Monday, August 31, 2009

John Adams and Ted Kennedy

I watched Sen. Ted Kennedy’s funeral on Saturday and watched the last episode of HBO’s John Adams miniseries last night. Interestingly, I found a correlation between the two. While I watched Kennedy’s funeral, I was reminded of the friendship between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who were both political allies and rivals. Several of Sen. Kennedy’s eulogists spoke of the Senator working with Republicans closely to get things done.

At Kennedy’s wake at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, several speakers talked of Sen. Kennedy’s work with members of both parties. Utah Republican Orrin Hatch said that Kennedy had a “strong working relationship with and love for the man I came to fight.”

Arizona senator and 2008 presidential candidate John McCain said Kennedy “was the most reliable, the most prepared and the most persistent member of the Senate. He also said that Kennedy “taught me to be a better senator.”

It seemed appropriate that last night when I watched the seventh episode of John Adams that it would spend so much time outlining the long friendship between Adams and Jefferson. Adams, the United States’ second president, and Jefferson, the third, sustained a friendship for over 51 years. They often had differing opinions on political topics, but they were still able to maintain a long-lasting relationship. They even died hours apart on July 4, 1826, 50 years to the day that they both signed the Declaration of Independence.

I highly recommend John Adams, both the miniseries and the book by David McCullough, which I read about a year ago. Both are extremely interesting. There was a lot about Adams that I did not know, and now I am so glad I know more. He was a pretty interesting guy.

For more on Sen. Kennedy’s funeral and wake, visit

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