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Big Thinkers Remember Ted Kennedy

In the wake of Ted Kennedy’s passing, leaders from all walks of life and on both sides of the partisan divide have paid their respects to him.  Many of Big Think’s favorite experts have weighed in over the past two days on Kennedy’s passion, kindness, and influence, a selection of whom we’re anthologizing here. 

Arianna Huffington, who visited Big Think recently, praised him on the Huffington Post for “forc[ing] us to question how we, as a nation, were treating the poor, the forgotten, the working families struggling to make ends meet…”

John McCain, a longtime colleague of Kennedy’s, visited Big Think on the campaign trail.  He honored Kennedy’s passion and advocacy, but was steadfast when asked if Kennedy’s passing would cause him to reconsider his opposition to health care reform.  McCain’s opposition to government-run health care has been strong since he told Big Think during the election that Hillary Clinton’s most dangerous idea was her belief in “government mandates that all Americans are required to have health insurance”.

Economist Paul Krugman, a Big Think regular, left a short, personal notice about Kennedy comparing his reputation before and after his illness.  Of course, Krugman’s ideas about health care hew closer to Kennedy’s than McCain’s.

Mitt Romney, who is already rumored to be a candidate to take Kennedy’s vacant senate seat, paid tribute to Ted as a friend and a “big-hearted, unforgettable man”.  During his Big Think interview, Romney talked about his concerns that those in Washington care more about power than results. 

Former JFK adviser Ted Sorensen eulogized his longtime friend for the Huffington Post.  He talked to Big Think in 2008 about the value of Ted Kennedy’s endorsement

House speaker Nancy Pelosi, who spoke to Big Think in 2008, called for Ted Kennedy’s passing to motivate the Congress to finally pass health care reform. 

Big Thinker John Legend and other pop culture icons paid tribute to Kennedy over Twitter.  Legend wrote “RIP Teddy Kennedy. Sad.”


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