Opponents unite in praise
BOSTON. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy was a Democrat's Democrat, so much so that he became a rallying point for those in his party and an ob...
BOSTON. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy was a Democrat's Democrat, so much so that he became a rallying point for those in his party and an object of derision for Republican opponents.
Yet his affability and capability to span the partisan divide on an array of legislative matters prompted an outpouring of condolences from those in the GOP as well as the Democratic Party following his death Tuesday at age 77 from brain cancer.
President Barack Obama led the Democrats, saying in a statement: "For 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."
The widow of another president, Ronald Reagan, was one of the first to speak out from the Republican Party. "Given our political differences, people are sometimes surprised by how close Ronnie and I have been to the Kennedy family," Nancy Reagan said in a statement from Los Angeles.
For the governor of her home state, the loss was personal.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose wife, Maria Shriver, was Kennedy's niece, said in a statement: "He was known to the world as the Lion of the Senate, a champion of social justice, and a political icon. Most importantly, he was the rock of our family: a loving husband, father, brother and uncle."