The Senate chamber was filled with audible gasps last Tuesday when Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the pro-choice champion, clearly voted "yes" on final passage of the bill to ban partial-birth abortion.Who would have thought that the old ladykiller had it in him? Maybe he has a soul after all. After all, when I think of Ted Kennedy, I think of a soul - I just don't pronounce it that way.
It was a mistake, however, and Kennedy changed his vote to "no" a few minutes later.
This marked the second time in a week that Kennedy, widely considered the most powerful member of the Senate, became confused on an important vote. He mistakenly voted with President Bush in opposing a Democratic-backed amendment to require partial Iraqi repayment of U.S. reconstruction aid. On that occasion, Senate Democratic Leader Thomas Daschle conferred with Kennedy and prompted him to change his vote.