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tv   American Dynasties The Kennedys  CNN  November 23, 2018 9:00pm-10:00pm PST

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>> he took a radically wrong turn. >> they called me to say that john kennedy's plane is missing. >> how much tragedy, how much death can one family take? if i'm elected president of the united states, i'm going to work for those who are deprived, those who are poor, whether they be white or black. >> robert kennedy is hoping to fulfill the family dream of a second son in the white house. but tragedy strikes once more. all eyes are on the only surviving son, ted, as he inherits the burden of expectation. >> you will not reconsider your decision about seeking the presidency? >> absolutely not. >> overcoming scandal and defeat, ted fights back.
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>> the hope still lives and the dream shall never die. >> to lead the new generation and continue the legacy of this great american dynasty. >> this family's name is kennedy. ♪ ♪ >> i thank all of you who made
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this possible this evening, all of the effort that you made. >> bobby kennedy wins the crucial california primary in his battle to secure the democratic presidential nomination. >> we're all congratulating ourselves and each other on how terrific this is. everybody's looking forward to having a drink and dancing and thinking about all the great things that are in store. >> we are a great country and an unselfish country and passionate country and i intend to make that my basis for running. >> 4 1/2 years after his brother jack was assassinated bobby had set his sight on the white house. >> it's a jubilant moment. he might actually go all the way, straight to the presidency following his brother jack. >> the people who loved jack kennedy loved bobby kennedy. he had developed a softer side
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after the death of his brother. >> he's no longer the ruthless cynical mob busting hard head. here's someone who's as powerful as anyone but who identifies with common people in a way that you hadn't seen anybody in the top of american society do. >> bobby's wife and greatest champion ethyl shares in his greatest trials. >> i'm not doing this in the order of importance, but i also want to thank my wife ethyl. >> ethel lives for this moment because she's always believed bobby had a lot to offer. she wanted it to be bobby's turn and now it is bobby's turn. >> he felt very confident as he stood on that stage at the ambassador hotel. you could see it in his face, he knew he had a real shot. >> my thanks to all of you.
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>> bobby was supposed to turn right and go into a pressroom. >> but some teenyboppers get in the way. kennedy is cut off from his own bodyguard. the hotel manager turns him around and aims him to exit through the kitchen. his bodyguard gets there too late. >> it's complete chaos. everybody's screaming and crying. we ran down the end of the hall. it looked really bad. >> senator kennedy has been shot. >> we need a doctor here. >> and i remember looking at him and his shirt was open.
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that -- that's shock. that's stunning. >> ethel kennedy is leaning over him inches from his face. she can see that he's badly wounded. >> ted is with bobby's campaign team in san francisco when he hears the news. he rushes to be with his brother. >> ted kennedy arrived at the hospital and doctors now say surgery will last another hour. >> i saw my father on and off throughout the night holding his hand on the other side of
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that -- my father's head was bandaged and his eyes were black like somebody had punched him in the face. >> ted tells ethel the doctors have said we need to take him off of life support. this is no life for bobby. >> for ethel bobby is everything. it's always been that way, bobby and ethel together forever. she is at that moment pregnant with their 11th child, and now she's losing bobby. the same way that jackie lost jack.
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>> senator robert francis kennedy died at 1:44 a.m. today, june 6, 1968. >> in the morning my brother joe came in and said, you know, he's gone. and that afternoon we took him to new york. >> the piercing wine of the engine subside as the airplane stops. the casket now about halfway out of the door of the airplane. >> the great tragedy of this moment is that we actually never get to see what bobby kennedy would have been able to accomplish. >> he would have been one of the most experienced men to occupy the american presidency since its founding. >> jacqueline kennedy, behind her mrs. edward kennedy. >> the sense that the country
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was ending in bobby kennedy, tapped it in a way in a not even his brother did. >> it's like the pin in the balloon. it's gone. ♪ bum bum bum bum bum this is incredible. this weekend join t-mobile and get the awesome iphone xr, on us. it has an amazing camera. i can barely contain myself. this weekend join t-mobile and get the iphone xr on us. ♪ bum bum bum bum bum
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and thousands of people have begun streaming through to pay their respects to the body of senator robert kennedy. >> for 2 days mourners lined 25 blocks outside st. patrick's cathedral to pass by kennedy's coffin. for the service itself, 2,000 mourners crammed the cathedral. they included the rich and the powerful and the famous but also the poor and the dispossessed, farm workers, people who felt close to rfk. >> bobby's father, joe, is too ill to attend the funeral. his only surviving son, ted, delivers the eulogy. >> he had to be tested immediately. the world expected him. >> i'd rather not be idolized
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or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, but remembered simply as a good and decent man who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it. saw war and tried to stop it. as he said many times, some men see things as they are and say why, i dream things that never were and say why not. ♪ >> robert kennedy's body is taken by train on an eight-hour journey from new york to arlington national cemetery, the final resting place of his brother, jack.
