(CNN) - Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy, the patriarch of the first family of Democratic politics, died late Tuesday at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. He was 77.
"We've lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever," a family statement said. "We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice."
President Obama learned about Kennedy's death at 2 a.m. Wednesday, according to a senior administration official. Obama later called Kennedy's widow to offer condolences.
LONDON, England (CNN) - Worldwide tributes for U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy, who has died after a long battle with brain cancer, poured in Wednesday, led by politicians hailing his role in securing a lasting peace in Northern Ireland.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, whose administration presided over the 1998 Good Friday Agreement which led to an end to decades of sectarian violence in the province and established a united ruling Assembly, praised Kennedy's commitment to the process.
"I saw his focus and determination first hand in Northern Ireland where his passionate commitment was matched with a practical understanding of what needed to be done to bring about peace and to sustain it," Blair said.
(CNN) - President Obama issued a statement Tuesday morning on the passing of Sen. Ted Kennedy:
For five decades, virtually every major piece of legislation to advance the civil rights, health and economic well being of the American people bore his name and resulted from his efforts.
I valued his wise counsel in the Senate, where, regardless of the swirl of events, he always had time for a new colleague. I cherished his confidence and momentous support in my race for the Presidency. And even as he waged a valiant struggle with a mortal illness, I've profited as President from his encouragement and wisdom.
An important chapter in our history has come to an end. Our country has lost a great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the greatest United States Senator of our time.
Sen. McCain spoke about health care at a town-hall event in Arizona Tuesday. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
(CNN) - Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said Tuesday that President Obama's efforts to reform health care have sparked "a peaceful revolt in America."
"I've seen involvement and engagement on the part of Americans that I have never seen the likes of which before," McCain said at a town hall in Phoenix, the first of eight such meetings he will hold around the state this week.
For more than an hour, the former GOP nominee alternated between cracking some well-worn jokes from his two presidential campaigns and listening to the concerns of his constituents, one of whom demanded that McCain "nuke" the health care plan entirely.
"No compromises, no comprises, no compromises," chanted one woman, a self-described former Democrat. "Senator, nuke it now!"
Though McCain firmly rejected the idea of a government-run insurance option, saying it would eventually drive private insurers out of business and lead to a full government takeover of health care, he echoed his 2008 campaign platform and said it would be irresponsible to simply "do nothing" - especially with the threat of Medicare and Social Security going broke.
"So let's go back with constructive, free-market incentives to improve the quality of health care and the affordability and availability," he said.
Later in the meeting, McCain was jeered when he insisted that Obama's views be respected despite his differing opinions on how to achieve reform.
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CNN: Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy dead at 77
Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy, the patriarch of the first family of Democratic politics, died Wednesday at his home in
Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. He was 77.
CNN: Reaction to Sen. Edward Kennedy's death
A sampling of reactions to the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy, who died Tuesday night at age 77:
CNN: Borger: CIA flap a huge headache for Obama
No matter which way you look at it, the question is painfully difficult: What - if anything - do we do about the post 9/11 behavior of some CIA agents who worked feverishly to interrogate prisoners they believed had information that could save American lives?
First on the Ticker: 'The writing is on the wall,' ally tells Sanford
Two Republican legislators met privately with South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford Tuesday and told him to resign — but the governor rejected their advice.
New York Times: Edward Kennedy, Senate Stalwart, Dies
Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, a son of one of the most storied families in American politics, a man who knew triumph and tragedy in near-equal measure and who will be remembered as one of the most effective lawmakers in the history of the Senate, died late Tuesday night. He was 77.
Boston Globe: Kennedy dead at 77
Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who carried aloft the torch of a Massachusetts dynasty and a liberal ideology to the citadel of Senate power, but whose personal and political failings may have prevented him from realizing the ultimate prize of the presidency, died at his home in Hyannis Port last night after a battle with brain cancer. He was 77.
RESTON, Virginia (CNN) - Rep. Jim Moran's health care town hall Tuesday night spiraled into chaos and displays of political theater as opponents of the president's overhaul plan spent two hours trying to shout down the Virginia Democrat and his party's former national chairman, Howard Dean.
Foes of President Barack Obama's health care plan had publicly pledged to disrupt the event. Three hours before it began, hundreds of area residents were already lined up outside the venue, a high school in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Reston. When the town hall began, at least 2,500 people packed the high school gymnasium, with even more left in line outside.
The crowd generally reflected the demographics of Moran's solidly Democratic northern Virginia district, with supporters of the president's health care overhaul effort - many wielding signs provided by Organizing for America, his campaign arm at the Democratic National Committee - outnumbering opponents by at least 5 to 1. Organizing for America and union organizers, many on hand for the night's event, have urged supporters to pack town halls in response to similar efforts by health care overhaul opponents.
Moran spent most of the two-hour event addressing a dozen false rumors about the health care proposal being weighed by Congress. Several questioners asked whether the congressman would guarantee that he would not exclude his own insurance plan from the effects of the measures in the $1.6 trillion proposal.