The fight for health care reform is a generation-defining struggle that must not waver, even with the loss of a great champion. I pledge to do my part and only hope that we can forge the next coalition to finally reach the shore.
Ted Kennedy was the classic American success story who, though sorely tested by adversity and plagued by his own moral shortcomings, found a way to overcome his personal flaws and pain to achieve extraordinary things.
It's not primarily Senator Kennedy's words that make him one of the great defenders of modern liberalism. His life itself is living proof of the central liberal idea that government can help make people's lives better.
Ted Kennedy's legacy will live on through the millions of friends he made and nurtured over the years, both in and out of politics, both in and out of the United States, and among all races, religions and nationalities.
We should be inspired to honor and fight for the cause of Senator Kennedy's life. The Senate's fighting liberal would not place the fate of affordable health insurance back in the hands of the private sector.
He was a terrific campaigner, as I witnessed first hand in several campaigns, including my own father's campaign for Congress in Connecticut in 1972, when Ted made a special point of speaking on my father's behalf to an enthusiastic audience of shipworkers in Norwich.