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>> my father organized the funeral train, and that was an incredible experience. 227 miles of people on both sides of the tracks with signs. and it was just a very moving experience. ♪ >> i was on that train and just watching these, you know, this extraordinary sight. you had people all carrying these signs that said "good-bye, bobby." you had nuns and priests and rabbis and hippies and soldiers.
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>> there's nobody i can think of that could have drawn those numbers and that diverse a population to say good-bye. ♪ >> ted is able to keep it together at the funeral, but the funeral train with all of the thousands of people who met that train along its way, it was more than ted could bear. >> and it marked a major change in ted's life. he had always been the younger brother one way or another. >> all three of the other brothers died through acts of violence, and the baby brother winds up being the family patron. >> and everybody's looking at ted right now to take over. he's only 36 years old.
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>> i hope the countless thousands who have sent their expressions of sympathy and condolences to ethel kennedy and my mother and father and members of the kennedy family, realize the strength and hope they have given to the members of the family during these last several days. now my mother would like to say a few words. >> i want to extend our thanks to all of you. >> rose was not big on emotional displays. there's a certain courage that she was able to call upon because of her religious convictions, and she also understood what was important for the country. >> we shall carry on the principles of bobby, his devotion and dedication familiar to us.
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>> he only served to put more pressure on ted i think because all these new expectations i think were projected on to him. >> ted got a lot on his shoulders just being in the shadow of the great jfk and rfk. >> he was the baby brother. he was the child in his parent's old age, the adored little brother of eight older siblings. he was supposed to be cute and amusing, a little rascal and adored. >> in 1968 ted and joan kennedy celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary. they have three children, edward, and ted patrick. >> ted kennedy and his first wife, joan, had a very difficult relationship. >> ted was known to be a recluse and even more so after bobby's death.
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he was drinking too much, he was seeing too many women. in many ways he was self-sabotaging. >> a year after bobby's death ted attends a reunion of his brother's old campaign team on chappaquiddick island in massachusetts. >> teddy felt it was important for him to go represent bobby. so, he went over with his chauffeur. >> there's a party and a lot of women there and he takes the keys from his chauffeur and gets into the car with a young woman. her name is mary jo kopechne. >> mary jo kopechne had worked for bobby in his 1968 campaign, and teddy was going to, according to his story, take her to the ferry that would take
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her back to her hotel. >> but he took a radically wrong turn. a very improbable wrong turn because the road was paved straight to the ferry. >> when you make a sharp right turn on a gravel road up the road that teddy went on, there's no way you do that by mistake.
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on july 18, 1969, senator ted kennedy and his brother's former campaign aide, mary jo kopechne, leave a party together on chappaquiddick island. >> it was absolute darkness leading out to beach which happened to have a very rickety bridge that went over a fast moving channel. and his car went off the bridge. >> he said by his testimony that he had no memory of how he escaped, that he dove as many times as he could manage to try to get mary jo out. >> after diving in a couple of times he abandons the scene.
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>> he said he went back, ultimately, to his hotel room at edgar town and fell asleep. >> he waited nine hours to report it. that was, you know, unfathomable to most people. >> a diver recovers her body the next morning. she was 28 years old. >> the death at chappaquiddick was a tragedy enough but the way teddy handled it made it infinitely worse. >> all the first moves was about protecting his reputation, the kennedys playing it safe. nothing about mary jo's, what must have been a horrible death. >> mary jo is buried three days later.
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ted and joan kennedy attended the funeral mass. >> ted felt very strongly that his wife joan should accompany him to mary jo's funeral as a sign there was nothing she was concerned about with his behavior. so joan kennedy pregnant and on bed rest had to standby his side and then suffered a miscarriage. >> the kennedys have overcome tragedy and scandal before. but mary jo's death at chappaquiddick threatens to tarnish the family name forever. >> there's a sense that teddy and a family known for courage acted like a cowered and he may have tried to save his own hide rather than to save a life, and it's a scar on him. >> in the end the bottom line is that because of ted's recklessness a woman died. >> senator edward kennedy pleads guilty to leaving the scene of
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the accident. on account of his unblemished record he receives a suspended sentence. >> teddy finally breaks his silence and goes on television. >> and he's speaking primarily to the voters of massachusetts, but he's speaking to the american people and he's speaking to the world. >> my fellow citizens, i have requested this opportunity to talk to the people of massachusetts about the tragedy which happened last friday evening. i would understand full well why some might think it right for me to resign. so i ask you tonight to think this through with me. in facing this decision i seek your advice and opinion. in making it, i seek your prayers. >> i think he should stay in office.
