David Broder quotes a Wellstone campaign volunteer who says that "People say there are no political heroes left in the world, but we know better. We had one here."
Star Tribune columnist Doug Grow writes that "On election days, Paul Wellstone would board his green bus and the ugliness and the cynicism of modern politics would vanish."
Sen. Paul Wellstone "was a special treasure," writes Joshua Micah Marshall, "a sort of genuinely progressive, utterly engaged and sincere politician who somehow captured what was essential in the aspirations of his party, even if he supported policies that others didn't."
Arianna Huffington: "America loses a bold leader."
"Wellstone was willing to be the "1" in a 99-1 vote," writes Geov Parish, "and that's why people mourn him so."
Wellstone Was Lacking Mickey Kaus says that he "lacked the qualities that make a successful modern U.S. Senator: He wasn't a poser, a trimmer, a schemer, a dissembler, a self-aggrandizing egomaniac or a vicious infighter. He wasn't an a--hole." (scroll down to 10/25)
"I couldn't say this of any other public official," writes E.J. Dionne, "but I think I know what Wellstone would say about what's happened: 'Don't mourn, organize.' That's what he did, that's who he was, and that's why he'll be so hard to replace."
The Nation's John Nichols on Sheila Wellstone's Senate career.
Those who disagreed with Wellstone often called him "the last liberal in America," and "maybe he was," writes Pioneer Press columnist Nick Coleman. "They meant it as an insult but he wore it as a badge of honor. Whatever his detractors said of Paul Wellstone, he had a heart that was bigger and braver than anyone else in Washington."
"He wasn't supposed to have left like this," writes one of those detractors, a conservative radio talk show host. "And you know it wasn't supposed to be like this or else a guy who didn't agree with him on anything wouldn't have felt such a grip in the throat."
In this appreciation of Senator "Softie," the Washington Post's Mark Leibovich calls Wellstone "one of the great agonizers in American politics," who "always seemed to relish the time he spent in gray areas."
Minnesota writer Bill Holm tells of speaking with Wellstone in 1998, just before Jesse Ventura became governor: "How curious, I told Paul, that the two most interesting politicians in Minnesota at the moment should both be wrestlers. He replied with a wry smile: 'But I'm a real one.'"
Read excerpts from Wellstone's "The Conscience of a Liberal: Reclaiming the Compassionate Agenda."
"There are some persistent myths about Wellstone that should be corrected before they are set in our collective eulogy," writes Pioneer Press columnist Laura Billings. "The first, that he was an 'extremist' representing 'the far left wing' of the Democratic party, two phrases repeated like a mantra by opponents in his most recent campaign. Look at the people who wept for him... battered women, immigrants, military veterans, young families, gays and lesbians, family farmers and every other underdog group. Then look at the people who won't -- that race-baiting talk radio demagogue who recently wished Wellstone would 'drop dead.' It wasn't Wellstone who was the extremist."
Wall Street Creeps Did the stock market move up on news that Sen. Wellstone had died?
"Senators ain't sissies," writes Peggy Noonan. "They can be one cold crew. But Wellstone touched them in a way that was special."
Sen. Tom Harkin said that "Paul Wellstone was my closest friend in the Senate. He was the most principled public servant I've ever known."
"I love this battle!" Sen. Wellstone was "a force of nature in an era of caution and blandness."