Ted Kennedy's Death Leaves Void, Lasting Legacy

While the Kennedy chapter in American history may now be closed, the legacy of their legislative accomplishments will likely live on in generations to come.

"The Kennedy's lasting legacy has to do with the great dream of opportunity," said Maier. "They were the personification of the American dream and the sense of freedom."

"Ted Kennedy helped change America by literally providing the opportunity for people of all races and colors to come to this country in a way that had not been allowed before," said Maier.

Ted Kennedy's unrelenting support of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which he sponsored, helped change America in a way that will not soon be forgotten, said Maier.

"It really transformed America," Maier said. "The impact of that alone changed America; it's remarkable."

The Kennedy clan's dedication to public service – from immigration legislation to health care reform, which dominated Ted Kennedy's final years – the family's impact on America won't soon be forgotten.

"The Kennedys, with their great idealism and their great tragedies, really put an exclamation point on the sacrifice that families make for public service," said Maier. "They really successfully helped change America for the better."

Swift says that Ted Kennedy had a "titanic effect on the lives of every single American."

"On the political side, he's done so much," said Swift, "from health care, to civil rights to many things in foreign affairs."

But Swift says even the surviving members of Kennedy's family are unlikely to be able to match what Ted accomplished.

"It's tremendous the way that the Kennedy grandchildren are giving to the society but it doesn't hit the top of the radar because it's not politics, which is what people most readily associate with the Kennedys," he said.

Swift simply says that the charismatic nature of the Kennedy family will make them tough to follow for future generations of politicians.

"If the question comes up how likely is it that we'll have another political dynasty in our lifetime, I'd say it's likely," said Swift. "But will it have the mystique and fascination that the Kennedy's did? That part will never be matched."

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