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it's just an act of god, you might say. >> would you vote for him again? >> definitely. >> we feel he is human, people do make mistakes. >> i think he'll be the next president of the united states. >> ten to one people responded with letters and cards saying please stay in office. >> encouraged by public support, ted decides to continue his senate career. >> thank you and good night. >> in the immediate aftermath of chappaquiddick, joseph kennedy was another victim of a tragedy. by that joe was confined to a wheelchair and could not speak. however, he understood everything that was going on, which must have made it his own private hell. >> teddy sees his father cry, and he sees the devastation that his father is suffering. and teddy knows in 1969 after chappaquiddick he is the cause
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of that. and he believed it caused his father to give up his will to live. >> just four months after the tragedy at chappaquiddick, joseph p. kennedy dies at the family home in hyannisport. >> joe's death is another devastating moment for the kennedys because show has been the architect of all of their dreams and ambitions from the very beginning. >> this man truly lived for his family and his dynasty. >> joseph kennedy for all his faults, and by god, there were many, was an extraordinary father. his children loved him, they respected him, they honored him. >> joe kennedy dies with his family mired in scandal. ted must now seek redemption.
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the chappaquiddick scandal throws the kennedys' political ambitions into disarray.
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>> there was always, from the very beginning, a plan, and the plan was jfk was first, bobby was next, and then ted. but deep down inside i don't think ted didn't feel he was worthy of picking up the mantle. >> you will not reconsider your decision about seeking the presidency? >> absolutely not. under no circumstances ever. >> that's a long time isn't it, senator? >> you have the expectation that that's what you're supposed to do because everyone around you puts you into the that narrative. so it's almost that narrative on steroids. >> what has to happen for you to make up your mind? >> i have no precise time or frame. >> but the time was never right for him. chappaquiddick put him out in '72. '76 jimmy carter came on the scene. >> in 1973, ted and jonean's
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eldest son was diagnosed with cancer. his leg has to be amputated. >> that's when ted kennedy found his mission in life which had to do with health care reform. >> he felt so outraged that people could be dismissed simply because they didn't have the finances to get lifesaving care. >> and as long as i have a voice in the united states senate it's going to be for that democratic platform plank that provides decent quality of health care for all americans as a matter of right and not of privilege. >> he began to devote himself to that cause but there was still a feeling that he would run for president one day. >> after 16 years in the senate ted sees his chance to aim for the white house. >> 1979 is an extraordinarily important moment in the history of the united states. you have the after effects of the islamic revolution in iran. americans are taken hostage in
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tehran. an unbelievable humiliation. >> there was a situation at the pumps today. >> there was inflation. the american economy wasn't doing well. >> i ask congress to give me authority of standby gasoline rationing. >> the president looked weak. the democratic party looked weak. >> the time is ripe for ted kennedy because the liberal democrats have soured on jimmy carter, and they're really ready for a restoration of the kennedy dynasty. but it's important to remember that kennedy would be up against a formidable challenge. he's trying to unseat a sitting president of his own party. >> the family is mixed on teddy running for president in 1980. >> joan believed that ted did have a lot to offer, and she still loved him but at this point they were separated.
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>> his mother did not want him to run for fear that he would be assassinated. but once he made the decision, they were all in. >> ted prepares to launch his campaign. he appears on national television, interviewed in front of millions by roger mudd. >> i was standing just feet away as roger mudd began his interview with kennedy. >> senator, can you tell me, are you optimistic about the future of this country? >> i would say that i'm hopeful about the future, basically optimistic about it. >> roger mudd begins by asking pretty simple questions, throwing softballs really. but all of a sudden mudd asks the key question. >> why do you want to be president? >> well, i'm -- >> he stammers and he stumbles and he fails really to even complete his sentence.
