Speaking with Ted Kennedy's niece, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, on Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith wondered: "Does a Kennedy belong in your uncle's old Senate seat?" Townsend replied: "I think if my brother, Joe, wanted to run, I think he'd put up a great race and be a great Senator, but there are a lot of people who can carry on Senator Kennedy's legacy."
Just prior to that question, Townsend had boasted: "And I think what we saw over the last few days is that people said 'Ted Kennedy, I don't know how you got to be Senator, but when you were there, you did more than any other senator in American history.'"
Here is a full transcript of the segment:
HARRY SMITH: And Bobby Kennedy's daughter, Kathleen, remembers her beloved Uncle Ted.
SMITH: And a lot of people are still talking this morning about the memorial service Friday night and the beautiful funeral Mass on Saturday for Ted Kennedy. We are going to speak this morning with Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the oldest of the Kennedy grandchildren. We'll be speaking with her in just a couple of minutes.
HARRY SMITH: An emotional weekend, certainly, for the Kennedy family and for a lot of people across the country. Joining us now from Baltimore is Ted Kennedy's niece, former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. Good morning.
KATHLEEN KENNEDY TOWNSEND: Hi, Harry, how are you?
SMITH: I'm well. Tell me your best memory of your Uncle Ted.
TOWNSEND: Well, there are so many memories of their - of him, both political and personal. You know, I'm always touched by the fact that, you know, on the day that my cousin, Teddy, lost his leg, it was my wedding day and I had asked whether I should, you know, postpone my wedding because it was so traumatic for our family and he said no. And he came and picked me up at my mother and father's house and walked me down the aisle and during the time talked about his own wedding and what a wonderful time that can be. And he was in the most tough, difficult moment for his own self, he was trying to be helpful and open and positive for me. And I think that's sort of a metaphor for what did he throughout his life. He's had terrible personal tough times and yet he's always - he was always out there helping others.
SMITH: You're my age, which means you're old enough to remember when Teddy and Bobby and JFK were all alive as brothers together.
TOWNSEND: Well, what I really remember is, you know - them together - is primarily in Hyannis Port when there was so many touch football games, which was great fun. Or going sailing. I remember sailing with my Uncle Teddy and my father and we were in a race and I was - it was the three of us - and I was the ballast, which for those who aren't sailors, means I was just dead weight. And had to be up at the bow of the boat, you know, just getting wet for four straight hours. But, you know, what I also remember during those times, not only sort of the fun family times, but obviously, the sense of public life and that you gave back to the country. My father was doing the Senate Racket Committee hearings, the - Teddy, you know, ran for Senate in 1962, we remember that, and he was, you know, attacked that he was just running on his name and I think, you know, my father, Attorney General, because of his brother being president, but the point was you're given opportunities and then what do you make of those opportunities? And I think what we saw over the last few days is that people said 'Ted Kennedy, I don't know how you got to be Senator, but when you were there, you did more than any other senator in American history.'
SMITH: I've got 20 seconds left. Does a Kennedy belong in your uncle's old Senate seat? Actually, I have five seconds left.
TOWNSEND: I think Teddy Kennedy gave much to our country. I think if my brother, Joe, wanted to run, I think he'd put up a great race and be a great Senator, but there are a lot of people who can carry on Senator Kennedy's legacy.
SMITH: Kathleen, thank you so much.
-Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center.