Serena Williams is forced to turn back as she walks on to court while her opponent, Simona Halep, is being announced to the crowd before their fourth-round match at the Australian Open.
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Serena Williams is forced to turn back as she walks on to court while her opponent, Simona Halep, is being announced to the crowd before their fourth-round match at the Australian Open.
Available to UK users only.
Ice is melting in an unexpected region of Greenland at a rate that is unprecedented in the past century, according to a study published Monday, which could lead to rising sea levels and increasingly wild weather on the East Coast.
Scientists found that the ice sheet in southwest Greenland was melting nearly four times faster in 2012 than in 2003, said Michael Bevis, a geophysicist with Ohio State University and co-author of the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The Greenland ice sheet covers roughly 80 per cent of the island and is the second largest body of ice in the world.
The southwest region, on the other hand, doesn’t have many glaciers and its ice sheet wasn’t typically known to contribute to rising sea levels. But now, it may become a major contributor, the study said.
“The degree of melting … is unusual, unprecedented in the last hundred years. You never got four or five years of major melting like this in the 1900s,” said Bevis.
In the past few decades, Bevis said about 280 billion tonnes of ice was lost as meltwater each summer in Greenland. But now, he estimates that number is suddenly “significantly larger” — perhaps up to double.
“Everything’s in agreement that the melting is massively increasing in this century compared to the last.”
Researchers from several international universities and organizations used data from twin satellites launched in 2002 called GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment). That coupled with data from GPS stations scattered on Greenland’s coast helped measure the changes in ice mass.
What the study found was the ice loss data correlated with a weather phenomenon called the North Atlantic Oscillation, which affects air temperature.
The “unusual melting” and accelerated ice loss is thanks to the combination of global warming and the oscillation, according to the study.
This is horrifying really.– Michael Bevis, geophysicist
Oscillation is an “erratic” movement of air that happens every few years. It tends to bring warmer air to Greenland, similar to how the El Niño and La Nina weather systems can change water temperatures, explained Bevis.
These oscillation cycles have been happening for thousands of years, yet only now is it affecting the Greenland ice sheet, noted Bevis.
“That’s why it’s so strange,” he said. “Why only now is this cycle controlling the melting?”
Bevis said it’s because global warming allowed air temperatures to reach a “tipping point” where massive melting becomes possible.
With the warmer air temperatures causing lower ice levels, especially in southwest Greenland, the North Atlantic Oscillation “pushes it over the top” and is able to control the melting, said Bevis.
Bevis said the data shows that there have always been minor fluctuations of ice loss in the last century — but the fluctuations since the early 2000s point to a new behaviour of melting in the area.
Rising sea levels in Greenland can have serious consequences for people living in East Coast cities.
The real worry now is just how much worse will it get.– Michael Bevis, geophysicist
Provinces on Canada’s East Coast like Newfoundland and Labrador may be affected, Bevis said, but the effects will be bigger in U.S. coastal cities like New York and ones near the Gulf of Mexico, including Miami.
Rising sea levels can cause hurricanes to reach further inland, causing more damage, said Bevis.
“This is horrifying really,” said Bevis, in reaction to the study’s findings.
“Now, this meltwater is a completely different mechanism,” he said. “And this one is particularly worrying because it seems like it’s going to accelerate indefinitely.”
Bevis said he and his team can’t imagine a way this new melting behaviour can turn back to what it was.
“I find it impossible to imagine that it will go back to how it was one or two hundred years [ago],” he said. “As it gets warmer and warmer, this will get worse and worse.”
Kamala Harris’ Democratic opponents are already telegraphing that they plan to make her law-and-order background an enormous vulnerability with voters on the left.
But the California senator, who announced her bid for the White House on Monday amid an early wave of scrutiny of her career as a prosecutor, thinks she can turn the criticism on its head.
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According to interviews with a half-dozen of her confidants and strategists, Harris will court voters wary of law enforcement by presenting herself as a kinder and gentler prosecutor — a “progressive” attorney who advocated for the vulnerable and served the public interest. At the same time, they believe leaning into her background will allow her to project toughness against Donald Trump, and contrast what they call her evidence-based approach to law and politics with the president’s carelessness with facts and legal troubles with the special prosecutor.
“In the face of a lawless president and a lawless administration, Americans are going to be looking for somebody who represents and stands for the rule of law,” one Harris adviser said.
But it will be a tough balancing act, and it’s an open question whether Harris has the political dexterity to pull it off. A scathing New York Times op-ed by a California law professor last week gave a taste of what the Californian is in for: It argued that Harris was overzealous against defendants in a slew of cases she or her office handled. Her critics and opponents quickly circulated the article.
The former San Francisco district attorney and California attorney general will focus on her earlier work protecting woman and children who suffered from sexual violence, students who were taken advantage of by for-profit colleges, homeowners hurt by the foreclosure crisis and families choked by serial polluters, as well as her office’s role in advancing the marriage equality movement.