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>> the reasons that i would run is because i have a great belief in this country, that it is -- has more natural resources than anyone in the world. >> what's wrong with this guy? he can't even figure out to roger mudd why he wants to run for president. why should we vote for him? >> the burden to succeed was crushing. it was crippling to be a kennedy running for president after his brothers. so i think he just felt overwhelmed by that. >> this country is not prepared to sound retreat. it is willing to make a stand, and so am i. >> even though kennedy goes on to fight a spirited battle, he never overcomes this stumble right out of the blocks. >> when ted arrives at the
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democratic national convention he's trailing so far behind carter that he's left with no choice but to concede. >> for me a few hours ago this campaign came to an end. for all those who cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die. >> it is one of the greatest political speeches of all-time. if he had given 1% of that, 1% of that as an answer to roger mudd at the beginning of the campaign, he might well have become the president of the united states. >> ted kennedy's presidential ambitions are over. his marriage to joan has ended. ted devotes the reagan years to working in the senate. >> i will not be a candidate for the presidency of the united
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states in 1984. >> it's clear to everyone including to him that he'll never have another opportunity to run for the presidency. and so the baton passes to the next generation. >> over a quarter century ago, my father stood before you to accept the nomination for the presidency of the united states. >> john, jr., clearly by participating in the 1988 convention has to know that once you embrace a public role as the son of the martyr john f. kennedy people are going to start to ask where does this lead? >> thank you. to spellbinders, pathfinders,
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a book that you're ready to share with the world? get published now, call for your free publisher kit today! ever since he was a boy, john f. kennedy, jr. has been seen as the heir apparent to the kennedy throne. >> john kennedy, jr. becomes an icon on the very day he turns 3 years old, the day of his father's funeral. because his mother leaned over and said to him you can salute daddy now and say good-bye to him. and so that is how the american people saw him. he would replace his father someday. >> jackie kennedy gave her children two conflicting
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legacies. one was to protect your privacy. the other was exploit your celebrity. >> i knew her as a fabulous and devoted mother. she said if you mess up raising your children nothing else you do in life much matters. >> jfk, jr. has his mother and father's charm. he lacks their all-out ambition. >> i think he uncle thought about his political future more back then than he did. john never wanted it to define him. >> we met at university. i lived with him for two years off-campus. everything he did was under the microscope, good and bad, successes and failures. >> when law school graduate john, jr. fails his bar exams it's headline news. >> i'll be back here in july and i'll pass it then or the next time. or i'll pass it when i'm 95. >> he was annoyed by the press. he went to great lengths to keep his marriage to carolyn bessette a secret and to marry on an
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isolated island off of the coast of georgia. >> jackie does not live to see her son married. she dies of cancer in may 1994 at the age of 64. >> the paparazzi were out there and everybody was jumping all over him. and i just remember screaming at one point, you know, get away, it's his mother. you know, give the guy a break. >> jackie had married greek shipping magnate aristotle onassis and been widowed for a second time. she chose to be buried at arlington national ceremony beside her first husband, jack. >> jackie kennedy will always be remembered for her courage in the wake of the assassination of her husband and how by that courage she helped to pull the united states together as well as i think to pull together the world. >> but after bobby's death she
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was feeling that her children were next. she said, if they're coming after kennedys then my children are targets. >> jackie kennedy's decision to pull her family out of the limelight certainly protected them. one of the unintended consequences was that when they got older there was a real fascination about them. >> ladies and gentlemen, meet "george." >> in 1995 john, jr. chooses his own root into politics. he launches a magazine that combines politics with celebrity culture. >> "george," named after the first president is designed to be the "rolling stone" of politics. >> i think he wanted to prove to himself through his own effort and work that he could do something that would be considered successful on its own, without being given to him on his background, his name, et cetera. >> i don't think i've seen as many of you in one place since they announced the results of my
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bar exam. so it's nice to see you all again. >> this is the cover with cindy crawford, and inside there's an article by madonna. >> "george" magazine is publishing which his mother would love and politics which his father would love. it's all of it right there on a silver platter. >> when jfk, jr. started "george" magazine everyone in the press kinds of snickered it would fail. it was actually pretty clever. >> in many ways, "george" persuaded them, i can be a good leader. i can be a leader of people. >> by embracing public life as the founder of "george" magazine john, jr. fuels speculation he might finally run for office. >> the clear sentiment he receives from unions, from media figures that, yeah, this is your time. >> it sounds like you haven't given up the notion maybe going into politics. >> maybe. maybe not. >> come on, john. >> no one's ever asked me that question before.
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>> really? i'm so original, aren't i? >> on july 16, 1999, john, jr. pilots his own plane to his cousin rory's wedding on cape cod. with him are his sister-in-law lauren and his wife, carolyn. >> he had only been flying solo for a relatively short time. he was late in leaving. it became dark as he flew from the new york city area. >> my team from cnn called me to say that john kennedy's plane is missing. i was beside myself, like all his friends, like all his family. >> search and rescue units marshalled all their resources. >> after a five-day search, navy divers recover three bodies amongst the wreckage off the coast of martha's vineyard. the ashes of john, carolyn and
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lauren are scattered at sea. a private memorial mass is held in new york. >> it seems to fall to ted kennedy that he must eulogize everyone who's taken too soon. >> i think the most difficult moment of that funeral service was teddy's final eulogy when, at the end, he said john had every gift but length of years. that single line incapsulated both the tragedy on a personal level but also what tragedy it could have been for the country. ! higher! higher! parents aren't perfect, but then they make us kraft mac & cheese and everything's good again.
