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US media react to Kennedy's death

The media in the United States have been reacting to the news that veteran Senator Edward Kennedy has died at the age of 77 after a long battle with a brain tumour.

Here is a selection of their comments.

JOHN M BRODER, NEW YORK TIMES

Born to one of the wealthiest American families, Mr Kennedy spoke for the downtrodden in his public life while living the heedless private life of a playboy and a rake for many of his years ... A man of unbridled appetites at times, he nevertheless brought a discipline to his public work that resulted in an impressive catalogue of legislative achievement across a broad landscape of social policy

ANDREA BILLUPS, WASHINGTON TIMES

Mr Kennedy was hailed as "a natural heir to a legacy," an "indispensable patriarch," a surrogate dad to a litany of fatherless Kennedy children and for those who knew him, a "rock" on which his clan leaned - even as it was diminished by notoriety and heartache.

Some now argue that living up to the Camelot myth was a too-heavy burden, even for a man accustomed to repeated loss.

SUSAN MILLIGAN, BOSTON GLOBE

Edward Kennedy's legacy in the Senate reads like a response to the inscription on the Statue of Liberty: "Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.''

Kennedy spent most of five decades on Capitol Hill trying to fulfil the promises inherent in that invitation, seeing it as government's responsibility to give aid to the disadvantaged

RICH SIMON AND CLAUDIA LUTHER, CHICAGO TRIBUNE

As the standard-bearer for the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, the square-jawed "Ted" or "Teddy" Kennedy believed in government's ability to help solve people's problems, and over the decades he learned how to wield power in the Senate to move the government in that direction.

He found numerous ways to work with Republican administrations and senators to fashion significant legislation on issues he cared deeply about.

DAN BALZ, WASHINGTON POST

As much as he was the liberal's liberal, he was the legislator's legislator, a man willing and able to work across party lines, a politician of deep conviction who knew how and when to cut a deal, who believed in the end that the role of a politician was to make progress, if not all at once then step by step.

KATHY KEILY, USA TODAY

The bipartisan outpouring of praise and fond memories vividly illustrated Kennedy's ability to build bridges across political divides.

MARC AMBINDER, DAILY DISH

Kennedy will be remembered everywhere as the "liberal lion," and he remained polarising to many on the right - check your Twitter feed if you've got doubts - but that appellation doesn't do justice to his final incarnation: so committed was he to principles that he was unafraid to hand political victories to Republican presidents on immigration and education.

The later Kennedy was a liberal, but his legislative mien resisted definition.

DAVID ROGERS, POLITICO

His very early experiences - as the youngest son listening to his father plot his brother John Kennedy's Senate bid in the '50s or years later, coming to the Senate himself as a newcomer at a time of huge change in the '60s - never left him.

And this taught him, like a sports fan at a football game, to watch the whole field, not just the player with the ball...But in time, Kennedy discovered himself in the Senate, just as the Senate discovered more in him.



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