Tonight on Countdown Lawrence O'Donnell admitted to Rachel Maddow that when the reconciliation portion of health care reform passed today he cried. Lawrence O'Donnell spent many years as a staffer in the Senate and looked at today's passage as final success. I, like Lawrence, have found myself fighting tears on two occasions this week during the final hours of the health care reform fight. This was today's moment:
In the many, many years I have watched C-SPAN, I cannot think of a moment more moving, more unexpected. Harry Reid, for all his faults, is still a very caring, thoughtful man, and I, like many Americans, was moved by his tribute to a man that moved health care reform along for years. Through the administrations of nine presidents and finally in his final days with the election of President Obama, Ted Kennedy was the vessel for a legislative reform that has the power to impact every American. As his son Patrick would write on a card left at Teddy's grave this week, "the unfinished business is done." The long unfinished business of this country and of the man who dedicated his life to the service of his country and its people is finally done.
Watching President Obama sign it into law Tuesday morning brought tears to my eyes and watching the members of the United States Senate rise to their feet to honor their departed colleague on this historic day brought those tears back to the surface. Just as health care reform means a great deal to me, so does Ted Kennedy and the legacy of the Kennedy family. This historic day would not have been possible without them.