Kyle Smith writes:
The [anti-busing] protesters were not just Kennedy’s constituency; they were the dead center of it, working-class Irish Catholics who “helped build the Kennedy dynasty . . . Many continued to hang Jack’s picture in their living rooms,” (…)
The crowd jeered Kennedy for about five minutes, then many turned their backs and began singing, “God Bless America.” That was too much for Ted. Without speaking, he walked away.
His decision to flee infuriated the crowd further. He was pelted with tomatoes as “he took refuge in the federal building named after his brother,” (…)
The symbolism was perfect. Here was a man who said he spoke for the people proving himself literally unable to speak to the people. Here was a man who argued that government was the citizens’ shelter, using a government building as a fortress against the hoi polloi. That he literally took cover under his brother’s name was the topper.