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Ted Stevens' death: Washington reacts

By Matt DeLong

Last updated at 6:55 p.m.

With news of former Sen. Ted Stevens' (R-Alaska) death in a plane crash Monday, many of the friends and colleagues Stevens accumulated over his 40-year career began sharing their grief. Here's a sample.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

The thoughts and prayers of the entire Congress rest with the family, friends, and loved ones of Senator Ted Stevens. He was a proud public servant, dedicated to his family and committed to his community. In the Senate, he always stood up for the state of Alaska.

I hope it is a comfort to Senator Stevens' wife, children, and grandchildren, and to the families of all who perished in today's tragedy, that so many share in their grief at this sad time.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska):

The thought of losing Ted Stevens, a man who was known to business and community leaders, Native chiefs and everyday Alaskans as 'Uncle Ted,' is too difficult to fathom. His entire life was dedicated to public service--from his days as a pilot in World War II to his four decades of service in the United States Senate. He truly was the greatest of the 'Greatest Generation.' The love and respect that Alaskans of all persuasions feel toward Ted Stevens is on a par with what the American people felt towards leaders such as John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ronald Reagan. Ted had the vision of a John Kennedy that Alaskans are an exceptional people who would achieve great things in his lifetime; the compassion of a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in devoting his life to alleviating the Third World conditions that plagued Alaska's Native people; and the unwavering strength of a Ronald Reagan whether fighting for the men and women of our military or for Alaska's right to develop ANWR and its abundant natural resources.

On this sad and tragic day, we pray for all those who have perished, as well as the survivors and their families. I ask Alaskans to join me today in prayer.

Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska):

Alaska has lost one of its greatest statesmen and a true pioneer of our state with the passing of Senator Ted Stevens. Over his four decades of public service in the U.S. Senate, Senator Stevens was a forceful advocate for Alaska who helped transform our state in the challenging years after Statehood. Senator Stevens' many contributions to Alaska are enormous and his legacy of fierce devotion to Alaska will be long-lasting.

President Obama:

A decorated World War II veteran, Senator Ted Stevens devoted his career to serving the people of Alaska and fighting for our men and women in uniform. Michelle and I extend our condolences to the entire Stevens family and to the families of those who perished alongside Senator Stevens in this terrible accident.

Former President George H.W. Bush:

Barbara and I mourn the tragic loss of Senator Ted Stevens, a respected friend of longstanding, and send our most sincere condolences to his family.  Ted Stevens loved the Senate; he loved Alaska; and he loved his family -- and he will be dearly missed.

Former President George W. Bush:

Laura and I are deeply saddened by the death of Ted Stevens and all those aboard the airplane that crashed in Alaska last night. Ted served our country with great distinction. We send our heartfelt condolences to the families of those who were lost, and we are praying for the health and well-being of the survivors.

Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska):

Ted was a very close, personal friend of me and my family. I used to babysit his kids, and he would babysit mine. He's been my mentor, first in the State Legislature, and then as our Senior Senator and I will miss him a great deal. Ted is a true Alaskan hero, and a hero for our nation.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin:

In our land of towering mountains and larger than life characters, none were larger than the man who in 2000 was voted "Alaskan of the Century." This decorated World War II pilot was a warrior and a true champion of Alaska.

In 40 years of service in the U.S. Senate, he fought tenaciously for Alaska's future. Alaskans know how much we owe to Senator Stevens, but all Americans owe him a debt of gratitude for his leadership on many issues, including the crucial energy issues that fuel American prosperity. Two years ago, he sat at my kitchen table over a salmon lunch, and we talked about our long anticipated Alaska natural gas pipeline and our mutual commitment to have the Last Frontier's rich resources contribute to America's quest for energy independence. 

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.):

Senator Stevens' legacy will be his work on behalf of his beloved Alaska as its long serving United States Senator and his deep love for his family, his staff and his home state. Cindy and I send our prayers and thoughts to his wife Catherine and his family during this difficult time.

