Senate Leaders React to Kennedy’s Death

Posted August 26, 2009 at 11:28am

“It was the thrill of my lifetime to work with Ted Kennedy. He was a friend, the model of public service and an American icon. … Ted Kennedy’s America was one in which all could pursue justice, enjoy equality and know freedom. Ted Kennedy’s life was driven by his love of a family that loved him, and his belief in a country that believed in him. Ted Kennedy’s dream was the one for which the founding fathers fought and his brothers sought to realize. The liberal lion’s mighty roar may now fall silent, but his dream shall never die.—— Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)

“No one could have known the man without admiring the passion and vigor he poured into a truly momentous life.—— Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

“We all waited expectantly during Ted’s struggle with cancer for the Senate doors to swing wide and that great Irish spirit to once again return. His voice roared as he battled for the poor and the victims of injustice yet he had a smile that could light a room, a laugh that would draw a crowd and a heart always ready to share your sorrow. America was blessed to have the gift of Ted Kennedy and I was blessed to count him as a friend.—— Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)

“Ted Kennedy was at once the most partisan and the most constructive United States Senator. He could preach the party line as well as bridge differences better than any Democrat. I will especially miss his cheery disposition and his devotion to United States history of which he was such a consequential part.—— Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (Tenn.)

“Ted Kennedy was a mentor, a guiding light, and a close friend — we all loved the man. In the Senate, Ted Kennedy was our sun — the center of our universe. To be pulled by his strong gravitational field, to bask in his warmth was a privilege, an honor, and, for many of us, even a life changing experience. His death leaves our world dark but, as he said in his own words, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.’ Ted, we will not let your flag fall.—— Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.)

“Today, millions of our nation’s Latinos are mourning the loss of one of their greatest champions. Senator Kennedy will always have a place of honor in the Latino community as someone who stood up and fought for the rights of immigrants and the issues that affected the community at a time when few others would. From farm worker legislation to voting rights and civil rights that impacted the Latino community, we saw the strength of Senator Kennedy’s beliefs. For this, Latinos across the country will always remember him.—— Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (N.J.)

“Ted’s passion and dedication were without parallel. His dogged determination, an inspiration. When he decided to take on an issue, he didn’t hold anything back. No Senator was better prepared than he was.—— National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas)