Kemp Changed GOP Forever

By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2009 1:03 PM CDT
In this Sunday, Nov. 3, 1996 picture, Jack Kemp talks to the congregation at Templo Calvario church in Santa Ana, Calif. Kemp died Saturday, May 2, 2009.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)
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(Newser) – For Adam Clymer, writing in the New York Times, Jack Kemp won’t be remembered as just a Bills star and Buffalo congressman. He’ll be remembered as the player who boycotted a New Orleans game to protest segregation, and the politician who “moved the Republican Party to a commitment to tax cuts as the central focus of economic policy.” He was, in Sen. Joe Lieberman’s words, “an American original.”

President Barack Obama also mourns Kemp as a man who understood “that bitter divisiveness between race and class and station only stood in the way.” Former President George W. Bush remembers Kemp for “his steadfast dedication to conservative principles,” while RNC chair Michael Steele laments the passing of “a dear friend and mentor.” The Buffalo News writes that Kemp “will be remembered as the GOP’s strongest voice for greater inclusion of minorities.”