There's an interesting moment in tonight's HBO2 documentary, "The Senators' Bargain,'' which follows Senator Edward M. Kennedy as he struggles to pass immigration reform.
Kennedy is talking with a group of immigration advocates the morning after a debate among Republican presidential candidates. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, whom Kennedy defeated in a hotly contested Senate race in 1994, had taken a hard line on immigration during the debate.
"Romney, God,'' Kennedy says, shaking his head. "You know, he was a big supporter of that kind of thing...'', apparently suggesting that Romney had changed his position on at least one particular of immigration reform. Then Kennedy takes a shot at what he clearly see as Romney's political expedience during the primary season, saying: "Everybody sort of grovels a little bit, but not as much as that guy.''
One of the participants, speaking of Romney, offers a wisecrack: "We hope he continues the tradition of failed Massachusetts presidential candidates.''
Everyone laughs. Kennedy, of course, famously flopped during his 1980 run for president. "That's very nice,'' Kennedy replies good-naturedly. "A nice memory to bring back.''
You can read a review of "The Senators' Bargain" here.