Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Edward Kennedy: 1932 - 2009
I know its a little late but I wanted to add my personal eulogy on Sen. Edward Kennedy's passing this past week. Despite any political differences I had with the man, he sat in the U.S. Senate for 47 years and had a passion for securing justice for the working class people of America...a passion I share.
I have to echo what my friend Bob said when he mentioned he wouldn't have voted for him, but I think I could have been his friend. He was a diplomat who was known for his ability to make relationships and form bonds even with political rivals.
And here lies one of the problems with politics today. Gone are the days it seems when we could argue together during the day and drink together during the evening.
When I was at the University of Colorado, my Public Affairs school hosted a talk with former Senator Alan Simpson and Congresswoman Patricia Schroder. When asked what was different in the legislative halls from when they were there they responded that the partisanship had gotten more personal. They remarked how President Reagan and House speaker Tip O'Neil would be political foes during the day but afterwards they were both Irishmen who enjoyed beer and each other's company.
Senator Kennedy seemed to enjoy people across the aisle from himself. The testimony and eulogies from his political foes following his death demonstrate he was a man of respect who overcame many obstacles to become one of America's greatest legislators.
So, farewell Senator Kennedy! You'll be missed.