Barack Obama | Democratic Party | Election 2008 | News | Ted Kennedy

Senator Edward Kennedy Endorses Obama at American University

At American University in Washington, Senator Ted Kennedy joined his niece Caroline and son, Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.), in endorsing Barack Obama for president.

The Washington Post reports: "The three Kennedys, taking turns speaking at a lectern bearing the slogan, "Change We Can Believe In," invoked the inspiration of former president John F. Kennedy in supporting the candidacy of Obama, a first-term senator who seeks to become the nation's first African American president. Addressing a cheering, overflow crowd in the university's Bender Arena, Sen. Kennedy hailed Obama as a candidate who 'has lit a spark of hope amid the fierce urgency of now.' Calling on Americans to 'have the courage to choose change,' he declared, 'It time again for a new generation of leadership! It is time now for Barack Obama!' In accepting the endorsements, Obama told the crowd: 'We will change the course of history. And the glow from that fire can truly light the world.' The endorsement by the senior senator from Massachusetts was widely seen as important for Obama because it gives him the imprimatur of a major leader of the Democratic establishment."

The endorsement, courted by the Clinton camp for months, may have solidified in Obama's favor after last week's angry campaigning by Bill Clinton in South Carolina. The NYT reports: "Mr. Kennedy, who associates said had grown furious at the tone of the presidential campaign, including the words and actions of former President Bill Clinton, said Mr. Obama would usher in a new era of politics. His speech was filled with references to his distaste for the bitterness and lack of bipartisanship that has infiltrated Washington."

The broader Kennedy clan is not unanimous on the endorsement, however, the paper notes: "Another of Kennedy's nieces, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, a former Democratic lieutenant governor of Maryland, is supporting Clinton. So is a nephew, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a leading environmental activist."

Kennedy Calls Obama ‘New Generation of Leadership’ [nyt]
Kennedy Endorsement Gives Obama Key Boost [washington post]

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Comments

  1. Political appointment in office-
    Barack-1996; Hillary, not till the year 2000, although she lies & says, "I've had 35 years experience". Performing on Billary's (Bill's)Coat Tail does not count. Nada. The Truth is that she's had 4 years less time in Decision Making & Policy Making, Political Appointee position than Barack. Period!!!

    First Lady is just that- First Lady. No more, no less!!! Since Hillary wants to go there, Barack has more experience in political office than Hillary
    Barack has very good judgment, he’s an orator, witty & very bright. He has the ability to bring people together (foreign & at home) and he transcends all Party Lines and ethnicity in a way that Hillary can not even began to do, he brings people together.

    Hillary's so called experience sure did not help her intelligencia when she made a stupid, ignorant decision & decided to vote for the Iraq War. And this was at time when Barack was against it.

    And on top of that she gave the dumbest President in the U.S. s Carte Blanche $$$ Check. And now she has the nerve to complain that Bush has put us so far in Debt as if she had absolutely nothing to do with it. Go Figa'

    Barack for 2008

    Posted by: Norma J. | Jan 28, 2008 6:36:28 PM


  2. I am amused by all the Hillary supporters here. Lest we forget that the Clinton Administration was one of the more corrupt and secretive administrations in history. Even if I could get past the excesses of Bill Clinton's administration to support Hillary (which I clearly don't) I could not get pass that fact that I loath dynasties. We had 12 years of Bushs and 8 years of Clintons - time to give someone else a try.

    Posted by: yoshi | Jan 28, 2008 7:01:23 PM


  3. He'll bring us together! He'll bring us together! You could chin yourself on his penis. Wait my cellmate just made that one up.

    Anyway, as I've said before and will repeat for those who don't yet have their heads up Obama's ass:

    His ability to bring people together, to persuade opponents to give up their bigotries has ALREADY BEEN TESTED BIG TIME AND HE FAILED, ALSO BIG TIME and I'm not talking about Donnie McClurkin.

