"We -- the nation, the world -- lost a good, gentle giant last night.
"Ted Kennedy was the finest, the most accomplished, legislator in our lifetime.
"Through his public service, he enriched the lives of countless people -- people who needed a passionate and compassionate voice in the seat of power.
"His strong, emphatic voice was often the clarion call that made possible historic advances in civil rights, equal education opportunities, removal of barriers for people with disabilities, judicial justice, workers' and retirees' rights, and, of course, it has led us to the cusp of decent, affordable health care for everyone.
"Ted was a dreamer and an idealist. He also mastered the all-too-rare art of blending lofty ideals with political practicalities. He, better than anyone, understood what was achievable -- and he made it happen.
"Ted loved humanity. He also showered great warmth and affection to the people who had the opportunity to work closely with him.
"We will miss him more than words can express.
"May his example shine in our hearts so that we re-dedicate ourselves to the mission he has left for us to complete. Let's enact high-quality, affordable health coverage and care for every American this year."