The First Draft: Kennedy dies of cancer at 77

August 26, 2009

Focus in Washington turned to memories of Edward Kennedy, the third longest serving U.S. OBAMA/senator, who died late Tuesday night after a 15-month battle with brain cancer.

Friends, former colleagues and people who never knew him were offering words of praise for the man who took the helm of one of America’s most fabled political families after two older brothers — President John Kennedy and Senator Robert Kennedy — were assassinated.

“An important chapter in our history has come to an end,” said President Barack Obama. “Our country has lost a great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the greatest United States senator of our time.”

Kennedy was a staunch advocate of healthcare reform — the signature issue of Obama’s presidency. His presence on Capitol Hill, particularly over the past few months during fierce debate over Obama’s costly reform plan, was sorely missed.

Kennedy was also a critical supporter of Obama’s during his presidential candidacy and his unexpected appearance at the Democratic Convention last year energized the crowd even more as he gave a rousing speech in support of change and Obama.

For the second day in a row, Obama is scheduled to interrupt his Martha’s Vineyard vacation to make a statement to the media. This time, it’s expected to be about Kennedy.

For more Reuters political news, click here.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Jason Reed (Kennedy reacts after Obama signs Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act in April)


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

The Histrionics! The exaggeration!
The Kennedy family has had ONE BAD IDEA AFTER ANOTHER. They, more than any other persons, have contributed to the downfall of this country. RIP Ted … but, thank God it’s over! The Kennedy’s are without a doubt, the worst political dynasty EVER in American history and perhaps world history, second only to the Medici corrupting the Bourbon line in France. This family is overrated and therefore their ideas are overrated. They’ve done nothing but poison American politics ever since John was murdered by communists. They are used as fantasy by so many nut jobs on the left. Thank god this last one has passed. Perhaps we can start fixing America instead of tearing it down as this bunch has done for nearly 50 years. Just look what’s happened to our country since the first of this monstrous clan got into politics. America haTs become perhaps the most reviled nation on Earth since JFK first got us into Vietnam.

Posted by mordezlet | Report as abusive

President Obama is deeply indebted to Edward Kennedy for the staunch support he gave despite the fact he was ailing. In fact Kennedy was like the rock of Gibralter in his steadfastness and support towards Obama in the Presidential elections. So it comes as no suprise that President Obama will miss his mentor very dearly. The respect the two had for each other was amazing.

Posted by Pancha Chandra Brussels | Report as abusive

Perfect timing for the sake of the people of the state and the United States.
When John Carrie was nominated as the presidential candidate, the Democrats controlled state government changed the law. Which prevented the Republican Governor an option of appointing replacement as the law was changed to require a special election to prevent the republican governor an opportunity to appoint a Republican to complete Carrie’s term?
The law change was proposed and pushed through by Senator Kennedy (deceased)
Recently Senator Kennedy Proposed a change in the law to prevent a special election to replace himself in case he was unable to complete his term. (Strange how the laws can be changed by the politicians for the politicians as opposed by the people the people) A message to the politicians in the United States “It is a very humbling experience to try to imitate God.” Unknown author as
The law was changed at the command of Ted Kennedy the special election (if not corrupted by the criminals elements in control) will result in a Senator duly elected by the people for the people.

Posted by Robert Iles | Report as abusive

Robert – you hit the nail on the head and the public doesn’t know about this flip flop law. Kennedy pushed it through so the Republican governor couldn’t get his way, then Kennedy wants to flip the law when he knows he is going to die so the dems don’t lose a seat.

General media doesn’t report this behind the scenes hypocrisy that the dems constantly engage in. People don’t know how dirty and power/money hungry they are. Now it has gone too far. Freedom was great, people like Ted slowly contributed to ending it.

Posted by Voiceof Reason | Report as abusive