Stevens' legal team:

We are deeply saddened by the news that Senator Stevens has died.
Senator Stevens was a member of what Tom Brokaw called America's "greatest generation." He volunteered for the Army during World War II and flew combat missions with the Flying Tigers. Senator Stevens loved our country, the State of Alaska, the U.S. Senate, and above all else his family. He had many friends on both sides of the aisle. He always did what he thought was in the best interests of the public.
Senator Stevens did not deserve the treatment he received late in his career from some members of the Department of Justice. The presiding judge, Emmet G. Sullivan, stated that "[i]n nearly 25 years on the bench, I've never seen anything approaching the mishandling and misconduct that I've seen in this case." The verdict against him was based on fabricated evidence. The Attorney General asked that Judge Sullivan dismiss the charges when he learned of some of the government's misconduct. In granting the Attorney General's request, Judge Sullivan emphasized that the government's interest in a criminal prosecution "is not that it shall win its case, but that justice shall be done."
Senator Stevens was innocent, and insisted on fighting the charges. Even after the case against him was dismissed, he remained profoundly affected by the government's misconduct and its implications for others. His fervent hope was that meaningful change would be brought to the criminal justice system so that others would not be mistreated as he was by the very officials whose duty it is to represent the United States justly and fairly.
Senator Stevens was an American hero. We were honored to represent him, and we were honored to call him our friend.
We send our condolences to his family and his many friends in Alaska and throughout the world.

Rep. David Obey (D-Wisc.):

Ted Stevens and I agreed on issues about once a century, but I always enjoyed and appreciated working with him because you always knew exactly where he stood. There was no guile about him. "He devoted his life to the State of Alaska, which he dearly loved, and fought for it every day of his life with conviction and passion. "My sympathy goes out to his family and the families of the others killed in this unfortunate accident.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.):

In the history of our country, no one man has done more for one state than Ted Stevens. His commitment to the people of Alaska and his nation spanned decades, and he left a lasting mark on both. From his early military service as a pilot in World War II, to his involvement in the statehood of "The Last Frontier," to his fierce support and defense of our nation's military, Ted Stevens was always there, fighting for what he believed in, and usually winning.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah):

Today, America lost a legend, a patriot and a gentle warrior who never stopped fighting for his beloved state of Alaska or for what he believed in. Ted Stevens is irreplaceable - his fierce loyalty and spirit remain unrivalled in the United States Senate. He will be greatly missed, but his legacy will always live on.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.):

He was a tough negotiator and a savvy legislator. But as I told him again last month, he was an old-school senator. He always kept his word to me and to other senators. In moments of legislative battle he would come onto the floor wearing his Hulk tie, and he would growl and act like a bulldog. But then he would spot friends on the floor and give a wink and a grin.

Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah):

This is a great loss of a great friend. Ted Stevens was the last Republican left in the Senate to serve with my father and one of the first to welcome me when I came as a freshman. He was at the heart of all the major issues confronting the country over the decades and leaves a legacy of towering achievement.

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.):

Alaska had no greater advocate, and no greater defender than Ted Stevens. Ted worked tirelessly on behalf of the people of Alaska, and I am confident that his years of service and hard fought efforts will continue to benefit future generations.

Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii):

He brought strength and passion to the Senate for many decades. We worked together on issues facing our home states. He was a friend of Hawaii and he understood the United States' responsibility to its indigenous people.

He was a dear friend. We were ohana.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.):

From the very beginning, Ted was Alaska's greatest champion. He helped found his state, worked tirelessly to serve its unique needs in the Senate, and continued to be its fiercest advocate for the rest of his life. Along with the state of Alaska and his precious family, aviation was Ted's passion. He bravely served our country flying planes in World War II. It can truthfully be said that Ted Stevens served our country throughout his entire adult life.

Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.):

Ted Stevens was truly a giant of the Senate and a dedicated champion for responsible resource management.

Ted will be remembered for being a war hero, and also a hero to the people of Alaska he served for more than 40 years

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.):

I was saddened to learn about the death of former Senator Ted Stevens. I served with Ted for many years and I know how beloved he was by the people of Alaska. My thoughts are with Ted's wife, Catherine, the entire Stevens family, and the loved ones of the other victims of this terrible accident.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.):

When I came to the Senate in 2002, Ted Stevens was already one of the longest serving Republican Senators in history. His public service began with his military service in World War II and ended more than 60 years later. He was a dedicated, passionate and faithful public servant for the people of Alaska

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar:

Senator Stevens was a friend and colleague. From his courage in World War II, his work for Alaska statehood and his time at the Department of the Interior to his years of leadership in the U.S. Senate, Senator Stevens left behind a lifetime of service. We have lost a dedicated public servant for our country, the United States Senate, and Alaska.

