Tribute to a “Senator of Senators”: Ted Kennedy

Forty-seven years is a long time to hold a job, especially when people you have never met get to have a regular say in how long you keep that position.

Senator Edward M. Kennedy passed away yesterday, and has left a vacant seat in the Senate chambers and a vacancy in the hearts of millions of supporters around the world.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Kennedy would be mourned in “every continent.”

“He is admired around the world as the senator of senators,” Brown told Britain’s Press Association.

“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.

“I am proud to have counted him as a friend and proud that the United Kingdom recognized his service earlier this year with the award of an honorary knighthood.”

Always passionate for the causes in which he believed, Senator Kennedy stood strong in the midst of numerous family tragedies, giving the citizens of Massachusetts a champion for their state. 

Unless the Massachusetts lawmakers make a change in their state law, no interim replacement for the senator can be made, and a special election would be five months away.  Kennedy himself urged this change last week, so that there would continue to be two voices for the state in the Senate during this crucial legislative season.

If a new law is not immediately forthcoming, the Senate will only have 59 Democrats, one short of the filibuster proof number.  Things could get interesting in the halls of Congress with this slight shift in the balance of power.

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