The country mourns today for the passing of Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy, who died yesterday at the age of 77 after a prolonged battle with cancer. Part of one of American politics' pre-eminent families, Senator Kennedy followed in the footsteps of his fallen brothers John and Bobby, both of whom worked tirelessly to serve their country. The man who was known as "The Liberal Lion of the Senate" served in his elected position for 46 years and was a champion for the rights of young people. He worked to help teachers get fairer pay, got the voting age lowered from 21 to 18, protected women from discrimination in college sports and reached out for the rights of the disabled.
During the march toward the 2000 election, MTV News sent a special correspondent to spend a day with Senator Kennedy to get a sense of what exactly an elected official's day is like hour-to-hour. The reporter — Goo Goo Dolls frontman Johnny Rzeznick — sat in on the Senator's meetings, followed him to press conferences and sat down with him for multiple conversations about his current legislative priorities and his basic job description. What he found was a man open to ideas and eager to hear out and embrace the issues of young people. The people who met Kennedy — including Rzeznick — were equally at ease and in awe of him, and ultimately found him open, accessible, personable and proactive. Check out this very special piece of tape from the MTV News archives.