Sen. John Rockefeller (D-W.V.):

Today I join my colleagues in mourning the loss of Senator Ted Stevens. I served on the Commerce Committee with Senator Stevens for many years. Senator Stevens always fought for equal access for rural Americans - from equal access to communications, to equal access to transportation and infrastructure. He was a champion of rural America - whether you were a rural West Virginian or a rural Alaskan.
Sharon and I send our thoughts and prayers to Senator Stevens' wife, Catherine, as well as their family and friends during this very difficult time.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.):

The thoughts and prayers of the entire Congress rest with the family, friends, and loved ones of Senator Ted Stevens. He was a proud public servant, dedicated to his family and committed to his community. In the Senate, he always stood up for the state of Alaska.
I hope it is a comfort to Senator Stevens' wife, children, and grandchildren, and to the families of all who perished in today's tragedy, that so many share in their grief at this sad time.

By Matt DeLong  |  August 10, 2010; 3:19 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

mikey30919, your death threat has been reported to the Secret Service. Look forward to a visit.

Thank you for playing.

Posted by: jiji1 | August 11, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Regardless of your affliation as a Dem or Rep
we should all be able to face reality.Calling people names and degrading them shows your disrespect for humanity.Get a life!

Posted by: cheaton05 | August 11, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin should have humbled herself and made her comments about a man who helped to make her state what it is today. She just couldn't resist making it all about herself. How sad. Regardless of whether we are Democrats or Republicans, we should pause to honor the life of a fellow citizen. If we didn't always agree with him, so be it, but a respectful pause is in order.

Posted by: sober1 | August 11, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I am sure that most of the Girlymen Liberals that posted horrible comments about Senator Stevens offered opposite sentiments when Senator Ted "Killer" Kennedy and Robert "Klan Man" Byrd passed.

Liberals never cease to amaze with their vulgar, vicious and hateful attitudes about those they disagree with. What a bunch of slimy, panty waist losers!!

May Senator Stevens rest in peace and Alaska is a better place as a result of his contributions.

Posted by: mmcmain42 | August 11, 2010 2:26 AM | Report abuse

Palin just couldn't resist inserting herself into the conversation about Steven's death. Everything is about her. It's who and what she is. A few words of sentimental rhetoric was all that was required, and she wasn't up to it.

Steven's was among the most corrupt Senators of our time, but he was doing what any Senator's constituents would have wanted him to do. We're still "draining the swamp" on end while filling it from the other.

Posted by: ptgrunner | August 10, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Palin just couldn't resist inserting herself into the conversation about Steven's death. Everything is about her. It's who and what she is. A few words of sentimental rhetoric was all that was required, and she wasn't up to it.

Steven's was among the most corrupt Senators of our time, but he was doing what any Senator's constituents would have wanted him to do. We're still "draining the swamp" on end while filling it from the other.

Posted by: ptgrunner | August 10, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Palin just couldn't resist inserting herself into the conversation about Steven's death. Everything is about her. It's who and what she is. A few words of sentimental rhetoric was all that was required, and she wasn't up to it.

Steven's was among the most corrupt Senators of our time, but he was doing what any Senator's constituents would have wanted him to do. We're still "draining the swamp" on end while filling it from the other.

Posted by: ptgrunner | August 10, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Palin just couldn't resist inserting herself into the conversation about Steven's death. Everything is about her. It's who and what she is. A few words of sentimental rhetoric was all that was required, and she wasn't up to it.

Steven's was among the most corrupt Senators of our time, but he was doing what any Senator's constituents would have wanted him to do. We're still "draining the swamp" on end while filling it from the other.

Posted by: ptgrunner | August 10, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Palin just couldn't resist inserting herself into the conversation about Steven's death. Everything is about her. It's who and what she is. A few words of sentimental rhetoric was all that was required, and she wasn't up to it.

Steven's was among the most corrupt Senators of our time, but he was doing what any Senator's constituents would have wanted him to do. We're still "draining the swamp" on end while filling it from the other.

Posted by: ptgrunner | August 10, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Im glad rsgrd can manage to muster up a little respect and make a post, OH and also be so ignorant to know charges were dropped, Im not turning this into a political back and forth but rsgrd your a jerk. I hope the families of the dead and the survivors the best.

Posted by: gmco4 | August 10, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

A Bum pure and simple, the worst Porker in Congress.... Maybe if he had gotten to build his bridge to nowhere he wouldn't have had to fly...... Murtha and this bum, in some ways I guess it was a very good year..... Sorry, but this guy is emblamatic of what is worst in Congress, good bye and good riddance!

Where was John Boehner when he got the 'horrible news'.... I'm betting on the golf course.

Posted by: frankiethreeputs | August 10, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Reading the comment by NO-bama makes me nauseaous. Where does such hatred come from?? Sen. Stevens was not my favorite person but he was much loved by his family, his collegues, friends, etc. His death is to be mourned as we should mourn all those who go before us. Be careful, NO-bama, the hatred you feel may come back to "haunt" you or your family. CHILL !!!

