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. His seriousness of purpose was perpetually matched by humility, warmth, and good cheer. He could passionately battle others and do so peerlessly on the Senate floor for the causes that he held dear, and yet still maintain warm friendships across party lines.I don't doubt that Senator Kennedy deserves such deep feelings in commemoration. What's interesting to me is how the death of Kennedy, whose influence in American politics has long been overrated, is now going to drive a sympathy-push for the passage of healthcare legislation Americans have already repudiated.
And that's one reason he became not only one of the greatest senators of our time, but one of the most accomplished Americans ever to serve our democracy.
His extraordinary life on this earth has come to an end. And the extraordinary good that he did lives on. For his family, he was a guardian. For America, he was the defender of a dream.
See WSJ, "Kennedy’s Death Spurs Calls to Pass Health Legislation" (via Memeorandum).
Also, Ed Morrissey, "Videos: Chris Matthews, Not Politicizing Kennedy’s Death."