The something-for-everyone approach is designed to position her as a potential voice for progressives and moderates, from millennial women who supported Bernie Sanders to Democrats who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.
She also will try to claim the mantle as an avatar of honesty at a time when many Democrats want reconciliation and healing. She addresses society’s biggest challenges with an opening watchword derived from her legal training: To tackle the issues, Harris argues, people need to first hear the truth —about everything from racism and sexism to the fact that the vast majority of Americans descend from people who weren’t born here.
But embracing her prosecutorial brand and ethos is not without risk in the modern Democratic Party. Some criminal justice advocates, based on early dissections of her record, view her as overly cautious amid calls to reform the system. They argue that she aligned herself too closely with law enforcement during her political ascent – when they wanted her to be more of an activist while holding the powerful positions.
The author of the Times op-ed, law professor Lara Bazelon, argued that Harris “stayed silent” over much of her early career.
“Most troubling,” she wrote, “Ms. Harris fought tooth and nail to uphold wrongful convictions that had been secured through official misconduct that included evidence tampering, false testimony and the suppression of crucial information by prosecutors.”
Other pointed to Harris’ decision as California attorney general to not bring state foreclosure law actions against Steve Mnuchin when he was head of the California-based OneWest Bank. Harris aides maintain there wasn’t enough evidence to support a conviction against Mnuchin, now Trump’s treasury secretary.
Opponents seized on the attack and suggested it will be central to their effort to discredit Harris among primary voters.
On the broader critique, which comes against the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter movement, Harris has long maintained that it’s a “false choice” to side with either law enforcement or those demanding more oversight of police and prosecutors. Harris, who developed anti-recidivism programs and introduced a bail reform bill in the Senate to tackle high rates of incarceration and discrimination in the justice system, addresses the issue in her new book, “The Truths We Hold.”
“You can want the police to stop crime in your neighborhood and also want them to stop using excessive force,” she writes. “You can want them to hunt down a killer on your streets and also want them to stop using racial profiling. You can believe in the need for consequence and accountability, especially for serious criminals, and also oppose unjust incarceration. I believed it was essential to weave all these varied strands together.”
Still, she’s long had to explain her decision not to go into another line of work — or at least another part of the law. The daughter of an Indian-born mother and Jamaican-born father who were active in the Civil Rights movement, Harris had to defend her career choice to family and friends like one would a thesis.
She describes some of them as incredulous. And in the book, she dives into the nation’s “deep and dark history of people using the power of the prosecutor as an instrument of injustice.”
But history told another story, too, she added.
“I knew the history of brave prosecutors who went after the Ku Klux Klan in the South. I knew the stories of prosecutors who went after corrupt politicians and corporate polluters. I knew the legacy of Robert Kennedy, who, as U.S. attorney general, sent Department of Justice officials to protect the Freedom Riders in 1961, and sent the U.S. Marshals to protect James Meredith when he enrolled at Ole Miss the next year.”
Long before the presidential race, Harris has pitched herself as a different kind of prosecutor. In her first race for San Francisco district attorney, the 38-year-old trudged around town with a makeshift standing desk made from an ironing board that bore the sign “Kamala Harris, a voice for justice.”
Lateefah Simon, who worked with Harris for five years in San Francisco, met when Simon advocated for girls on the streets who were being trafficked or engaging in sex work. She said it’s impossible to separate Harris’ early career from the candidate she is today: “I think that she brings that grit.”
“I think she’s going to use that skill, but also that [prosecutorial approach] to go hard” on her opponents, Simon said.
In 2010, when Harris ran for attorney general, she urged voters to be not hard or soft on crime, but “smart on crime.” It became the title of her first book on the subject. Six years later, the TV ads for her Senate campaign placed Harris in a courtroom, adding a keyword to the line she would tell judges before a case could get started: “Kamala Harris, fearless for the people.”
The video Harris’ campaign released Monday announcing her presidential run and teasing her first big speech Sunday in Oakland introduced a new variation on the theme: “For The People.”
Politically, Harris’ past legal work has helped her far more than it has hurt.
Mary Hughes, a Democratic strategist who has worked with female candidates for more than three decades, said those running for executive offices must persuade people that they have the mettle and resolve to make hard decisions. One of the ways women are meeting those demands is by featuring backgrounds that have been historically held by men, such as prosecutorial and military roles.
“We have had women who are excellent lawyers for a long time, but that lacked the quality of fierceness that we expect in our ultimate leader,” Hughes said. “In a frightening world, we know we need people of great strength.”
Hughes cautioned that this is not the only way women ascend to executive positions – others in recent years, primarily gubernatorial candidates, have shown that they have stared down powerful people and interests.
Harris is planning to combine both — pointing to her pulling out of talks to settle charges that banks wrongfully foreclosed on homeowners because the proposed settlement, $2 billion to $4 billion, represented “crumbs on the table.” Harris soon settled for $18 billion, which grew to $20 billion.
