The Washington Post calls Senator Edward Kennedy Congress's best dealmaker and boldest liberal. Kennedy's ability to cross the aisle and broker deals brought about the first Campaign Finance legistlation; Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the State Children's Health Insurance Program and many health care initiatives. He backed Title IX, which brought about equal funding for men's and women's athletic programs in colleges. He has been a driving force behind minimum wage increases. And for every program he's pushed through, he's often had a Republican beside him.
As much as I dislike Senator John McCain, I agree with his assessment of Kennedy: "I have held that view because he remains the single most effective member of the Senate if you want to get results."
Will Kennedy continue in the Senate while he is treated for malignant glioma? Selfishly, I hope he does. We need his voice. He's the second longest-serving Senator in office right now, not up for election until 2010. He's a fighter. We need him. On the other hand, he's facing an agressive treatment with a poor prognosis. He deserves some peace.
Although I met him once, briefly, when he was a brand new Senator - I shook his hand - I feel that Senator Kennedy is part of my family. Like so many others, I feel heartbroken at his diagnosis. Keep him in your heart.