Washington – DNC Chairman Tim Kaine released the following statement on the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy. The Democratic Party will pay tribute to Senator Kennedy at its fall meeting in Austin, Texas next month.
Today we mourn the loss of one the greatest and most consequential political figures in American history with the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy.
Senator Kennedy was adored by millions of Americans and was respected by colleagues on both sides of the aisle for his energy, his passion, his humor, his compassion, his friendship and above all his commitment to serve his country in pursuit of a more common good for every American.
It is not an exaggeration to say that Senator Kennedy devoted his entire adult life - in the great tradition of the Kennedy family - to public service. And, in his forty-six years in the Senate, Senator Kennedy's primary focus - and the legacy he will be most remembered for - will be his work to improve the plight of ordinary Americans, to empower the powerless and to end the scourge of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability and economic background that was all too prevalent in an earlier time.
For his efforts to ensure civil and voting rights for minorities to equal rights for women, Senator Kennedy was a champion. For providing health care to millions of our nation's children to fighting for the cause and rights of workers and organized labor, Senator Kennedy was a hero. For working to improve education and educational opportunities for children and college students to fighting for the security and dignity of older Americans, Senator Kennedy was an icon. And, for his career-long pursuit of quality, affordable health care for every American, a cause he was devoted to until the very end, Senator Kennedy was an inspiration to millions of Americans who are fighting today for that just cause.
In the Senate, he was called the Lion. To the Democratic Party whose values and ideals were embodied in and shaped by this great man, he was a giant. To the American people, he will be remembered as one of the greatest and most accomplished legislators in American history. And to his family he will be remembered as a father, a husband, an uncle, a brother, a grandfather and a friend.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Kennedy family as we mourn the loss and celebrate the extraordinary life of Senator Edward Moore Kennedy.