Today we honor our dear friend and colleague Ted Kennedy, Teddy to his fellow senators, Teddy K. to his staff and The Big KY to the interns.
We all have touching stories about Ted, stories of how he touched us in so many ways. As I look out among your saddened faces I am touched by this outpouring of love and regret that so many of Ted's nieces where not able to be here today. Many nights I would see Ted engaged in his tireless outreach to the younger generation as he would explain the subtle nuances of the law to one of his many nieces and their friends over a bottle of wine and a few well deserved cocktails in a private dining room.
Teddy was also a great friend to many of us in the Senate who was always willing to share some subtle way to write or evade some sticky law that had entangled one of us. As Teddy always said, money can't buy happiness but it sure can buy alot of scotch and a few acquittals.
Teddy was a loving and devoted father and a husband to so many women that time does not permit a proper acknowledgment. So to was Teddy's tireless advocacy for parallel monogamy which he worked at his entire adult life with the hope that someday men across America could be free of the crushing burdens of simple monogamy.
There were times last year during the campaign when Teddy's advice was like an anchor for my troubled ship. I'll never forget what he said the day he endorsed me, "Barack, he said, when things look the darkest and you need to talk your way out of some boneheaded move you made just remember that it never hurts to wear a neck brace, it worked for me".
Thus it is fitting that one of the first shovel ready projects that the stimulus package financed was a new bridge over Poucha Pond on Chappaquiddick Island, this one with extra strong guard rails. Never again will an American politician have a sure presidential victory snatched from him by the cruel fates.
I would like to ask all Americans to remember that Ted Kennedy was able to work for his entire career because of the wonderful health care system in America. How many Americans could have made it into work every day as Teddy did after drinking the amount of booze that guy could drink. I don't think many of you could do it and I'm sure we are all astounded that his liver managed to function this long, it was truly a medical miracle. It is a testament to Teddy's focus on health care that the first number on his speed dial was his doctor instead of his lawyer like the rest of us here on capital hill. So just remember when you have a car accident or are falling down drunk, "What Would Teddy Do", WWTD.
In closing I would like everyone to remember that Ted Kennedy was a tireless advocate for the weakest among us, for those without a voice to speak for themselves and those who depend on us for protection, the illegal aliens among us. God bless the wetbacks.
Thank you for your support, God and I bless you ...
We WON !!!