Lionizing the Lion: tributes to Kennedy
Tributes to Senator Edward Kennedy are pouring in after the 77-year-old pillar of the Democratic Party lost his battle with brain cancer. A schedule of events to remember the “Lion” of the Senate will be posted on www.tedkennedy.org as arrangements are finalized.
Here are some of the tributes and lessons learned from Kennedy’s statesmanship.
Crossing party lines: “The Kennedy name is synonymous with the Democratic Party. And at times, Ted was the target of partisan campaign attacks. But in the United States Senate, I can think of no one who engendered greater respect or affection from members of both sides of the aisle,” President Barack Obama said. “He could passionately battle others and do so peerlessly on the Senate floor for the cause that he held dear, and yet still maintain warm friendships across party lines.”
Staying idealistic: “He and I were talking after his diagnosis. And I said, I think you’re the only other person I’ve met, who like me, is more optimistic, more enthusiastic, more idealistic, sees greater possibilities after 36 years than when we were elected. He was 30 years-old when he was elected; I was 29 years-old,” Vice President Joe Biden said of his former Senate colleague.
Inspiring others: “Every day I look at the portrait of his brother Robert that hangs in my office and I am reminded that the Kennedy family has shown to America, through its actions, the importance of fighting for what is right even in the face of difficult odds,” Attorney General Eric Holder said. “I would not be in the office I now hold were it not for their contributions and commitment to our nation.”
Keeping promises: “Many will recall his convivial nature, his humor, his thoughtfulness. We will praise as his greatest strength the integrity of his word. When he made a promise to you, he kept it, no matter what,” Republican Senator John McCain said.
Photo credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (flag over U.S. Capitol flies at half staff for Kennedy)