Paul Wellstone remembered

Sen. Paul Wellstone (D), who died Friday in an airplane crash in his home state of Minnesota, was known for his commitment to liberal principle – often finding himself on the short end of a 99-to-1 Senate vote. That commitment and his good-guy qualities endeared him to political friend and foe.

"Paul truly had the courage of his convictions and his convictions were based on the principles of hope and compassion, the good Samaritan helping those left on the roadside of life. He didn't just talk about political courage or about standing for what you believe in against all odds, he led by example.
– Sen. Tom Harkin (D) of Iowa

"Paul Wellstone was a man of deep conviction. He was a plain-spoken fellow who did his best for his state and for his country. May the good Lord bless those who grieve."
– President Bush

"Today, the nation lost its most passionate advocate for fairness and justice for all."
– Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D) of Massachusetts

"It's sad to lose a good man. Good for America for raising him ...good for Wellstone for being motivated by belief and the desire to make our country better."
– Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal columnist

"I wouldn't have wanted a Senate with 51 Paul Wellstones, simply because I [didn't] agree with his views. But the Senate is supposed to be a deliberative body. Wellstone's views were ... important and you wanted him around, as long as there was only one like him. There was.
– Mickey Kaus, Slate

"Everybody who knew him has a clear picture of him, bouncing around, jabbing, saying his piece, standing up for the underdog.... A lot of people voted for him who didn't really agree with him – they just liked him so much."
– Garrison Keillor, host of "Prairie Home Companion"

"He gained wide respect ... often as much for his clear sincerity and tenacity as for his positions. It was commonplace for constituents to tell him plainly that they disagreed with him on issues – but respected him, liked him and would vote for him again."

"As adults, we don't have a lot of heroes ... he was my hero."
– Charlie Bulman, one of thousands of Wellstone supporters gathered Friday on the steps of the state Capitol in St. Paul, quoted in the Los Angles Times

"So who will inspire the next generation of voters? Who will speak up for the underdog? Who will say no when the consultants argue that it's political suicide not to say yes?"
– Arianna Huffington, salon.com

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