Some excerpts from the speech delivered Monday night:
It always seemed to me he was a man of the most interesting contradictions . . . self-deprecating yet proud, ironic yet easily moved, highly literary yet utterly at home with the common speech of the ordinary man. He was a writer who could expound with ease on the moral forces that shaped John Calhoun's political philosophy; on the other hand, he possessed a most delicate and refined appreciation for Boston's political wards . . .
One sensed that he loved mankind as it was, in spite of itself, and had little patience with those who would perfect what was really not meant to be perfect . . .
As a leader . . . he seemed to have a good, hard unillusioned understanding of man and his political choices . . . And he understood the tension between good and evil in the history of man . . . He knew that the United States had adversaries, real adversaries, and they weren't about to be put off by soft reason and good intentions . . .
He was a patriot who summoned patriotism from the heart of a sated country. It is a matter of pride to me that so many men and women inspired by his bracing vision . . . serve now in the White House . . .
Everything we saw him do seemed to betray a huge enjoyment of life; he seemed to grasp from the beginning that life is one fast-moving train, and you have to jump aboard and hold on to your hat and relish the sweep of the wind as it rushes by. You have to enjoy the journey, it's unthankful not to.
I think that's how his country remembers him, in his joy . . . He knew that life is rich with possibilities . . .