I don't know that I've ever written a news item post before a Griper Blade post before. But this days seems to call for it.
[New York Times:]
Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, a son of one of the most storied families in American politics, a man who knew triumph and tragedy in near-equal measure and who will be remembered as one of the most effective lawmakers in the history of the Senate, died late Tuesday night. He was 77.
The death of Mr. Kennedy, who had been battling brain cancer, was announced Wednesday morning in a statement by the Kennedy family, which was already mourning the death of the senator’s sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver two weeks earlier.
“Edward M. Kennedy – the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply – died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port,” the statement said. “We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever.”
President Obama issued a statement acknowledging Mr. Kennedy’s accomplishments. “An important chapter in our history has come to an end,” the statement said. “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.”
NYT has a good, long write-up by John Broder that's definitely worth the read. Kennedy once called fixing our broken healthcare system "the cause of my life" and now he's gone without seeing it happen.
Ted Kennedy was a man of consequence. He was the product of tragedy and scandal. But throughout his long career of public service, there's much more to celebrate than to condemn. In the end, I guess that's probably the definition of a successful life.
RIP Senator Edward Kennedy, brother of John and Robert, dead of brain cancer at the age of 77.