Joan with other Senate ladies. Candid Joan was the youngest wife in the Senate when Ted first got elected and said that most ladies were her mom’s or her grandma’s age.
She did a lot. She set up a lot of rules and measures. I think it was the right time to establish those rules because he was old, tired and quite vulnerable (because of the 1991 trial) and so more inclined - even if it was unconscious, cause Ted has never been known for his sense of introspection - to follow those rules.
Vicki controlled his alcohol intake, by telling waiters “no” at restaurants for example. And I guess she controlled the liquor cabinet at home too. She also was the one to tell what friend was okay and what friend was not. If one of Ted’s friends tried to sneak alcohol for Ted, then this friend was “out” according to Vicki’s standards. She also didn’t tolerate cheating and was very clear on this. If he tried, she said she would leave. Also, once, she didn’t like the way he talked to her while they had dinner in a restaurant and so she walked out, returning only after some time, giving him time to calm down. She also controlled the visitors they had at the Big house. Ted’s children used to come up to the house unannounced and raid the fridge at times. Vicki decided that this was enough and asked them to call before and to maybe bring some of their own food. Same thing with the pool in the backyard, other Kennedys and Kennedy friends used to come and take over the pool. Vicki had a sign made just for the pool that said ‘“this pool is only for EMK and his children”. Ted never said a thing, it seems, because he knew Vicki wore the pants in the relationship. That’s how it was.
So it seems that Ted only “started” to have some sense in 1992. Because when reading “The Last Brother” (lots of other books say the same thing), I have only two words for him : careless and reckless. I am truly embarrassed by his behavior
Ted Kennedy receives a goodbye kiss from his son Teddy Jr., October 1965.
Ted Kennedy was heading off to one of his first trips to inspect the situation in Vietnam; Kennedy was particularly interested in the conditions of the refugee camps as he was the chairman on the Senate’s Judiciary Subcommittee on Refugees and Escapees. Also seeing him off that day was his eldest child, Kara, as well as his wife Joan.