Kennedy's Legacy & Health Care Reform

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Posted: Aug 26, 2009 12:43 PM
To follow-up on Carol's post below, it's only been about 12 hours since Sen. Kennedy's passing, yet I'm already seeing some disturbing trends pop up around in the media and blogosphere--What does Sen. Kennedy's death mean for the Democrats' health care reform? 

I was hoping the man's death would be mourned and not politicized, but Liberals never cease to surprise me...

---In a statement today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vowed to push through the embattled health care overhaul legislation this year, noting it was "the cause" of Kennedy's life.  "Ted Kennedy's dream of quality health care for all Americans will be made real this year because of his leadership and his inspiration."

---Fellow ailing Senator Roberty Byrd issued a statement earlier this morning, calling for the health care reform legislation to be renamed in Kennedy's honor:
In his honor and as a tribute to his commitment to his ideals, let us stop the shouting and name calling and have a civilized debate on health care reform which I hope, when legislation has been signed into law, will bear his name for his commitment to insuring the health of every American.
---MSNBC's Chris Matthews lamented this morning that in his passing, Kennedy had "turned the ball over to Barack."  Matthews also observed, "Barack is the last [Kennedy] brother."

---In an interview with local press, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick noted that he would support a bill from the legislature which would change the laws regarding appointments to open Senate seats, given the importance of matters currently before the Senate--including health care and climate change in particular.

---ABC's Good Morning America and the Today Show on NBC both took moments this morning to reflect on Kennedy's legacy--specifically, what his endorsement of Barack Obama meant for the 2008 campaign. 

The man had a Senate career for decades, and yet they can't seem to get past the fact he supported Obama?

We'll see how this all spins out in the coming days, but I'm not holding my breath that the sad story of Kennedy's passing won't be used by politicos to push for more support of the President and his health care overhaul.  After all, it's what Teddy would've wanted.

PS--The #1 Internet search today on Google Trends: Mary Jo Kopechne.  In fact, 4 of the top 10 searches are related to the Chappaquiddick incident.  This isn't quite the narrative the media is telling today.