    The date: January 10, 2005.

    The place: the Illinois Senate

    The issue: After a years of trying, a bill to protect LGBTs in jobs, housing, etc., is voted on. [The strangest aspect of this is that, after becoming a cosponsor (that is, NOT the one introducing) to two previous version of the bill, he was not a cosponsor of the one passed that day by the minimum number of votes required. See link below:

    http://musing85.typepad.com/blog/2008/01/barack-obama-on.html

    However, his somewhat misleading statements about being responsible for gay rights passing in Illinois [he couldn't vote on the final Illinois bill either as he had just been sworn into the US Senate a few days before] is not the point.

    The point is that he was not able to use his alleged miraculous skills of changing peoples' minds to get HIS OWN close friend and "spiritual couselor" the Rev. James Meeks, who is also an Illinois state senator to vote for that bill. Meeks appeared in TV ads for Obama's US Senate race; Obama campaigned there; went to a prayer service there the night he won the primary [even though he belongs to another church across the street].

    Now Meeks is no run-of-the-mill black homophobic minister. His church is the largest in Illinois, they demonize gays in those grotesque Halloween fright nights, have held antigay petition drives, he calls homosexuality an "evil sickness," and he briefly ran for governor on a platform that centered upon being against abortion and "gay rights." Don't know if he said anything about Heath's death, but he once blamed "Hollywood Jews for bringing us 'Brokeback Mountain'."

    So both by documented, unapologetic even bragged-about bigotry and his close relationship with the Senator, he was the ideal test case for Obama's powers of conversion and persuasion.

    Result: no change. Rev./Sen. James Meeks is no less a homohating grandstander than he was before he ever heard of Barack Obama.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Jan 28, 2008 7:14:12 PM


  4. Bedwell,

    Still hammering away at the guilt-by association-thing, I see.

    And still calling gay Obama supporters names.

    And still blathering on about Obama's record on gay rights when there's not a damn bit of difference between his record/policies and the other major Democratic candidates.

    Tired. Obsessive. Deranged.

    Posted by: 24play | Jan 28, 2008 7:31:44 PM


  5. Slightly off subject, but does anyone know why it's not alright for Obama's race to be an issue but it's perfectly acceptable for Hilary's gender to be an issue?

    Posted by: Dawson J. | Jan 28, 2008 7:34:32 PM


  6. Bedwell
    Do you feel better now that you have taken up the whole board? & do you really think that someone is that interested in what you have to say to read all of that posting from 1 person? You just wasted your time.

    Posted by: Norma J. | Jan 28, 2008 7:55:12 PM


  7. YOSHI,
    Don't be surprised if it is only 1 person, maybe 2, writing under multiple names & trying to give the appearance that there are mulitple people here for Hillary when in fact there is not>> They are simply Alter Egos, AKA. LMBO

    Posted by: Norma J. | Jan 28, 2008 8:00:21 PM


  8. Well, let me say first before I throw nails in the road that I will support the Dem nominee, even if we nominate a brown paper bag.

    But, can we please stop pretending Barack's campaign is all sweetness and light? God damn, it's tiring to say the least.

    The "Clinton said a black man winning the presidency is a fairytale" is just that - a fairytale, and one that has been used by Obama and his surrogates to paint the Clintons as racist. Total bullshit and the REAL fairytale here. He's not going to win the general election by pretending every criticism is a race-based attack. One of his supporters (name escapes me) was on Morning Joe on Saturday playing it just that way. A co-host corrected him, luckily. This supporter also said Hillary wasn't even campaigning in the state that day. She sure as hell was.

    Your saint has dirt on his hands and before I get called a racist for the above criticism as I have before on other sites, I live in Illinois and voted for him.

    Posted by: Marco | Jan 28, 2008 8:02:45 PM


  9. As a youth voter, I have to say the Kennedy endorsement was extremely powerful. I know well the legacy Ted Kennedy leaves, and while Patrick and the author didn't really make me excited, it was obvious watching the speech how excited Patrick was to support Obama.