In the Senate, her high-profile turns in the media have been prosecutorial in nature: She grilled Trump cabinet members and appointees on the Judiciary Committee, creating a viral moment when she was interrupted by her male Republican colleagues, one of whom admonished her for not being more courteous. And in her early tussling so far with the Trump administration, when a White House twitter account called out Harris for “supporting the animals of MS-13,” she swung the debate back to her time as a top cop.
“As a career prosecutor, I actually went after gangs and transnational criminal organizations,” Harris responded in a tweet of her own. “That’s being a leader on public safety. What is not, is ripping babies from their mothers.”
The remains of two Beothuk people — Nonosabasut and Demasduit — will be sent from the National Museum of Scotland to Canada, ending a lengthy campaign to repatriate the bones of two of the last members of an extinct Indigenous people.
In a statement Monday, the National Museum of Scotland said the remains will be sent to the Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa.
“We are pleased to have reached this agreement and to be able to transfer the remains of these two Beothuk people to the country where they lived and were buried,” Gordon Rintoul, director of National Museums Scotland, said in the release.
“The decision to transfer the remains … was made by the board of trustees of National Museums Scotland following a formal request from the Canadian government last year, and has been given legal endorsement by the Scottish government.”
Arrangements for the transfer are underway, the release said.
Demasduit was kidnapped by a European fur trapper in March 1819, retaliation for an alleged theft by her tribe. Nonosabasut was killed that same year as he tried to rescue his wife, who was given the name Mary March by her English captors.
Demasduit died of tuberculosis in January 1820, and was returned to Beothuk land to be buried at Red Indian Lake.
A few years later, a Scottish explorer retrieved the two skulls and some grave goods, which eventually made their way to Edinburgh.
Demasduit and Nonosabasut were aunt and uncle to Shanawdithit, the last known Beothuk. Shanawdithit died in June 1829 in St. John’s, also of tuberculosis.
Much of what scholars know about the Beothuk — who retreated from coastal settlements after sometimes violent contact with European settlers in Newfoundland — came from Shanawdithit.
The push to have the remains returned was started in 2015 by Chief Mi’sel Joe of the Miawpukek First Nation in Conne River.
In February 2016, Premier Dwight Ball wrote the museum to request the return of the remains, but that request was denied. The museum said it didn’t meet criteria set out in Scottish legislation for the repatriation of remains.
Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly notified the director of National Museums Scotland that Canada would make a formal demand for the remains in August 2016.
Leaders representing all Indigenous groups in Newfoundland and Labrador signed a letter requesting the return of the remains in May 2017.
“We can all learn lessons from this. It’s the right thing to do, and it’s a process I’m very proud to be a part of,” Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball said Monday.
“But certainly most of the credit here goes to [Miawpukek First Nation Chief] Mi’sel Joe, who brought this to our attention a few years ago.”
Joe told CBC News on Monday he felt pride and relief upon hearing the news.
“The word that came to mind was ‘yahoo,’” he said. “It’s finally happening.”
Joe hopes to accompany the remains as they’re transported from Scotland to Ottawa as part of an Indigenous honour guard.
“When those remains leave Scotland, I want to leave with them.”
Eventually, the remains should find a final resting place in Newfoundland, he said. The gesture could ameliorate some of the island’s “dark history,” such as curricula that once blamed the extinction of the Beothuk on Mi’kmaq tribes. “We grew up reading about that in Grade 5 in our history books. This is, to me, a part of coming to grips with that.”
Joe said the premier expressed similar sentiments in a phone call earlier Monday, but no timeline has been worked out. The premier confirmed to CBC News that Ottawa also wants the remains moved to Newfoundland “as quickly as possible,” citing provincial museum The Rooms in St. John’s as a possible resting place.
Scott Simms, MP for the central region of Newfoundland, says he doesn’t want to make assumptions about where the remains will end up. Simms said he plans to consult with Indigenous groups on how to repatriate them.
“How do we respect the remains that have been handed back to us?” he said. “How do we do this through a process of reconciliation, and how do we do this in a way that we can commemorate and respect the history of Newfoundland and Labrador — and, in particular, the respect of First Nations groups by way of the Beothuk?”
For now, Joe said he’s just relieved the remains will come back to Canadian soil.
“It’s been 200 years since they were taken from Newfoundland, stolen from the gravesite,” he said. “It’s incredibly important to have this part of our history in Newfoundland finally coming together. And it’s something that belongs to all of us, not just Aboriginal people … Every Newfoundlander should be extremely proud of this moment.”
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Serena Guthrie captained England Roses to second place in the International Quad Series. England narrowly lost out on goal percentage to Australia, despite beating the Diamonds 52-49. Earlier in the week, the Roses suffered a shock 48-45 loss to South Africa and beat New Zealand 54-41. England will now prepare for the World Cup, which begins in Liverpool on 12 July.
