Tragedy knows no political persuasion. Tragedy overcomes the differences that define political campaigns.
Today, Minnesotans and many other Americans mourn the loss of one of the U.S. Senate's most passionate, most colorful liberals. ...
An unapologetic liberal, Wellstone was one of a handful of senators willing to adhere without compromise to his principles. On most basic issues, he was about as far to the left of center as one can get. He applied his liberal philosophy to his work in the Senate, often losing the battle, but never abandoning the war.
Even among those who disliked his politics, he was admired for his honesty, forthrightness and oratorical skills. His speeches on the Senate floor often were pure liberal dogma, but always delivered with the passion and conviction that won hearts and minds among Minnesotans. ...
Wellstone's Senate record is distinguished by his work for people in need: homeless veterans, special education students, health insurance for the mentally ill, to name a few of his successes.
But now is not the time to review his record of success or failure. This is not the time to speculate about what happens to the Minnesota's U.S. Senate race.
It's a sad time for Minnesota, the U.S. Senate and the nation. A principled, dedicated public servant has died tragically. He'll be missed, not only for his intelligence and wit, but also for his unflagging commitment to his political beliefs.
-- Fargo Forum
There are 100 senators in the U.S. Senate. There was only one Paul Wellstone.
For passion, unremitting commitment to a fair shake for the little guy, real compassion for society's most vulnerable men, women and children, he had few equals in today's Congress.
From the small gesture -- putting his arm around a mother with four young boys who had left a situation of domestic violence -- to the big battle -- insisting that government track the results of people leaving public assistance -- Wellstone cared about individuals.
That is what American democracy at its best is about. ...
More than any other statewide political leader today, he believed in old-fashioned, face-to-face grass-roots politics. In 1989 and 1990, people said he didn't have a chance. But he was a fiery speaker and talked to people one-on-one in cafes, schools, hospitals, child-care centers, senior centers, union halls, veterans halls and small businesses. He kindled enthusiasm in people that could not be quantified in an opinion poll.
He believed it is individuals who breathe life into politics and government -- and that was as true for the national government as for precinct caucuses. He often said that the future "will not belong to those who are cynical or those who stand on the sidelines. The future will belong to those who have passion and are willing to work hard to make our country better." ...
--Duluth News Tribune
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