August 26, 2008
Monday night's ovation for U.S. Sen. Edward "Teddy" Kennedy rivaled anything Carmelo Anthony or hockey star Peter Forsberg has ever heard in the Pepsi Center.
It was without a doubt the loudest ovation I have heard in years. When the place erupted as Kennedy walked on stage, it felt like the building shook.
Kennedy's unscheduled appearance, partisan politics or opinions aside, a brilliant opening to the first night of the Democratic National Convention. The spectacle of the longtime Senator, the patriarch, the lion, speaking on stage with a raspy, struggling voice after nearly dying from brain cancer set a momentous tone and higher message for the whole week.
"Nothing is going to keep me away from this special gathering tonight," Kennedy said upon taking the stage. "I pledge to you that I will be there next January (for the presidential inauguration)."
That remark drew a huge roar.
Kennedy focused on renewal, saying that a Barack Obama presidency would create "a season of hope:for the many, and not just for the few." In the wake of his remarks, the question is everywhere - who does the Republican Party have that can set that kind of tone in Minneapolis next month?