“One of the lovely things about the Edward M. Kennedy story was that here you had a guy who everybody thought had one destiny, at which he failed utterly,” writes N.Y. Times columnist Gail Collins. “[But] who picked himself up and found his own purpose at which he was better than anybody else in the world.
“In late middle age, he built a truly spectacular career in which he probably became the Kennedy who served his country best. Kennedy was one of the worst presidential candidates ever and you couldn’t blame people for resenting this guy assuming he had an innate right to run the country solely because of his name. And after he lost, he went through a stage where he was not exactly the most admirable role model on the planet.
“But he gradually found his place and grew into a role where his own gifts worked perfectly. In late middle age, he built a truly spectacular career in which he probably became the Kennedy who served his country best.
“I hope he can be a role model not just for people yearning for a mid-life renewal but also for all the future fifth-place finishers on American Idol.”