Ted Kennedy's gamble on Obama pays off as health care passes

Somewhere Ted Kennedy is smiling.

His gamble on choosing Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton for President has paid off. The relentless Obama focus on health care, a legacy from Kennedy, has made possible the historic vote on health care which passed the House tonight.

There was a poignant moment tonight when Speaker Nancy Pelosi made an impassioned plea for the passage of the health care bill, and spoke emotionally about Kennedy's posthumous letter to Obama pleading for health care passage to be his legacy.

That looked like a failed dream when Sen. Scott Brown took the Kennedy seat, to the consternation of the Kennedy family.

But a few weeks is a long time in politics, and tonight Pelosi cobbled together a majority that ensured that the greatest change in health care since Medicare was passed will now become law.

Off to the side, watching Pelosi's speech, was Rep. Patrick Kennedy -- now in the last few months of his time in the House. As soon as Pelosi was finished, she strode over and embraced him.

They both knew Ted Kennedy's legacy is now secure. His wife Vicki issued an immediate statement saying it was the culmination of his life's efforts.

It is a sad he did not live to see his greatest legislative priority come into being.

But no doubt, he would have deflected the praise as he always did to others.

Nonetheless, history was made on health care tonight -- and in many ways, we have the Lion of the Senate, Ted Kennedy, to thank.

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