Who, and what, the “Lion of the Senate” really was

Two of our best friends in law school were Tom and Mally Pitaro of Brockton, Mass., home of the Brockton Brawler, Rocky Marciano.  Tom was a working class Italian  Catholic, and a staunch Democrat.  Like virtually all Massachusetts Catholics, he idolized the Kennedy family.  Tom was a very bright guy, and I thought this devotion a little strange.  But to him and his family, a Kennedy could do no wrong.

“Chappaquidick” is the best film I’ve seen in years, and Bruce Dern deserves an award for his portrayal of Joe Kennedy, Sr.   Seeing a movie like this is almost enough to restore a little respect for Hollywood.  They got everything right.

I guess you had to have been alive when Jack Kennedy was President in order to really understand the career of the runt of the litter, Teddy.  As President, with brother Bobby as Attorney General, the last thing Kennedy wanted was his youngest brother running for a Senate seat that he was totally unqualified for.  But old Joe insisted.  Teddy wanted to be famous too, so Jack and Bobby  had no choice but to go along with it.

This movie is so good that it even makes you sympathize a little with Teddy.  If you had three older brothers like Joe Jr., Jack, and Bobby, all of whom were true American heroes, killed in service to their country, you might not turn out so well yourself.

He couldn’t fill their shoes.  Few men could.

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