- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The passing of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy has brought an outpouring of condolences from political leaders of every party and around the world.

“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,” President Barack Obama, a fellow Democrat, said early Wednesday morning.

Speaking later from Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., where Mr. Obama is on a family vacation, he said Mr. Kennedy made America “more just, more equal.”

“His extraordinary life has come to an end,” said Mr. Obama, whose received a key endorsement from Mr. Kennedy during the 2008 presidential elections. “The extraordinary work he did lives on.”

Mr. Kennedy died Tuesday from brain cancer. He was 77.

The condolences highlight the passion Mr. Kennedy had for his political causes and his ability to work with Republicans.

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My friend, Ted Kennedy, was famous before he was accomplished,” said Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican and 2008 presidential candidate. “But by the end of his life he had become irreplaceable in the institution he loved and in the affections of its members. He grew up in the long shadow of his brothers, but found a way to be useful to his country in ways that will outlast their accomplishments. Many of his fellow senators, Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, will note today that Ted was sincerely intent on finding enough common ground among us to make progress on the issues of our day. … I will miss him very much.

Former President George H. W. Bush said he didn’t see eye to eye with Mr. Kennedy on many political issues through the years but he always respected his steadfast public service.

“Ted Kennedy was a seminal figure in the U.S. 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,” said Mr. Bush, a Republican.

In Britain and Ireland, Mr. Kennedy was remembered for his involvement in the long process that led to Northern Ireland’s 1998 Good Friday peace accord.

“Even facing illness and death he never stopped fighting for the causes which were his life’s work,” said British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. “He led the world in championing children’s education and health care and believed that every single child should have the chance to realize their potential to the full.”

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