Democrat Ted Kennedy has brain cancer. Malignant and fatal, it looks like he will be dead within five years.
As a Kennedy, and with that, great wealth, he can afford the best treatment available, but it is no less serious. There is no cure. Just the same, we can only wish him the best of health these remaining days.
What is next for him? No doubt, he is in shock, and unsure. He is 76.
The Kennedy era, filled with scandal, death, money, and power, will soon end. No heir to their dynasty truly exists. From his brother's (President John F Kennedy) murder, to his other brother's (Robert Kennedy) murder, to his own trouble with the death of Mary Jo Kopechne in his car (the infamous Chappaquiddick incident), tragedy has surrounded his family.
Eloquent and influential, Kennedy has served as a leader among Democrats since the early 1960s.
His presidential endorsements have not gone well. In 1988 he supported Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis to win the nomination. In 1992, he backed former fellow Massachusetts Senator Paul Tsongas. In 2000, he backed Vice President Al Gore. In 2004, it was Massachusetts Senator John Kerry.
Currently Kennedy is supporting Illinois Senator Barack Obama, his best shot recently in picking a winner. This was a key endorsement, which, no doubt, impacted Hillary Clinton's chance of securing the Democratic nomination.