    As for policy I have two things to say about that. In the United States of America, a Constitutional Republic, you will find our constitution clearly does not allow our president to write policy. He can make friends and influence people, but the president only gets to disprove of what they decide in the end. So, while I am well aware that policy-wise on paper the candidates are similar (and yes, I even know the details of his health plan), I know full well that their proposals aren't going to make it through congress without significant changes. Two, if you really think HillaryCare is going to make it through congress without significant changes, you're more naive than the average american.

    I choose my president based on his ethics and ability to inspire. If you have those qualities, the policies well be acceptable and the country will be just. If you lack those traits, but promise a million policies, you end up with the last 30 years of presidents.

    Penultimately, as a child of the baby boomers, I have this to say. GET OUT OF WASHINGTON, YOU GUYS ARE DESTROYING YOUR KIDS COUNTRY. I don't think you really understand how powerful this sentiment is, as can be seen by the 22% 18-29 turnout for Obama in Iowa earlier this month.

    And finally, if you look to your president to give gay rights, you need to study the government a lot more. Presidents can only make things neutral, they're not going to give rights like that. You need to look to the courts and then the legislature first, after that you can expect the executive to pretend they were on board all the way. On the other hand, after seeing Obama in person, I know he's a person I can trust with not degrading our rights.

    Sean

    Posted by: Sean Fritz | Jan 28, 2008 8:06:10 PM


  10. David Ehrenstein

    Please explain to me how Hillary's desire to NOT repeal DOMA in its entirety is helpful to us gays

    Thank you

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Jan 28, 2008 8:13:00 PM


  11. Timothy Kincaid: Did you pause to go get a drink? 'Cause I am waiting for the substantive rebuttal to my argument. First lady is not an elected position. It is not an accountable position. It is the ultimate un-Feminist position -- arriving at power by virute of betrothel.

    Norma J: Amen! And thank you!

    Posted by: GM | Jan 28, 2008 8:13:06 PM


  12. While I do not want to begrudge Mr. Obama for a good spate of endorsements, will someone please explain to me how a Senator, who has been in office since 1962 (that's 45 years, folks) is all of a sudden a king maker for a "change" candidate?

    Posted by: Nick | Jan 28, 2008 8:19:21 PM


  13. Well, that just about seals Ted's fate for the next Mass. election.... can we ask him to go ahead and endorse Mitt while we're at it?

    Posted by: anna | Jan 28, 2008 8:22:59 PM


  14. What maeks you think I support Hillary Clinton, Jimmyboyo?

    Oh I see -- since I'm against Obama I MUST be for Hillary.

    Nice little binary universe you live in.

    A Big Ol' SING OUT LOUISE to michael Bedwell for his history lesson re the Magic Negor's less than magical powers

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jan 28, 2008 8:24:24 PM


  15. NICK

    I would begrudge you your point if it was say Robert Byrd doing the endorsing (though his formerly being a KKK member in his youth would make his endorsment poingnat)

    Kenedy's "kingmaker" status cupled with JFK's daughter's endorsment are powerful because they are the heir apperants to Camelot. John John is no longer with us regretably.

    Many dems of that generation have pics of JFK, RK, and MLK in their homes much like catholics do of John Paul.

    Dems of a certain generation will never think anything bad about CAMELOT.

    Teddy's experience is one as LION of the liberal wing of the dem party. He is ranked as one of the most LIBERAL dems.

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Jan 28, 2008 8:29:14 PM


  16. David Ehrenstein

    To single out how 1 candidate out of the top 2 will not be bringing us a Gay utopia is hypocritical.

    You will find more people agreeing with you if you spread your criticism across the board. Both of the top 2 dems are not messiahs going to usher in a golden age of gay rights.