The Quad Series has been really good preparation for the World Cup – we’ve had all the things we need.
In a way, it’s good to lose if you learn from it. We want results, every team wants results, but you have to look at the bigger picture and what we’re aiming for.
We’ve only recently broken through the glass ceiling to compete with and win against the world’s best sides. It’s important we don’t lose sight of that.
It would be really easy to get caught up in the expectation that England should always win just because we’ve won a Commonwealth gold medal.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t have those expectations, but these competitions make you step back and look at the process, where you’re at and what the other teams are doing.
The Quad Series allowed us to do that and here’s what we’ve learned with six months to go until the World Cup.
It’s been the most competitive Quad Series yet if you look at the results, which sets us up well for the summer.
It did hurt to lose to South Africa but, if I look at world netball as a whole, it’s amazing to have these countries stepping up and competing.
We can’t just have Australia and New Zealand. We need everybody to be up there lifting our game.
It lifts interest, people don’t just want to know about two teams, they want to know about five teams.
The margins between teams are so small and that’s exciting for us as players. It’s a real sport now. It’s so competitive.
The World Cup is going to be great because spectators are not going to know who will win and that is what makes sport special.
The fact we’ve learned to win against Australia outside a major championships is massive for us.
Yes, the series eluded us and we can’t get away from that. The reality was that we weren’t going to win every game; we were always going to have ups and downs.
For a long time with the Australians, we did put them on a pedestal. They are the world champions and you get that title for a reason.
But for us now, we have to approach opposition as consistently as possible – whether they’re number one or number five.
We’re not quite there yet with that so the Quad Series has been the best preparation we could have had.
The atmosphere and passion that a home crowd brings – you can really feel it. When you’re the away team, you know people are not backing you. There’s not that expectation on you.
Playing in front of people who expect you to win and who are really behind you is amazing but tough.
Our fans are on every pass, they’re riding the wave all the way and that’s a special experience.
For the first time, we’ve got a really solid fan base which consists of our day one supporters and brand new fans. That can only play in our favour come July.
I know the girls really enjoyed the last couple of days at the Copper Box because the atmosphere was phenomenal.
In the Australia game, we spoke about thriving on that because you don’t get it often and you have to learn to love it.
You have to soak it up so you can perform in those pressure moments.
We definitely make time for fun. We have to stay true to ourselves.
You’re in camp for a long time and if you’re not having fun, it’s going to be a long, hard slog.
You don’t want it to be like that. You want people to wake up and want to train as hard as they can, but to also have fun and be themselves.
We’re constantly trying to create an environment that will allow for that.
We need our whole bench ready to go in and make an impact at any time.
For an example of that, you can’t look further than players like Rachel Dunn and Fran Williams in the game against Australia.
Nat Haythornthwaite didn’t start in the South Africa game, but she also came on in the Australia game and it was seamless.
That’s exactly what we need. It puts a lot of confidence in the coaches to use their bench. We’re building so that our changes are seamless and have an impact.
Serena Guthrie was talking to BBC Sport’s Becky Grey.
There have been at least 29 homicides in Ontario’s long-term care homes in six years as a result of resident-on-resident incidents and that number may under-report the problem, according to the head of the Ontario Health Coalition.
“We’ve been very concerned because increasingly we’re getting reports in from family members and from workers and health professionals that the violence levels in long-term care homes are intolerable and unacceptable,” said Natalie Mehra, executive director of the OHC, a watchdog for Ontario’s public health care system.
The incidents usually involve at least one patient with dementia, which can manifest as aggression.
The tally came out today as part of a report on long-term care in the province by the OHC, which wants to raise awareness of the issue of violence in long-term care.
The OHC counted the number of deaths deemed homicides by Ontario’s Office of the Chief Coroner in its annual Geriatric and Long Term Care Review Committee reports.
In 2014, the chief coroner called homicides in long-term care an “urgent and persistent issue.”
And there is some evidence the cases deemed homicide by the coroner do not show the full picture, Mehra says.
Keith Wood is not counted in those numbers, yet. He was 79 when he died on Nov. 16, 2016, of blunt force trauma, 12 days after being assaulted by a fellow resident in the hallway of a long-term care home in Mississauga.
“He was a lot of fun and to watch him fade was the hardest thing really, really the hardest thing. That’s why I made sure that I was there for him,” said Madeline Wood. The pair were divorced when Keith Wood went into a nursing home, but she continued to take care of him and had power of attorney on his behalf.
Keith Wood was heading to his room to use the washroom before lunch when the altercation occurred. Madeline Wood says staff heard “a thud” a few minutes later.
“The staff went running and apparently he was lying there.”
A fellow resident was charged with manslaughter and the case is still in front of courts, which may be why Keith Wood’s death doesn’t yet appear.
