Thursday, Apr. 30, 2009

Edward Kennedy

How do I describe Uncle Teddy? Everyone knows him as the Lion of the Senate, a liberal icon, a warrior for the less fortunate, a fierce advocate for health-care reform, a champion of social justice here and abroad and now even a Knight of the British Empire. But I know him as the rock of his family: a loving husband, father, brother and uncle. He's a man of great faith and character.

His personal story demonstrates that strength is built through struggle and hardship, and he shares that strength with tremendous compassion and empathy. Channeling his own experiences with tragedy and loss, he has personally touched the lives of countless others who have had to confront their own challenges.

Teddy, 77, is a heroic figure not just in the Democratic Party but in American politics in general. That's because he overflows with energy and passion, and he devotes that intense caring to serving people in need and fighting on behalf of their causes. While he and I do not agree on every political issue, I have always admired his ability to work across the political aisle on matters such as immigration, health care, civil rights, education and the environment.

His expertise in politics is extraordinary. I have personally benefited from his experience and advice, as I know countless others have. As a Senator, Teddy has a clear gift for communicating with people and showing true leadership. Through his actions, he proves that public service isn't a hobby or even an occupation, but a way of life.

The new Administration is bringing health care back to the forefront of the domestic agenda, and there is one man I know who will push tirelessly to make quality health care accessible and affordable for all Americans. With Senator Kennedy leading the charge, nothing will stand in the way.

Schwarzenegger is the Republican governor of California and is married to Maria Shriver, the Senator's niece

Fast Fact: In a recent survey by the Hill newspaper, Kennedy's GOP colleagues ranked him No. 1 among Democrats for bipartisanship