By STEVE KRASKE
The Kansas City Star
• “He transformed South Africa -- and indeed, the world.” — Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver.
“He was an inspiration to many, including myself.” — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.
“This principled man's life defined courage.” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill.
And we all say, “Amen.”
• “Because of the Affordable Care Act, for the first time insurance companies will be prohibited from denying health coverage for more than 2.6 million Missourians.” — Missouri Democratic Party Chairman Roy Temple on Thursday.
That sound you hear is the cavalry coming to the rescue of the nation’s much beleaguered health care program. After months of relative silence, Democrats are launching a coordinated public-relations campaign to change the storyline on Obamacare. Thursday’s comments from Temple will be the first of many to come in the weeks ahead And from a Democratic standpoint, it’s much too late.
• “I hope you haven’t been discouraged by how hard it’s been because stuff that’s worth it is always hard. The Civil Rights movement was hard. Giving women the right to vote, that was hard. Making sure that workers had the right to organize, that was hard.” — President Barack Obama speaking about his health care program to a group of 160 young adults gathered for the White House Youth Summit on the Affordable Care Act.
Obama also told the group that once upon a time he was a “young invincible.” But, he added, “After five years in office, people don't say that anymore.” No, they don’t.
• “Phenomenal.” — Grover Norquist, founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform, describing Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. Norquist included Brownback in his list of seven current or former governors he views as serious contenders for the Republican nomination in 2016.
In his list for the Daily Caller, Norquist also included New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. With competitors like that, Brownback still ranks as a long shot.
• “Perhaps there is no better example of his work to ensure dignity for all than the decades he has spent championing the rights of people with disabilities.” — Human Rights First President and CEO Elisa Massimino on former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole.
On Thursday night, Dole received Human Rights First’s Beacon Prize for his work on behalf of the rights of the disabled, one of the great causes of Dole’s life.