A sampling of reactions to the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy, who died Tuesday night at age 77:
Harry Reid, Senate majority leader: “Because of Ted Kennedy, more young children could afford to become healthy. More young adults could afford to become students. More of our oldest citizens and our poorest citizens could get the care they need to live longer, fuller lives. More minorities, women and immigrants could realize the rights our founding documents promised them. And more Americans could be proud of their country. Ted Kennedy’s dream was the one for which the founding fathers fought and for which his brothers sought to realize. The liberal lion’s mighty roar may now fall silent, but his dream shall never die.” Nancy Reagan, former first lady: “Given our political differences, people are sometimes surprised by how close Ronnie and I have been to the Kennedy family. In recent years, Ted and I found our common ground in stem cell research, and I considered him an ally and a dear friend. I will miss him.” Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah): “Today America lost a great elder statesman, a committed public servant, and leader of the Senate. And today I lost a treasured friend. “Ted Kennedy was an iconic, larger than life United States senator whose influence cannot be overstated. Many have come before, and many will come after, but Ted Kennedy’s name will always be remembered as someone who lived and breathed the United States Senate and the work completed within its chamber.” Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker: “Today, with the passing of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the American people have lost a great patriot, and the Kennedy family has lost a beloved patriarch. Over a lifetime of leadership, Senator Kennedy’s statesmanship and political prowess produced a wealth of accomplishment that has improved opportunity for every American.”
Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy dead at 77
“Senator Kennedy had a grand vision for America, and an unparalleled ability to effect change. Rooted in his deep patriotism, his abiding faith, and his deep concern for the least among us, no one has done more than Senator Kennedy to educate our children, care for our seniors, and ensure equality for all Americans.” California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (married to Kennedy’s niece Maria Shriver): “Maria and I are immensely saddened by the passing of Uncle Teddy. 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. He was a man of great faith and character.” Former President George H.W. Bush: Barbara and I were deeply saddened to learn Ted Kennedy lost his valiant battle with cancer. While we didn’t see eye-to-eye on many political issues through the years, I always respected his steadfast public service so much so, in fact, that I invited him to my library in 2003 to receive the Bush Award for Excellence in Public Service. Ted Kennedy was a seminal figure in the United States Senate a leader who answered the call to duty for some 47 years, and whose death closes a remarkable chapter in that body’s history. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair: Senator Kennedy was a figure who inspired admiration, respect and devotion, not just in America but around the world. He was a true public servant committed to the values of fairness, justice and opportunity. “I saw his focus and determination first hand in Northern Ireland where his passionate commitment was matched with a practical understanding of what needed to be done to bring about peace and to sustain it. I was delighted he could join us in Belfast the day devolved government was restored. My thoughts and prayers today are with all his family and friends as they reflect on the loss of a great and good man.