Edward M. Kennedy (born February 22, 1932) is the senior U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, having served since 1962. The most prominent living member of the Kennedy family, he is the brother of assassinated President John F. Kennedy and former US Attorney General and Senator Robert F. Kennedy (who was also assassinated).
Because of Kennedy's personal prominence and his longtime advocacy of liberal principles, he is often regarded as a "lion" of the Democratic Party. Supporters admire him as a forceful and reliable advocate for liberalism, whose personal and political skills enable him to achieve some gains even in an era of conservative ascendancy; however, some Democrats see him as being too ready to compromise with Republican legislators. His critics on the right charge that he is stuck in a "big-government" ideology from the 1960s and that his consistent opposition to Republican initiatives has caused him to lose credibility. Republicans seeking to rally their supporters often use Kennedy's name as the personification of the sort of politician who must be opposed, citing his liberal politics and what many see as failings in his personal conduct.