The "Lion of the Senate" has passed
Sen. Ted Kennedy died shortly before midnight Tuesday at his home in Hyannis Port, Mass., at age 77.
The man known as the “liberal lion of the Senate” had fought a more than year-long battle with brain cancer, and according to his son had lived longer with the disease than his doctors expected him to…
..A hardworking, well-liked politician who became the standard-bearer of his brothers’ liberal causes, his career was clouded by allegations of personal immorality and accusations that his family’s clout helped him avoid the consequences of an accident that left a young woman dead.
But for the younger members of the Kennedy clan, from his own three children to those of his brothers JFK and RFK, Ted Kennedy — once seen as the youngest and least talented in a family of glamorous overachievers — was both a surrogate father and the center of the family.
And certainly it was Ted Kennedy who bore many of the tragedies of the family — the violent deaths of four of his siblings, his son’s battle with cancer, and the death of his nephew John F. Kennedy Jr. in a plane crash.
R.I.P. Senator Kennedy.
UPDATE: That didn't take long at all. The Democrats are calling for the immediate passage of the "Senator Edward M. Kennedy Health Care Reform Bill." No, I'm not kidding:
" it’s time to come back after Labor Day with a single coherent Senator Edward M. Kennedy Health Care Reform Bill, and to twist whatever arms, ears, or other parts are necessary to get a good strong comprehensive bill passed and signed, NOW. We owe the memory of a great man no less."
HT to Glenn Reynolds. And there's also news swirling of a possible follow-up to the Wellstone Memorial and campaign rally. HT to JWF for that and this from the New York Times:
While Massachusetts voters would likely vote in another Democratic senator, any delays caused by a special election could hinder efforts by the party to corral the 60 votes needed in the United States Senate to move health care legislation forward.
But the effort to find a quick replacement for Mr. Kennedy may prove complicated. In the week before his death, reaction to his request on Beacon Hill ranged from muted to hostile. The state’s Democrats found themselves in the awkward position of being asked to reverse their own 2004 initiative calling for special elections in such instances.
For the record, the law wasn't changed in time for his death, so welcome to special election central, Democrats. And isn't it sickening that these people can't even take a moment to reflect on the passing of their friend and colleague before putting their agenda first. Despite our dislike of the president, at least Barry didn't focus on his agenda with his statement on the passing of Senator Kennedy early this morning. He stuck to the subject, extended his condolences, and kept the statement brief.
Liberals should take a page from the president, remember their friend, and leave the agenda until tomorrow.