Posted by: modenegunch | August 10, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

GET THIS!!!
Ted Stevens dies in airplane crash over Alaska. Prior to that he lost his seat to Democrat Mark Begich who's father was US Representative from Alaska and dissapered in plane crash over Alaska in 1972.
SPOOOOKY!!!

Posted by: BOBSTERII | August 10, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Ted Stevens may have started out as an honorable guy but he ended up looting taxpayer's money for pet projects, the bridge to nowhere comes to mind and died on the way to a fishing camp holiday, I'm sure it was free, provided by a telecom company which I believe expected lobbyist favors in return that would continue to waste taxpayer money and reward the business that provided the freebe. Maybe there is a god. Power corrupts and too much power for too long really corrupts.

Posted by: rsqrd | August 10, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Ted Stevens may have started out as an honorable guy but he ended up looting taxpayer's money for pet projects, the bridge to nowhere comes to mind and died on the way to a fishing camp holiday, I'm sure it was free, provided by a telecom company which I believe expected lobbyist favors in return that would continue to waste taxpayer money and reward the business that provided the freebe. Maybe there is a god. Power corrupts and too much power for too long really corrupts.

Posted by: rsqrd | August 10, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

RIP, Mr Stevens.

He and Senator Dan Inouye led a third and largely invisible political party in our nation, namely the Hawaii-Alaska Party. This party has, for years, skimmed off much more than a reasonable share of federal expenditures for those states.

Unfortunately, once octogenarian Senator Inouye leaves the scene, Hawaii will be in a pickle in the Senate with its other senator being one Dan Akaka -- a nice guy, but another octogenarian who is far from as DC-savvy as is Inouye.

Citizen Ed Case ran against Akaka in 2008 and lost -- too bad for Hawaii, although Case is arguably as fiscally out-of-control as are 99% of Democrats. Unfortunately Inouye didn't respect Case's argument regarding the need to stagger seniority, so Hawaii will not even be withing whiffing distance of the federal hind teat once these two guys inevitably leave the Senate... probably both within the coming decade, at the longest.

Posted by: rethman | August 10, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Jiji and nobama you both need to tell your mama to cut off your inter tubes connection you are too ignorant and sick to be making public comments

go into the shower and turn on the water and then drop the radio enjoy the ensuing fireworks you 2 need a check up from the neck up

Posted by: mikey30919 | August 10, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

No-bama, I usually agree with you but your comment here sucks.

You can dislike Reid and Pelosi all you want...but wishing death on them is way over the top. I don't like either of them but I'll settle for election losses not death by plane crash.

Posted by: joelinpdx | August 10, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

No-bama, I usually agree with you but your comment here sucks.

You can dislike Reid and Pelosi all you want...but wishing death on them is way over the top. I don't like either of them but I'll settle for election losses not death by plane crash.

Posted by: joelinpdx | August 10, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

No-bama, I usually agree with you but your comment here sucks.

You can dislike Reid and Pelosi all you want...but wishing death on them is way over the top. I don't like either of them but I'll settle for election losses not death by plane crash.

Posted by: joelinpdx | August 10, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

No-bama, I usually agree with you but your comment here sucks.

You can dislike Reid and Pelosi all you want...but wishing death on them is way over the top. I don't like either of them but I'll settle for election losses not death by plane crash.

Posted by: joelinpdx | August 10, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

No-bama, I usually agree with you but your comment here sucks.

You can dislike Reid and Pelosi all you want...but wishing death on them is way over the top. I don't like either of them but I'll settle for election losses not death by plane crash.

Posted by: joelinpdx | August 10, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

President Obama has every right to comment on this blog, it is numbered after Him!

Posted by: jiji1 | August 10, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Well,the hillbilly grifter is off the hook now ,stevens is dead and he knew everything...she'll probably want her job back now that she can't go to prison.

Posted by: houndog | August 10, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

President Obama has every right to comment on this blog, it is numbered after Him!

Posted by: jiji1 | August 10, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

George W. Bush, it was YOUR Federal team that did the hatchet job on Sen. Stevens, with Federal prosecutorial misconduct so egregious that the charges had to be dismissed--AFTER Sen. Stevens lost his re-election bid. The Bush hatchet job on Sen. Stevens cost Alaska and our Nation a great senator, and yet, you offer condolences now.

And as for the horrible comment posted by No-Bama, the GOP is shamed by your hate.

Posted by: Elakea | August 10, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Too bad Pelosi and Reid were not on that plane...

Posted by: NO-bama | August 10, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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