    Please state emphaticaly that Hillary also sucks on gay rights and thus not appear as a hypocrite or answer how Hillary's refusal to totaly repeal DOMA is helpful.....

    Thank you

    Have a nice day

    :-)

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Jan 28, 2008 8:33:36 PM


  17. I still think his power beyond the blogosphere and punditocracy is being unfairly exaggerated. Yes, it is a major defeat for Hillary, but for every person who lionizes Teddy, you have another one making a jab about Chappaquiddick.d

    I realize that Kennedy is one of the most revered Senators with a great political record, but it must also not be forgotten that he helped write the compromise bill for "No Child Left Behind," which everyone consideres to be pretty terrible. Seriously, Teddy Kennedy has been a senator for nearly the same number of years that Obama has been alive. I bet you could find just as many boneheaded initiatives as great ones.

    Plus, anyone who goes back and actually studies the Presidency of JFK, you will see a person who had a vision that went beyond the horizon, but who in reality, was not a very good president. Yes, I chose those words intentionally, because indeed, if you do want a Kennedy-esqe candidate, then you certainly have one in Barack Obama. I do not consider that a good thing.

    Heck, I find it endless interesting that in 1963 the Kennedy administration backed a coup in Iraq by the Baathists that begat Saddam Hussein. Think about that for a moment...

    I suppose where I am going here is that the love that the country and those Democrats of a certain age have for Camelot is pretty much a house of cards. It just shows that we were just as susceptible to rhetoric then as we are now.

    Posted by: Nick | Jan 28, 2008 8:50:30 PM


  18. If I need something to lift my spirits, I much rather rent a good movie. These are troubled times for our country, I don't need someone to lift my spirit. I need someone with experience that can take us all out of this freaking mess. The only thing I like about the Kennedy's is the fact the we need for sure a Democrat President. But I don't agree with the Obama at all. I want for this country to be respected for its human rights and I want this country to be the number one country in the world. I just don't think that Obama has what it takes to do that. Lastly......HILLARY ALL THE WAY!!!

    Posted by: jack | Jan 28, 2008 8:52:25 PM


  19. This is what confuses me. I should say it really saddens me I'm not really confused. Obama is a politician like any other politician. 8 months ago it was a given that Hilary was going to be the Democratic nominee. She was crowned as Queen. No one seemed to have a problem with it. But as soon as Obama gained some momentum I heard more and more negative things about him especially on Gay sites. I'm searching for something to pinpoint the reason for it all but all I see is because he's Black, African-American or whatever you want to say.

    I don't hate Hilary. But I don't see the big pass she has been given by the Gay community. That doesn't mean that I don't like her. I don't like how she's thrown race into the mix and she and her campaign has done that without a doubt but I know the Clinton's will do what they have to do to win and do the clean up later.

    I will vote for her if she is the Democratic nominee but we have a guy who made a mistake and aligned himself with a guy who is closeted. (Oh that's right I have to say he's on the DL because he's Black). He's given most of the same issues importance as Edwards and Hilary but all I hear is that he's just an inspirational speaker. I'm sorry but he is not Jesse Jackson. They just share the same skin color.

    My true wish is that the Gay community could really TRULY sit down and talk about race issues because honestly from my personal experience straight people feel more inclined to support Obama than Gay people and I just don't get it. If you take away the mega preachers and stupid athletes The Blacks and Gays have had many of the same struggles. I asked a friend of mine once if he was Black first or Gay first. The answer suprised me but I guess it explains a lot about our world and our community.

    Posted by: DB | Jan 28, 2008 8:56:23 PM


  20. This is what confuses me. I should say it really saddens me I'm not really confused. Obama is a politician like any other politician. 8 months ago it was a given that Hilary was going to be the Democratic nominee. She was crowned as Queen. No one seemed to have a problem with it. But as soon as Obama gained some momentum I heard more and more negative things about him especially on Gay sites. I'm searching for something to pinpoint the reason for it all but all I see is because he's Black, African-American or whatever you want to say.

