In 1969, after four days of intense medical treatment for a barely reported vehicular incident on Chappaquiddick Island, Senator Edward M. Kennedy made a low-key public appearance in a neckbrace. An installment of our variation of Eric Lipp's No Chappaquiddick thread where JFK survives Dallas.
Crashing out after the PartyThe circumstances of the accident itself was unremarkable. Following a reception for aides of his late brother Robert, he had driven an unnamed young campaign worker to the Edgartown ferry but had lost control of his Oldsmobile on Dike Road. The car rolled over into Poucha Pond but fortunately both the driver and the passenger managed to escape.
Still grieving for his elder brother, Kennedy had been distracted during the party. His thoughts had already begun to turn towards his own run for the Presidency. And a challenge to George Romney, who had only entered the White House just six months before.
Romney had benefited immensely from the strong backing of fellow Republican governor (and former Vice President) Richard Nixon . But of course the main reason for his victory was the self-destruction of the Democrat Party during the campaign. He wouldn't be so lucky a second time, crashing to defeat in 1972 at the hands of a resurgent, unified Democrat Party led by Edward M. Kennedy. But behind the winning smile, Kennedy was in huge discomfort, having suffered a serious lower back injury at the Chappaquiddick incident which had aggravated a condition he developed after a plane crash in 1964. His mobility was seriously restricted, and the inevitable result was a lacklustre pursuit of overseas travel that would hamper his foreign policy goals.