Sen. Kennedy Would Have Been 'Exhilarated,' Wife Vicki Says

Kennedy was heralded by Democratic and Republican colleagues alike for his ability to bridge political divides. His name was often evoked by both sides during the current health care debate, as it descended further into partisan feuding.

While the bill passed the House 219-212 without a single Republican vote, Kennedy said her husband would still havel been happy, and that he expected the level of vitriol between both sides.

"I think he would be happy that we passed the legislation. I think he certainly would have tried, as did the Senate and as did the House, President Obama certainly made the outreach, he certainly would've tried to make this bipartisan," Kennedy said.

"He absolutely knew it was going to be difficult," she said. "He talked to me about the fact that the closer we got, people would start to get more at odds. Because change is a scary thing."

Kennedy said she was never worried that the cause of health care reform would falter, even after Republican Scott Brown won her husband's vacant seat as Massachusetts senator.

"I didn't, because I believed in this president. I believed in the speaker. I believed in the members of Congress and I believe in the American people," Kennedy said.

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