There might be a delay in referring homicides to the Geriatric and Long Term Care Review Committee “depending on when the court proceedings have concluded,” according to a spokesperson for the coroner’s office.
There are also deaths that are not deemed homicides, but occur very shortly after an incident of resident-on-resident violence.
“We think it’s very likely that the number is higher than the 29 that are reported by the coroner in the last six years,” Mehra said. “And we also know that the violence that does not result in death… is even higher than that.”
According to the most recent provincial data, reports of resident-on-resident abuse more than doubled in just six years, from 1,580 incidents in 2011 to 3,238 in 2016.
There is the case of 84-year-old Meyer Sadoway, reported by CBC Marketplace last year. Sadoway died four days after he was pushed by a fellow resident in his long-term care home in Toronto.
His case was examined by the coroner’s committee, but since he wasn’t X-rayed immediately after the altercation, it was unclear if the push caused the broken hip which landed him in the hospital the next morning. In the end, the death was not labelled a homicide.
Two additional deaths in the 2012 report were possible homicides, but are not included among the three homicides listed by the Geriatric and Long Term Care Review Committee. One woman died of an unwitnessed fall and the report indicated she may have been pushed by another resident.
In the second death, a woman was found on the floor of her room. A fellow resident’s shoes were found in her room and her blood was on his pyjamas. A document after the incident stated the long-term care home believed the other resident may have wandered into the woman’s room and pulled her out of bed.
With less than 80,000 people living in long-term care in the province, the homicide rate is high, said Mehra.
“It’s a level of violence that would be unacceptable anywhere in our society and certainly should not be tolerated for the frail and vulnerable elderly.”
Information about incidents with nursing home residents that result in death is not easy to find.
It’s a “major, chronic barrier for shedding light on risk factors and prevention” of such incidents said Eilon Caspi, a gerontologist and dementia behaviour specialist at the University of Minnesota. Caspi published a study looking into the circumstances of 105 North American nursing home resident incidents that caused death in May 2018.
His study found that, in 62 per cent of the cases, the incidents were not witnessed by long-term care staff. The study identified increased staffing levels and training programs as efforts that could prevent deaths in similar circumstances.
Those are measures also recommended by the OHC.
“We don’t think it’s in the public interest to scare people away from long-term care,” Mehra said. “We think that it’s in the public interest that this has to be exposed so it can be dealt with and fixed.”
Madeline Wood said she thinks things need to change in nursing homes.
“There’s this attitude, at least this was my feeling, there’s this attitude that ‘Oh you’re old, you’ll die.’”
The memory of saying goodbye is still painful more than two years later.
“I whispered into his ear ‘parting is such sweet sorrow. I’ll be here in the morning if you’re still here. If you’re not, I’ll understand.’ I was home about an hour when they called to say he died.
“I think he was still sort of hanging on and hanging on and I think I gave him an out in a sense in saying that.”
The six double-wide trailers were set up off of the main hall in Madison Square Garden, like a series of covered wagons on the western frontier. The arrangement said everything: The people inside this makeshift camp were hunkered down and under duress.
It was the 1980 Democratic Convention, and inside the trailers, top staff to President Jimmy Carter were nervously tracking their support among convention delegates, minute by minute. Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts was trying to take the nomination from Carter in an open convention.
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It was the peak of a brutal fight inside the Democratic Party, one so bruising that the party has been careful to avoid a similar experience ever since. And it is a cautionary tale for Democrats as they head into the 2020 election cycle. Their bench of candidates is deep. Their grassroots energy is strong. But if they tear themselves to pieces like they did in 1980, they could squander their shot at defeating President Donald Trump.
The argument facing Democrats now has echoes of 1980. Kennedy wanted to move the party left. Carter occupied more moderate territory. Much of the 2020 debate boils down to a similar split in the party, between bold progressives like Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren and swing-state centrists like former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Democrats must figure out whether the country is more open to a liberal president than it was in 1980.
The story of the 1980 convention—told here with new details about a near-fistfight on the floor and relying on long forgotten TV footage—is a reminder of what happens when intraparty rivalry becomes so personal that the combatants lose sight of the greater cause of winning the general election.
The Carter forces were able to hold their coalition of delegates together on the convention’s first night to beat back a movement to vote in favor of an open convention. That win ensured Carter the nomination, and Kennedy conceded.
Yet Kennedy’s team was intent on embarrassing Carter on the convention’s second night, when the delegates would vote for a party platform. Kennedy’s camp was pushing to include planks that were a rebuke to the president: a call for a $12 billion stimulus spending program, a measure to fight unemployment and an endorsement of wage and price controls—proposals far to the left of Carter’s.
The vote on the platform would come right after Kennedy was slotted to speak at the convention. The Carter forces knew that the senator’s speech would create an atmosphere highly favorable for Kennedy’s platform proposals to pass and that many of their delegates were already leaning toward voting for them. The delegates had had to say no over and over to Kennedy whips asking them to vote to open the convention the day before, and they were exhausted. They wanted to say yes to something.
