Last week marked the 10th anniversary of the plane crash that took the life of Sen. Paul Wellstone. One looks back at his life and career, and has to wonder how he might have made a difference if that crash had never happened, and if he had won re-election.
Wellstone was liberal senator, to be sure, a liberal who wore the label proudly and passionately. But in his time in the Senate he made friends and won the respect of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle. He had a special quality, the ability to empathize with and understand people, even those with whom he didn't agree. And he had the ability to make them like him.
We wonder how Wellstone would have made a difference in this era of militant bipartisanship in Congress. Would he have been a bridge between Republicans and Democrats? Would they be able to work together? Would they at least be able to talk to each other?
We guess there would have been a lot more respect in the U.S. Capitol if Wellstone were still alive and serving.