Statement of Rep. Jerrold Nadler on Loss of Senator Paul Wellstone

Oct 24, 2002

My heartfelt prayers go out to the family and friends of Senator Paul Wellstone and to the people he so well represented in the Senate.  I also express my deepest sympathy to the families of the staff and pilots who died today in the crash of Senator Wellstone's plane.

Paul Wellstone was a perfect example of what all elected officials should be.  He stood up for what he believed, no matter what the political cost, and could always be counted on to defend the "little guy" against the big interests. His passion was real, not feigned, and distinguished him from so many of our political peers.

At a time like this, the words of another courageous political figure, lost way too soon, come to mind: “It is from the numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped.  Each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

That is Robert F. Kennedy’s epitaph.  It is my belief that few of us can ask for better than to be remembered as a ripple of hope.  In the end, it is what I will remember Paul Wellstone as the most.

FOR BACKGROUND PURPOSES:  Rep. Nadler (D-NY) fought side by side with Senator Wellstone on many issues, most notably against anti-consumer Bankruptcy Reform legislation, where they were the lead opposition in the House and Senate.