Robert Strauss, Carter’s campaign chairman, could not understand why Kennedy insisted on continuing to fight. “If you have any wisdom and judgment at all, you know you don’t get carried away by personalities and pettiness in a political fight,” he told The New Yorker.. “Politics is tough enough . . . that you don’t cut each other’s throats.” But Jody Powell, Carter’s press secretary, thought he knew. “We neglected to take into account one of the most obvious facets of Kennedy’s character, an almost childlike self-centeredness,” he wrote with great bitterness after the election in his score-settling book, The Other Side of the Story.
Before the platform speech, tensions were so high that high-ranking members of the dueling factions almost got into a fistfight. Harold Ickes, who was running the floor operation for Kennedy, used an obscure procedural rule to call a halt to the afternoon floor proceedings. It was nonprime-time programming, but Ickes’ delay would muck up that evening’s televised schedule. It was a gesture done purely out of spite. “We just said, ‘F— ’em.’ This had turned into a real grudge match,” Ickes said in an interview. “I mean, we weren’t thinking about the country. We weren’t even thinking about the general election. It was, ‘F— ’em.’ You know? To be blunt about it.”
Tom Donilon was livid. The Carter aide was responsible for seeing that the 1980 Democratic Convention went off without any major hitches, and he had just been blindsided. The convention had been stopped, for no apparent reason, on the second day, by Kennedy forces. Donilon threw down his headset and stormed toward the stage, where he found a Carter lawyer named Tim Smith grappling with Ickes as they came down the stairs from the stage. “What the f— are you doing? You can’t do this!” Donilon yelled at Ickes. His outrage caused his already ruddy complexion to glow red.
Ickes, then 40, sneered at the younger political operative. “Go f— yourself. I’m shutting this convention down, Tom,” he said. For a few moments, the two men were on the verge of blows. Several minutes went by. The phone on the podium rang. It was Kennedy, calling for Ickes from his room at the Waldorf Astoria. Several Kennedy advisers were also on the phone.
“Harold, I’m watching the convention. What’s going on down there?’“ Kennedy asked Ickes.
“Well, senator, you know they didn’t comply with this rule,” Ickes responded, explaining the technicality he had used to stop the proceedings.
“How long do you expect this convention to be shut down?” Kennedy asked.
“For two hours,” Ickes said.
There was a long pause. Then Kennedy spoke.
“Harold, I think it’s time we got on with the convention.”.
When Kennedy reached the platform later that evening, the mood inside Madison Square Garden was electric. He began with a joke: “Well, things worked out a little different from the way I thought, but let me tell you, I still love New York.” Those in the hall laughed, with a tinge of sadness. In his next breath, he said, “I have come here tonight not to argue as a candidate but to affirm a cause.” It was a subtle but unmistakable distancing of himself from Carter. The cause, he said, was to fight for what Andrew Jackson referred to as “the humble members of society—the farmers, mechanics and laborers.” He went on to attack Republican nominee Ronald Reagan as “no friend of labor . . . no friend of this city and our great urban centers across this nation . . . no friend of the senior citizens of this nation . . . no friend of the environment.”
Kennedy acknowledged and rebuffed the critique that the left’s ideas were stale. “The great adventures which our opponents offer is a voyage into the past. Progress is our heritage, not theirs,” Kennedy said. “The commitment I seek is not to outworn views but to old values that will never wear out. Programs may sometimes become obsolete, but the ideal of fairness always endures.”
Outside of Madison Square Garden, Kennedy’s words were an awkward fit for the political moment. The New York Times editorial page wrote in response to Kennedy’s speech that “a big reason Senator Kennedy did not win is that many people feared his answers to social problems are too liberal, by which they mean, obsolete or too expensive or both.” The editorial argued, “One can regret the turn to conservatism in America; one can rail against it; one can work to reverse it. But through much of his campaign, the Senator pressed on as though it didn’t exist.”
However, the final minutes of Kennedy’s remarks made it one of the most memorable political speeches in modern political history. “There were hard hours on our journey, and often we sailed against the wind,” he said. When he had first used that phrase, almost two years earlier in Memphis, it was a defiant signal that he intended to fight Carter for the nomination. He had been a sailor in a racing vessel, gaining speed, looking at the headwinds and feeling himself ready to take them on.
Even the Carter trailer compound was quiet, in uneasy awe. Carter chief of staff Hamilton Jordan could feel the power of the Kennedy magic working its will on him. “For a long year, Ted Kennedy had been the enemy . . . but it was difficult for me to see him in the convention setting without thinking of his family and its tragedies, of Bobby Kennedy’s emotional appearance at the 1964 convention, when he stood looking sad while Democrats cheered and cried for half an hour,” Jordan wrote in his account of the election.
