strength was a lesson for all people, not just politicians - for example I have to work with James Inhofe every day and yet I still get up in the morning
Gregory: who should succeed him?
Kerry: we need a 60th vote right now to enact health reform or risk betraying Teddy’s legacy
Gregory: that seems so shrill
Kerry: this was the people’s senator
Gregory: and what are you
Kerry: hey ketchup heirs need representation too
MTP: so were you nervous when you first appeared
on the Meet The Press
Ted Kennedy: hell yes - Jack quizzed me and
I freaked out
Gregory: you were the longest serving guest in history
Kennedy: damm right Greggers
MTP: Iraq war?
Kennedy: all lies and bullshit!!
Russert: do you regret never being President?
Kennedy: do you regret being a pompous ass?
Gregory: Doris where does Ted rank?
Goodwin: he’s the greatest legislator of our time and maybe the best Senator of all time
Gregory: how so?
Goodwin: he was a legislator, an orator, and fighter for a cause, and he did local politics as well
which is amazing
Gregory: Bob he was never President
Shrum: at first he regretted it but then Obama got elected and he was thrilled
Shrum: he always wanted to see a non-citizen occupy the White House
Gregory: Ted got the last word with his letter to the Pope which I will read now
Shrum: now you see how smart Ted Kennedy was
Gregory: Ted wrote that he atoned for his sins and asked for universal health care
Townshend: the Catholic faith is a Church of Sinners
Shrum: He treated ordinary people like they were heads of state - and that’s why people loved him
Goodwin: he absorbed the pain and his mistakes and became more generous and stronger
Gregory: Teddy Jr made me cry
Townshend: that story was very moving
Gregory: no I realized I will never be that eloquent
[ sniff ]