In that he believed in expansiveness. When he defined civil rights, he thought civil rights applied to people who were disabled and to people who wanted to be married who are same sex and he thought that liberalism applied to people who needed to vote at the age of 18 and young girls who wanted to compete in athletics. He had a hand in all of these things, so very expansive. STEPHANOPOULOS: Expansive, George, but you point out that era may be over and I want to pick up on the conversations that Senators Kerry and Hatch had. Is there any way that anyone, any senator can fill that void, that niche? WILL: I don't think so, partly because this was a product of longevity and the enormous niceness of the man. People just liked Ted Kennedy. The funny thing is what's happened in this August it seems to me is the country has indicated a bifurcated mind, great affection for Ted Kennedy. But at the same time, they are having second thoughts about this president and this president is the first Ted Kennedy Democrat elected since Roosevelt. STEPHANOPOULOS: That gives me the segue that I want to take a break there because we want to come back and talk about this whole health care debate and how did Ted Kennedy's death affects it. Also, the debate over this attorney general's investigation into the CIA.
But as we go to the break, let me share my favorite interview with Ted Kennedy. It was just before the Democratic Convention in 2004 and the senator was walking me around the grounds at Hyannisport pointing out the house where his brother Jack first learned he would be president, and I asked Kennedy how much he regretted not winning the White House himself.
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KENNEDY: My pursuit is public service, not the constant pursuit of the presidency. I said that almost 25 years ago, so I have been honored to serve in the United States Senate. I love the United States Senate and we've been able to get a number of things done in the United States Senate.
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STEPHANOPOULOS: We will be right back with "The Roundtable" and "The Sunday Funnies."
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KENNEDY: If we're to accept the recommendations of the administration, what we're in effect going to be doing is still having two sets of medical standards, one for the poor of this country and one for the rich, and I think if we've learned one significant factor over the period of the last 20 years when the Congress and the country is focused on this issue is that what we need is one kind of a program for all Americans, rich and poor, and that ought to be quality health for all Americans. (END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Ted Kennedy saying he's not going to accept Richard Nixon's health plan in 1972. Years later, he called it one of his biggest legislative mistakes. With that, let me bring "The Roundtable" back in. I'm joined by George Will, E.J. Dionne, Liz Cheney, Sam Donaldson and Gwen Ifill and I think, George, that gets at the difficulty of this whole what would Kennedy do debate, what would Teddy do debate? He was both a fierce partisan, an ideological partisan a very pragmatic legislator at the time. WILL: Conservatives spend our lives saying there is a reason things are as they are. There are vast forces out there and there's a reason why health care is very difficult to do.