Now, 16 years later in 1980, another Kennedy stood before a Democratic convention, not the same as his brothers, not their equal, but having shown himself to be unique in a way that many found admirable. “Ted Kennedy’s words triggered open the floodgates of memories: Camelot, magic rhetoric, and the shock of the assassinations,” Jordan wrote.
Kennedy briefly acknowledged Carter’s victory and congratulated him. But there was a caveat in his promise of party unity. It was not an unqualified support of Carter. He said the unification would happen “on the basis of Democratic principles.”
Kennedy’s last words were a eulogy for his campaign. He sought to capture its essence as having upheld something bigger and greater even than politics. He cast himself in defeat as a prophetic figure whose intransigence and bullheadedness were effort to call his brothers and sisters in the party back to their faith, an attempt to redeem and redirect his wayward party and a wayward president.
“And someday, long after this convention, long after the signs come down and the crowds stop cheering, and the bands stop playing, may it be said of our campaign that we kept the faith. May it be said of our party in 1980 that we found our faith again,” he said.
Kennedy’s final words transcended politics and connected with his family’s past. “May it be said of us, both in dark passages and in bright days, in the words of [Alfred, Lord] Tennyson that my brothers quoted and loved, and that have special meaning for me now,” he said, his voice breaking. “‘I am a part of all that I have met. Too much is taken, much abides. That which we are, we are: one equal temper of heroic hearts, strong in will to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.’”
As he quoted from pieces of Tennyson’s poem “Ulysses,” Kennedy evoked the memory and grief of all the losses and tragedies in the Kennedy family and his own life. “Too much is taken” spoke to the death of Joe Jr. in World War II, JFK’s assassination, Bobby’s assassination, his sister Kathleen’s fatal plane crash, his sister Rosemary’s lobotomy, the cancer that cost his son Teddy Jr. his right leg and the plane crash that nearly killed Ted Kennedy himself. “Much abides” spoke to his sense of gratefulness for what he still had left. “That which we are, we are” was a poetic way of stating what was true: He was a blemished human being, and could not change that. And the closing words of the poem spoke to what had been the driving theme of his candidacy—a determination “not to yield.”
Kennedy’s voice peaked as he paid tribute to his family name and the dream of Camelot: something that was too good to be true, a fairy-tale period that lasted only a short time and had its truest essence more in the minds of JFK’s admirers than in reality.
“For me, a few hours ago, this campaign came to an end. For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die,” Kennedy said.
With one more nod to the audience—a wooden, almost formal nod—and a barely audible “Thank you very much,” he turned from the podium. The hall exploded and the delegates’ applause and cheering lasted almost thirty minutes. It was “one of the great emotional outpourings of convention history,” the New York Times editorial page noted.
The vote on the party platform was to come immediately after Kennedy’s speech, and now the Carter forces were disheartened. All the emotion in the hall was now with Kennedy, and he had made clear in his speech that he believed the party needed to come his way on policy. Jordan and Strauss entreated the whips to fight for their version of the platform, but they knew it was a lost cause. And so they accepted two out of Kennedy’s three proposals: the $12 billion stimulus program and a call for a jobs bill.
The deal that the Carter camp had reached with Kennedy’s people ensured that there would be no official protest or complaint. Still, a sitting president had accepted a platform at his own convention that included measures he opposed.
Carter now had to unite the party in his speech on the convention’s final night. He got off to a rough start. As he began, a loud series of firecrackers went off in the crowd less than a hundred feet to his left, set off by a woman named Signe Waller from the Communist Workers Party. The explosions caused the president to flinch and pause his delivery and rattled everyone in the hall. Secret Service agents removed her and another CWP demonstrator.
Carter reinforced his image as a bumbler by making a verbal gaffe when thanking people at the beginning of his speech. “We’re the party . . . of a great man who should have been president, who would have been one of the greatest presidents in history, Hubert Horatio Hornblower!” he shouted. The crowd reacted with confused applause, and Carter reached for the words to pull them back in with a shouted correction: “Humphrey!” He had mistakenly referred to the former vice president, senator and Democratic nominee for president, who had died of cancer in 1978, as the fictional protagonist of C.S. Forester’s popular series of novels.
The rest of the evening foreshadowed the trouble on the horizon for Carter and the Democrats.
Carter finished his speech at 10:19 p.m., and the band struck up “Happy Days Are Here Again” as his wife Rosalynn, and then Vice President Walter Mondale and his wife, Joan, joined the president onstage. But comedic disaster struck almost immediately. The balloons heldon the ceiling became stuck when the mechanism to release them wouldn’t work. Only a trickle of balloons fell to the floor.
“Whoever’s in charge of balloons at this convention had better find themselves a new job,” cracked ABC’s Ted Koppel. Even Carter came in for abuse from some in the crowd. “Forget the hostages, he can’t get the balloons down,” said one person on the floor, according to Dan Rather.
