In 1980, Massachusetts senator Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy announces he will seek the Democratic presidential nomination.
Reaction is divided. Many liberals welcome Kennedy's entry into the race. With the Tehran embassy still occupied by Iranian militants, Kennedy's supporters are quick to point out that he had opposed the Rockefeller administration's decision to allow the exiled Shah of Iran to come to the U.S. for medical treatment, which is widely seen as having precipitated the embassy siege.
Conservatives, however, respond with a mixture of anger and contempt, accusing Sen. Kennedy of 'feeling entitled' to the presidency. Moreover, the subject of the Chappaquiddick incident of 1969, in which Kennedy was involved in a car accident in which a woman died, is immediately raised.