    I don't hate Hilary. But I don't see the big pass she has been given by the Gay community. That doesn't mean that I don't like her. I don't like how she's thrown race into the mix and she and her campaign has done that without a doubt but I know the Clinton's will do what they have to do to win and do the clean up later.

    I will vote for her if she is the Democratic nominee but we have a guy who made a mistake and aligned himself with a guy who is closeted. (Oh that's right I have to say he's on the DL because he's Black). He's given most of the same issues importance as Edwards and Hilary but all I hear is that he's just an inspirational speaker. I'm sorry but he is not Jesse Jackson. They just share the same skin color.

    My true wish is that the Gay community could really TRULY sit down and talk about race issues because honestly from my personal experience straight people feel more inclined to support Obama than Gay people and I just don't get it. If you take away the mega preachers and stupid athletes The Blacks and Gays have had many of the same struggles. I asked a friend of mine once if he was Black first or Gay first. The answer suprised me but I guess it explains a lot about our world and our community.

    Posted by: DB | Jan 28, 2008 8:57:02 PM


  21. Look people: all straight black men hate us fags. All of them, including and especially Barry Obama. Do not vote for this faith-based prick. If he does get the nod from the same Democratic Party that revoked my fellow Floridians the right to serve as delegates at the national convention, I am sitting this one out after 25 years of party loyalty. Christ, I'd rather have that little puke Kucinich for the candidate!

    Posted by: Matt | Jan 28, 2008 9:00:38 PM


  22. There is nothing wrong with Obama, everything is fine! A voting guide.

    1.It’s nothing wrong with Obama to accept favors from Rezko. Every politician does favors to collect favors, either for personal or a campaign fund and move on to get elected. If Obama bought land from Rezko less than 300k of market value, so what? Nothing has been proved that he knew it. He said he didn’t know it.

    2.There is perfectly fine with Obama using drugs when he was young, he was just like one of many kids who have used, or will at sometime in their life. But at least Obama was honest to admit it. It was in the past, the law can’t convict him now. A very powerful, and smart message to connect to young voters when he could show he was like one of them, a brother, and an occasional sinner.

    3.It’s very naturally clever, and like any smart politician, Obama voted ‘present’ (neither Yes or No) when Obama didn’t want to create enemy on the record especially when his vote didn’t make any difference. That’s why Obama rarely has enemy ( except the Clintons). When enough people likes him, this tactic would prove as one of his most effective way to unite the country.

    4.Obama opposed the Iraq war when he wasn’t yet a senator, and like anybody ( Joe & Moe on the street), and for any reason, one could opposed the war. His decision turned out to be much praised later on although no one has yet heard of why he did at the time. Whatever people want to label this as a lucky guess or a smart side-taking, Obama was right, wasn’t he? Don’t we all know that in sport sometimes a lucky team can win over a good team?

    5.Although it’s against a tradition not to vocally praise your real opponent (Republican in November) and talk down on your own team ( Democrat) before the competition begins, it’s nothing wrong with Obama when he praised Regan and discredited Clinton era. In fact, it was a very smart strategy when Obama sees the real opponent, at least for now, is Hillary, and the true friends are independent Reagan lovers. Obama will surely switch the tactic when an appropriate time will come. On the other hand, it would show Obama believes himself as honest, and a true uniter with a one-size-fits-all politics when he praised and embraced everybody… republicans, democrats, independents, minority, old, young, women, gays, lesbians, and even the ones who are not old enough to vote.

    6.It makes feel so good to listen, and get excited by Obama speech every time one turns on TV because the speech contains of words rhymed one after the other, very poetic, it feels like the message of change being floating in the air. It’s so inspirational that one doesn’t even need a drink, nor drug to get high, that one can see bright future right away.