And all of this was nothing to compare to the disastrous handshake that would come to symbolize the split within the Democratic Party, and the question of whether the wrong nominee had been chosen.
As Kennedy made his way to the convention in a motorcade from the Waldorf Astoria, the cheering inside the hall died down. It was quite a contrast to the response for Kennedy’s speech two nights earlier. The delegates had cheered and danced and sung for 30 minutes then. But for Carter, it took less than 10 minutes for things to quiet down.
Carter’s aides scrambled to keep the party going, to avoid the embarrassment of several minutes of quiet prior to Kennedy’s arrival. Strauss began calling political figures up onto the stage to keep the crowd cheering and the TV audience watching. It was ridiculous. He was calling people no one had heard of or cared about. “This convention right now needs” Kennedy Koppel said on ABC News. “This demonstration here has kind of fizzled out.”
Finally, at 10:36 p.m.—nearly twenty minutes after Carter’s speech had ended—Kennedy reached the doorway to the hall and waited for Strauss to call him up. The buzz of his arrival emanated out into the hall. Loud chants of “We want Ted” rose up.
Strauss announced Kennedy’s name, and the hall drowned out all else with its roar. Kennedy walked into the hall “like an engine coming up the ramp,” ABC anchor Sam Donaldson said. He made his way through the crush of bodies around the stage, and up the three or four stairs onto the podium. Carter awaited him at the top. It was almost like he was a state official standing at the bottom of the stairs outside Air Force One, waiting for the president to come down and shake his hand. Kennedy’s mouth was taut, his eyes were dead, and his brow was slightly furrowed.
After Kennedy shook hands with others on the stage—Rosalynn, Amy and Vice President Walter Mondale—Carter made his move. He took a few steps toward center stage in front of the microphone. It was a clear attempt to bring Kennedy with him and to pose for the cameras, the two of them, hands together and aloft: a long-awaited, badly needed moment of victory for Carter.
Kennedy could not, would not do it. He realized what Carter was doing, and stayed where he was, a few paces away from the podium. He waved to the crowd, nodding his head in a rhythmic way in acknowledgment of them. Carter reached the microphone, apparently thinking or hoping that Kennedy was right behind him. He realized that Kennedy had not come with him, and looked over his left shoulder. He turned back, took a step back and to his left, and extended a hand to Kennedy for a handshake, but he did so with his hand almost at shoulder level. It was a clear invitation to take his hand and raise it high.
The announcers expected Kennedy to give the president what he wanted. “There it is, there’s the moment,” Reynolds said. “Let’s see if we—there it is.” Kennedy stepped forward and shook Carter’s hand, but he did not raise it, and his expression remained an almost somber one. His mouth remained closed, he let go of Carter’s hand, and then he raised his hand again to the crowd. “What we are still lacking,” Koppel said, “is that classical political photograph of the two men arm in arm, holding their hands up together.”
Kennedy shook Carter’s hand again, then he moved past him like he was at a rally and the president was just another nobody on the rope line waiting to shake his hand. He shook hands with Joan Mondale and a few other people behind Carter. The president continued applauding, and then turned back to the microphone, standing at the podium alone. He mouthed the words to the song being sung in the hall. He was by himself.
A few minutes later, Carter spotted his wife and Kennedy shaking hands on the stage and sidled over to shake Kennedy’s hand for a fourth time. And then Kennedy walked down the steps, flashing a raised fist to the crowd before descending. The cameras caught him shaking hands with Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton as he made his way away from the stage.
Moments later, Kennedy emerged back on the stage for a curtain call. He shook hands with Carter again, a fifth time, then slipped behind him on the stage while the president clapped with his hands held high. Carter faced forward but kept looking over his shoulder in both directions to see what Kennedy was doing. Kennedy smirked as he nodded toward the crowd. Finally, he made his way off the stage for good. He walked behind the first lady and first daughter, raised his left hand to the crowd, and then saw Carter walking over to stand next to him, still hoping for a moment of unity. The president of the United States was groveling on live TV, in front of the nation, for a photo with the man he had defeated for his own party’s nomination. Roughly 20 million people were watching on live TV. “Well, this is slightly awkward,” NBC’s David Brinkley said.
But Kennedy just chuckled in amusement, patted the still-applauding president on the back, and turned to walk down the stairs. Carter was left pumping his right fist in the air to the crowd as Kennedy exited. It was, reporter Teddy White wrote, “as if he had appeared at the wedding of his chauffeur.”
It was all awkward enough to make the country wonder if Democrats had made the right choice—if the candidate with more centrist cred, but less rock-star appeal, really could take on Reagan. A few months later, they had their answer. It’s possible that Kennedy would have lost to Reagan in the general election, as Carter did. But the Democratic National Convention debacle raised fresh questions for Democrats about whether they had the right alternative to a charismatic former entertainer and Republican candidate like Reagan in 1980.
It’s a question that looks a lot like the one Democrats will try to answer in 2020.