Washington mourns loss of 'an American original'
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 8/10/2010 3:13:46 PM

Reaction from Washington legislators and others was swift Tuesday as confirmation came of the death of former Senator and Senate Commerce Committee Chair Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) in a plane crash Monday night.
"The family has been notified that Senator Stevens did not survive the crash," said a spokesman midday Tuesday.

"Irene and I are deeply saddened by the tragic death of our dear friend, and my brother, Ted Stevens," said Senator Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), also the former Commerce Committee Chair and now chair of the powerful United States Committee on Appropriations. "His wife, Catherine, and his entire family are in our thoughts and prayers during most this difficult time," said Inouye, one of Stevens closest friends in the Senate and one who shared the bond of service in World War II, as well as representing one of the two non-contiguous states.

"Our friendship was a very special one. When it came to policy, we disagreed more often than we agreed, but we were never disagreeable with one another," said Inouye. "We were always positive and forthright. Senator Stevens and I worked together to ensure that the small non-contiguous states of Hawaii and Alaska were not forgotten by the lower 48 and to ensure that the nation awoke to the importance of the Pacific for our economy and international relations. I will never forget him."
This senator showed some class, and it has the additional benefit of cutting off Stevens' detractors.