Paul Anka on the “Vile” Ted Kennedy


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© Jack Cashill - May 5, 2013

In his spicy, seemingly-unedited new autobiography, My Way, Canadian-born entertainer Paul Anka tells of his many encounters with America’s rich and famous over the course of his eventful 55-year career. He has a good word to say about most of them, gangsters included, but not all. Johnny Carson was a mean drunk. Jerry Lee Lewis was a nasty redneck. Michael Jackson, don’t get him started.

And then, in a class by himself, was Ted Kennedy. Anka shows no interest in politics and little knowledge of the same. He may not have known how he undermined the “Republican War on Women” narrative when he discussed his dinner with Ted, date unspecified.

He, his wife Anne, Frank Sinatra and a few others were at La Grenouille, a high-end French restaurant. “Teddy gets plastered,” writes Anka. “He’s a terrible drunk. He was notorious. His dialogue was getting filthier and more obnoxious with gutter talk.” Anka gives some examples of “this vile stuff.” He was not exaggerating.

He and Anne were sitting on opposite ends of the table. “All of a sudden,” he writes, “I see this look on her face.” When Anka inquires about what is bothering her, Anne answers, “We go now. Please!” Once outside, he asks what happened. “She’d only say she’d been exposed to things she’d never been exposed to in her life,” courtesy, of course, of Senator Kennedy.

On the plus side, Anne survived the encounter.

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