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at the dawn of the new millennium ted continues to carry the hopes and ambitions of the kennedys. >> i yield to no one in that area. >> some call him king of the hill with a hand in every big issue, child care, health care, civil rights, minimum wage, arms control. >> his legislative record is legendry. >> when is the justice department going to get tough on white collar criminals? >> he figures out a way to build bridges across these impossible chasms of race and party and class.
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>> i say welcome to the debate on education. >> i consider him one of the great liberal legislators of all-time now. >> finally we're talking about health care. >> you look like one, hear like one but more importantly he was so thoughtful. >> this was the irishman who loves people, who loves to tell a story. a politician who's at the top of his game. >> barack obama will finally make health care what it should be in america a fundamental right for all, not just an expensive privilege for the few. >> ted does not live to realize his dream of universal health care. in august 2009 at age 77 he dies of brain cancer. he is survived by his second wife vicky, first wife joan and three children. ted had served as a senator for
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massachusetts for nearly 47 years. >> the greatest expectations were placed upon ted kennedy's shoulders because of who he was. but he surpassed them all because of who he became. >> seven months after ted's death his great cause, the affordable care act passes into law. >> it was something very inspirational to take my father's ultimate dream that we have coverage for everybody and actually embed it into the laws of this nation. >> he not only was the most powerful senator of his time he was a grandfather figure to many of us. we miss him. >> ted began life as the youngest child of joseph and rose kennedy. he ended it as the head of a dynasty with over 100 family
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members. the matriarch, ted's mother rose, died in 1985 at the age of 104. >> rose kennedy does not get her due. her ability to infuse the exact right combination of competition and compassion, there's no precedent in a democratic society for what she created. this royal family. >> some people enjoy a life that's normal and mead ocher. other people respond to challenges, adventure and entertainment. that's who we are. >> rose lived long enough to see generation after generation of kennedys serve their country. >> today all you young athletes are in the arena. >> jeanne was an incredible ambassador who helped to bring peace to northern ireland.
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>> jack and jackie's daughter carolyn became a u.s. ambassador to japan. >> i'm proud to carry forward my father's legacy of service. you have joseph kennedy ii, bobby and ethel's oldest son who served a number of terms in congress and cathy was a lieutenant governor of maryland. christopher kennedy, son of robert kennedy launching his political career in illinois. >> it would not be possible to write a complete history of modern america without talking about the kennedys and the contribution that they've made. >> but let us not forget they were not angels. >> when asked by the newspaper this afternoon what the chances were. of appeasemented. >> they had all sorts of flaw, some of them very, very serious flaws. >> they've had more than their share of scandals and they've done some terrible things. >> some might think it right for
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me to resign. >> but then there are these moments of greatness. >> we choose to go to the moon and do the other thing not because they are easy but because they are hard. >> and they inspired us to do things we might not have otherwise done. >> we are so fortunate that they lived, that they served and that even today so many years later they continue to inspire a whole new generation of people to get involved. >> thank you. >> i think if any of the succeeding generations could rise to the heights of the jack kennedy generation it could be joseph patrick kennedy iii, the grandson of robert kennedy who's a member of congress now. >> i stand here to deliver a message to immigrant families, we understand your willingness to walk to the ends of the earth, to navigate mountains and deserts and war zones because
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every parent would do the same. we know what you've risked to give them a better future to sacrifice to be part of our united states. >> this guy could bring the country together, this sort of big hearted liberalism that's about everyone together and umwe go that you haven't seen for a very long time. so anybody who thinks that the kennedy story stops with teddy kennedy, they don't know the kennedys. these guys are going to be around for a long time. >> if a new generation of kennedys can come through who think more about what they can give for their country than what they can take for themselves, that is really important to paraphrase president kennedy's inauguration. >> and so my fellow americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.
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world ask not what america will do for you but what together we can do for the freedom of man they escaped famine and death in ireland to begin a new life in boston, massachusetts. a life of wealth, privilege and power. >> my fellow citizens of the world. >> from irish peasantry to american royalty. these are the kennedys. their relationships with each other have impacted both america and the world. with triumph and glory comes scandal and tragedy.


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