In 1990, when liberal journalists still had some sense of obligation to the truth, Michael Kelly wrote the following for GQ:
As [Carla] Gaviglio enters the room, the six-foot-two, 225-plus-pound [Sen. Ted] Kennedy grabs the five-foot-three, 103-pound waitress and throws her on the table. She lands on her back, scattering crystal, plates and cutlery and the lit candles. Several glasses and a crystal candlestick are broken. Kennedy then picks her up from the table and throws her on [Sen. Chris] Dodd, who is sprawled in a chair. With Gaviglio on Dodd’s lap, Kennedy jumps on top and begins rubbing his genital area against hers, supporting his weight on the arms of the chair. As he is doing this, Loh enters the room. She and Gaviglio both scream, drawing one or two dishwashers. Startled, Kennedy leaps up. He laughs. Bruised, shaken and angry over what she considered a sexual assault, Gaviglio runs from the room.
The incident above took place in 1985 at the restaurant La Brasserie in Washington, D.C., where Loh and Gavigilio both worked as waitresses. Everyone in Washington knew about it, including Sen. Claire McCaskill. Here is what McCaskill had to say about Kennedy’s behavior upon his death in 2009:
This man was so much more than his image. While his vision soared, the power of his personality and the magnet of his intellect drew his colleagues to the table of compromise. It was there he did his best work. His love for the little guy and his affection for the underdog influenced everything he did. And importantly, his sense of humor and contagious laughter made him real and approachable in spite of his power and privilege.
Although more than enough to kill a Republican’s career, the infamous “waitress sandwich” barely made Kennedy’s highlight reel. For sheer moral squalor, it was hard to top Chappaquiddick. This 1969 incident is well enough known; in brief, Kennedy hosted a drunken party at an isolated beach house whose guests included exactly six married men and six single women.