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Read: Ted Kennedy's Letter to the President on Health Care

Here's the text of the letter from Ted Kennedy that Obama mentioned in his speech last night was received following Kennedy's death.

Obama_kennedy May 12, 2009
Dear Mr. President,

I wanted to write a few final words to you to express my gratitude for your repeated personal kindnesses to me – and one last time, to salute your leadership in giving our country back its future and its truth.

On a personal level, you and Michelle reached out to Vicki, to our family and me in so many different ways. You helped to make these difficult months a happy time in my life.

You also made it a time of hope for me and for our country.

When I thought of all the years, all the battles, and all the memories of my long public life, I felt confident in these closing days that while I will not be there when it happens, you will be the President who at long last signs into law the health care reform that is the great unfinished business of our society. For me, this cause stretched across decades; it has been disappointed, but never finally defeated. It was the cause of my life. And in the past year, the prospect of victory sustained me-and the work of achieving it summoned my energy and determination.

Continued, AFTER THE JUMP...

There will be struggles – there always have been – and they are already underway again. But as we moved forward in these months, I learned that you will not yield to calls to retreat - that you will stay with the cause until it is won. I saw your conviction that the time is now and witnessed your unwavering commitment and understanding that health care is a decisive issue for our future prosperity. But you have also reminded all of us that it concerns more than material things; that what we face is above all a moral issue; that at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country.

And so because of your vision and resolve, I came to believe that soon, very soon, affordable health coverage will be available to all, in an America where the state of a family’s health will never again depend on the amount of a family’s wealth. And while I will not see the victory, I was able to look forward and know that we will – yes, we will – fulfill the promise of health care in America as a right and not a privilege.

In closing, let me say again how proud I was to be part of your campaign- and proud as well to play a part in the early months of a new era of high purpose and achievement. I entered public life with a young President who inspired a generation and the world. It gives me great hope that as I leave, another young President inspires another generation and once more on America’s behalf inspires the entire world.

So, I wrote this to thank you one last time as a friend- and to stand with you one last time for change and the America we can become.

At the Denver Convention where you were nominated, I said the dream lives on.

And I finished this letter with unshakable faith that the dream will be fulfilled for this generation, and preserved and enlarged for generations to come.

With deep respect and abiding affection,

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  1. God bless this man, his family, our president and this country. Godspeed, Ted.

    Posted by: Blair | Sep 10, 2009 9:34:24 AM

  2. teddy passing the torch to obama. R.I.P., you and your family cared when you didn't have to.

    Posted by: nic | Sep 10, 2009 9:37:27 AM

  3. Amazing.

    Posted by: Mike E. Perez | Sep 10, 2009 10:02:11 AM

  4. Now THAT is a statesman.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Sep 10, 2009 11:08:13 AM

  5. And to think that "the greatest Republican asshole of them all", Wilson,(per Huffington Post) was allowed into the same building as such a dedicated statesman as the late Senator Kennedy make me want to throw up.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Sep 10, 2009 12:05:12 PM

  6. i had to hurl by the first paragraph....if truth is still maintaining an inability to have healthy dialog where the concept of july 4th was mere pretense, and some butt fuck in a broom closet at a library can filter my email to disrupt communication -- one is left to wonder -- what dream?? what truth?? and then, a queer man can help various community radios, but the production embraced can't even provide assistance during injury due to hate and bigotry (for the community) -- one is left wondering ..... have you really become that pathetic?? as i said yesterday -- hate crimes as entertainment much like boring "jiggy" domestic violence. conceptually i can appreciate his letter, yet, in direct experience and observation of the most pathetic project i've ever seen in my life with the most shallow egotistical morons -- as i said elsewhere, i'd take walter cronkite over ellen any day. vanity ventures that tolerate oversights for cheap agenda that isn't history as there are blatant oversights and ironic stupidity. health care for the community but you can't assist one who's been helping your community -- PATHETIC.

    but, thanks andy. nice hubble shot....far more illumination than anything on earth.

    Posted by: richard | Sep 10, 2009 12:55:11 PM

  7. @richard,

    i don't want whatever you swallowed.

    Posted by: nic | Sep 10, 2009 2:12:16 PM

  8. @RICHARD: I can't quite figure out if you are just a terrible writer, or if you have simply gone off your anti-psychotic meds. I'm betting the latter.

    Posted by: peterparker | Sep 10, 2009 2:59:13 PM

  9. Richard is awesome! You just don't see that kinda crazy every day.

    Posted by: crispy | Sep 10, 2009 3:08:59 PM

  10. Crispy, you're wrong. We're seeing it here from Richard/Ricardo every single day lately!

    Posted by: Paul R | Sep 10, 2009 5:56:27 PM

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