Senator Ted Kennedy had a skill that is obviously missing in the national debate about healthcare reform, and generally missing in our legislatures. He could make a timely deal, could find a useful compromise that broke partisan stalemates on issues important to his constituents.
What does one need to be able to do that?
Credibility, so that your base will follow you to a new position. A thorough understanding of the costs and benefits of each compromise on an issue. And, an open line to partisans on the other sides of issues.
Sen. Kennedy had all these. (I think Sen. Claire McCaskill has the skills and the mindset to do the same thing in Congress.)
Who is most like that in the Missouri General Assembly? The St. Louis Board of Aldermen? The St. Louis County council? On what local issues is a compromise most urgently needed?
Let me know what you think.