Ted Kennedy's Wife, Also Wonderful

The Times hasn't just spent the days since Kennedy's demise swooning over his life and liberal legacy. On Saturday, Sara Rimer swooned over Kennedy's widow as well, the "beautiful" Victoria Reggie, in "Kennedy's Closest Confidante, in Politics and Life."

It was 1991, the worst year of Senator Edward M. Kennedy's life since Chappaquiddick, 22 years earlier. With scandal unfolding that spring in Palm Beach, Fla., involving his nephew, the senator was humiliated by tabloid photos that showed him in a nightshirt after their boys' night out, an aging, dissolute playboy.

That year wasn't so great for Mary Jo Kopechne either, whose name Rimer didn't mention.

In the Senate, he was engaged in a difficult struggle over a major civil rights bill. And then, that fall, with accusations of sexual harassment dominating the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, there was the televised spectacle of Ted Kennedy - long a champion of women's rights - sitting mute and powerless, silenced by the Palm Beach case. His approval ratings plummeted.

But 1991, as it turned out, was also one of the best years of Ted Kennedy's life. That was the year he fell in love with Victoria Reggie, the canny, razor-smart, beautiful 37-year-old daughter of old family friends, who was also a top banking lawyer.

The Times again asserted Kennedy was adevout Catholic:

While no one who knows her would ever describe Vicki Kennedy as a woman who needed rescuing, her friends say that Mrs. Kennedy, who had never expected to marry again, was also transformed. She gained a worshipful husband who adored her children, shared her deep religious faith, consulted with her on everything from Kennedy family matters to campaign strategy, and made her his partner in a life of politics and public service that she had been introduced to as a girl by her father and that she loved herself.


On Thursday and Friday, dressed in simple black, she was carrying on as his partner, friends say, presiding at his wake in Boston, greeting the tens of thousands of mourners. She stood for hours at the Kennedy library, shaking hands, saying a few words to each person who came through, extending herself, Joe Kennedy said, to Teddy's people as he would have wanted, just as they had planned it, together.