Sen. Edward Kennedy (1932-2009)
We lost one of the strongest progressive voices in the senate last night. Sen. Edward Kennedy succumbed to brain cancer at the age of 77. During his 46-years in the senate, Kennedy's name appeared on virtually every major piece of progressive legislation from civil rights to labor to voting rights. Kennedy famously called the quest for universal health care "the passion of my life."
I took this picture at the Democratic National Convention in Denver last year. Everyone was stunned and delighted that Kennedy was well enough to speak. His appeal for healthcare reform conveyed a special sense of urgency. This man was dying but he was still here rallying the troops one last time for reforms he'd probably never live to see. If he was willing to devote his final months to this struggle, what excuse did the rest of us have?
For further thoughts on Kennedy and the prospects for healthcare reform, check the latest edition of The Media Consortium's The Weekly Pulse.