    7.It is nothing wrong with 81 % of black voters, 300k more than 2004 primary who came out and voted for Obama in SC. Would you support to a Hispanic candidate if you were a Hispanic and think your candidate could win? But it would be racist if a white voter thinks about voting for a white candidate because he/she’s white.

    8.It is nothing wrong with Obama campaign to stir up the race issue trying to win the SC; it was a smart campaign strategy to persuade black voters especially some of them have previously supported the Bill Clinton aka first black president.

    9.It is perfectly fine, and not so hard to understand when the four biggest Gun, Tobacco, defense, and medical care industries have gone all their ways against the Clintons in the past, presence, and future if you put yourselves in their shoes to comprehend how these billionaires feel. Everybody wants to make money, right!? So do they. The Clintons must have been very stupid to make such powerful enemies, they should have been quiet unless they really want more troubles… the lesson of being impeached once hasn’t help them to learn anything though.

    10.There is nothing wrong with the fact that big media like MSNBC, CNN, Fox all hate Clinton’s, destroyed them in daily news reports, through New Hampshire’s mistaken polls… So what!? Imagine if one owns a news network and have nationally broadcast power, he/she would do the same unless one doesn’t realize having such power. Sorry Clinton’s supporters!, that’s life in America!

    11.This was a very smart tactic when a current president (G. Bush), Karl Rove, and Newt Gingrich praised Hillary to be democratic nominee. It’s a common tactic which has been often used in politics, and military to first confuse opponents especially at the time some democrats don’t know who to vote for, then slooowly to enlighten them by pointing to polls that indicates Obama as the only one who could beat McCain.

    If all these above arguments seems ok and normal to you with no questions asked…. Go ahead and vote for Obama!

    Posted by: Kevin-California | Jan 28, 2008 9:02:43 PM


  23. David Ehrenstein,

    I really don't give a horse's ass what you, Michael Bedwetter or any other Obama-bashers have to say. But please keep that "Magic Negor" shit to yourself. Regardless of how it was intended, it is neither funny nor clever.

    Posted by: soulbrotha | Jan 28, 2008 9:31:33 PM


  24. Obama and HilnBil share the same politics. They both oppose socialized medicine, repeal of NAFTA and other union busting law and immediate withdrawal. In fact they both agree that the troops will have to stay until at least 2013. Their differences on the war are tactical – Obama wants to attack Pakistan and Clinton agrees with Bush that the attack should be directed against Iran.

    It’s true that Obama is a pigheaded opponent of samesex marriage equality but the Clintons are worse. They worked closely with their Republican bedmates to ram through bigot bills like DOMA and DADT and their campaign director Barney scuttled the hate crimes bill and ENDA sop they wouldn’t be an issue in the elections.

    Obama does indeed pander to bigots but self loathing Rev. Donnie McClurkin and Mary Mary are chump change bigots compared to the ones who love Hillary Clinton. They include bible study bedmates like former Senators Santorum and Brownback, loonies like Pat Robertson and menacing figures Rupert Murdoch, fuehrer of the Faux News empire.

    The problem that Democrats face is that their candidates support the deregulation and union busting that ruining our standard of living, they both pander to bigots and their differences with the Republicans are cosmetic at best. Obama’s politics are not particularly different from the Clintons; they’ve just been at it longer and are more heartily detested for it.

    Posted by: Bill Perdue, RainbowRED | Jan 28, 2008 9:36:31 PM


  25. I'm finding it easier and easier to be a smug European when I watch Americans in the same party eviscerating candidates who are outstanding individuals. Just because it's primary season doesn't give you a free pass to act like the GOP and smear each other over semantics. The American instinct to self-divide into smaller and smaller pockets (black, Catholic, Southern, gay, ex-husband of Britney Spears, etc.) of likeness is incredible. Y'all are supposed to be the civilised superpower? Ay caramba...

    Posted by: Krypenthorff III | Jan 28, 2008 9:41:32 PM


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