I am sad about the Papa Liberal's death. I've read and heard a lot of things about Senator Kennedy this week that I had not known. I didn't know how hard he fought for medicare, or to stop back alley abortions, or for people with disabilities to be treated with dignity, or for civil rights.
Jim Wallis (Left wing Christian): "Ted Kennedy showed you can have passionate and clear political commitments (nobody had stronger ones than he did) and, yet, still reach out to others with very different political views on the basis of shared moral values, love of country, and commitment to the common good.
"We desperately need to heed his voice now: "I hope for an America where we can all contend freely and vigorously, but where we will treasure and guard those standards of civility which alone make this nation safe for both democracy and diversity." His hope should be our goal today."
President Obama: "For nearly five decades, virtually every major piece of legislation to advance the civil rights, health and economic well-being of the American people bore his name and resulted from his efforts.
"His ideas and ideals are stamped on scores of laws and reflected in millions of lives -- in seniors who know new dignity; in families that know new opportunity; in children who know education's promise; and in all who can pursue their dream in an America that is more equal and more just, including me.
"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 battled passionately on the Senate floor for the causes that he held dear, and yet still maintained warm friendships across party lines. 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."