Obama: Kennedy a 'Kind and Tender Hero'

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2009 11:54 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Obama paid homage to the "greatest legislator of our time" today in his eulogy of Ted Kennedy—"the baby of the family who became its patriarch, the restless dreamer who became its rock." He ticked off the personal and public tragedies of Kennedy's life, "a string of events that would have broken a lesser man," CBS reports. "But that was not Ted Kennedy."

Obama called him a "veritable force of nature" in the Senate, listing his accomplishments in everything from civil rights to immigration to health care. His work has a common thread, said Obama. "Not to champion the causes of those with wealth" but to give voice to the less fortunate. He lived up to expectations as "the heir to a weighty legacy" to became "a kind and tender hero" and the "soul of the Democratic party."