A Senator and His Cherished Issues

How can the president lift his sagging poll numbers? By embracing his fallen mentor's mantle: bash Wall Street and re-connect with the middle class.

Carl Mydans, Time Life Pictures / Getty Images

Carl Mydans, Time Life Pictures / Getty Images

Edward M. Kennedy and wife Joan during his campaign for election in the Senate primary. (Photo by Carl Mydans//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

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John Kerry (R) listens to Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy (D-MA) (center), as he speaks to Vietnam War veterans during a demonstration by Vietnam War Veterans Against The War, in May 1971 in Washington, D.C.

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1976: American broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite (R) interviews Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy at the 1976 Democratic National Convention.

AP Photo

U. S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy speaks to U.S. Embassy employees in Moscow on Sept. 8, 1978.

AP Photo

Sen. Edward Kennedy addresses a group of steel workers at a steel mill in Bridgeville, Pa., on Tuesday, April 8, 1980. Kennedy used a newspaper clipping to make the point that the Jimmy Carter administration had "failed" to protect steelworkers' jobs.

Kenneth Lucas / AP Photo

Senator Edward Kennedy Democratic presidential hopeful, gestures during a fundraiser attended by Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne in Chicago on Friday, Feb. 29, 1980. Mayor Jane Byrne has endorsed Kennedy in the upcoming Illinois primary.

David Karp / AP Photo

Sen. Edward Kennedy, center, addresses massive crowds on the streets of Borough Park, March 23, 1980, Brooklyn, New York.

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Ted Kennedy at the Democratic National Convention in New York. August 1980

Paul R. Benoit / AP Photo

Kara Kennedy, second from left, and her brother Edward Kennedy Jr., right, react while Sen. Edward Kennedy waves, after receiving the Democratic Party nomination at the convention, March 22, 1982, Springfield, Mass.

AP Photo

Former Vice President Walter Mondale, left, reacts as he talks with Sen. Edward Kennedy, on Oct. 18, 1982 during dedication ceremonies for Boston's new Floating Hospital for infants and children. The $62 million pediatric facility, part of the New England Medical Center, was named when it was founded in the late 1800s as a shipboard hospital.

Tenenbaum / AP Photo

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy holds his arms up in victory as he appears before supporters Tuesday, Nov. 2, 1982 at his Boston campaign headquarters, after defeating Republican businessman Raymond Shamie. At right is his son, Patrick.

John Duricka / AP Photo

Sen. Edward Kennedy waves to photographers as he leaves the U.S. Capitol after the senate voted to accept the federal gas tax increase, Dec. 23, 1982, Washington, D.C.

Mike Pullen / AP Photo

Democratic presidential candidates wave after being introduced by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, at the Springfield Civic Center, Massachusetts, on April 9, 1983. The candidates wave from left, Sen. John Glenn of Ohio, former Florida Governor Reubin Askew, former Vice President Walter Mondale, Peaty Hollings standing in for her husband Sen. Fritz Hollings of S. Carolina, Kennedy, Sen. Alan Cranston of California, and Sen. Gary Hart of Colorado.

Ron Edmonds / AP Photo

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, right, and his nephew, John Kennedy, son of the late president, embrace after the younger Kennedy introduced his uncle to the Democratic National Convention on July 19, 1988, in Atlanta.

Charles Tasnadi / AP Photo

Sen. Joseph Biden, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, left, and fellow committee member Sen. Edward Kennedy huddle during the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, July 21, 1993, Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.

John Duricka / AP Photo

Sen. Edward Kennedy, chairman of the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, presides over a hearing on health-care reform before the committee June 9, 1994, on Capitol Hill.

Steven Senne / AP Photo

U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, right, clasps hands with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry, after introducing him at a fundraiser in Boston in this April 13, 2004.

Charlie Neibergall / AP Photo

Sen. Ted Kennedy waves from the podium as he speaks to the Democratic National Convention in Boston, July 27, 2004.

Stuart Ramson / AP Photo

Senator Edward M. Kennedy makes an appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, April 20, 2006. Kennedy was promoting his book, America Back on Track.

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP Photo

Sen. Edward Kennedy campaigns for Barack Obama at the Beebe Memorial Cathedral in Oakland, Calif., Feb. 1, 2008.

Chris Greenberg, White House / AP Photo

In this photograph provided by the White House, President George W. Bush signs H.R. 5715 into law Wednesday, May 7, 2008, during a ceremony in the Oval Office. The bill, "Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act of 2008," is designed to provide continued availability of access to the federal student loan program for students and families. Looking on are, from left: Senator Ted Kennedy; Congressman Ruben Hinojosa of Texas; Congressman George Miller of California; Congressman Buck McKeon of California; Senator Mike Enzi, (R-WY); Secretary of Treasury Hank Paulson; Congressman Ric Keller of Florida, and Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings.

Lisa Poole / AP Photo

Sen. Edward Kennedy, his wife Victoria Reggie Kennedy, center, and Profile in Courage award recipient Debra Bowen, California's secretary of state, right, share a laugh during a ceremony on May 12, 2008, at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.

Lauren Victoria Burke / AP Photo

Sen. Edward Kennedy enters the Capitol for the first time after brain surgery July 9, 2008. Walking in front of him is Senate Sergeant at Arms Terrance Gainer.