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Ted Kennedy Passes The Torch To Barack Obama

by @ 6:13 pm on January 28, 2008. Filed under 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Politics

There was an overflow crowd today at American University in Washington, D.C. as Senator Ted Kennedy, joined by his son and his niece, formally endorsed Barack Obama for President:

Sen. Barack Obama today picked up the endorsement of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), giving the Illinois Democrat a key boost as he and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) head into their final week of campaigning before the potentially crucial “Super Tuesday” presidential primaries on Feb. 5.

In a speech at American University in Washington, Kennedy, 75, a 45-year veteran of the Senate and a standard-bearer for liberal Democrats, joined his niece, Caroline Kennedy, and his son, Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.), in publicly backing Obama for the party’s nomination.

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 is 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.”

I’m no Ted Kennedy fan by any means, but there’s no way to downplay the significance of this endorsement, or of it’s importance in the race for the Democratic nomination. The Kennedy name still carries with it a certain cachet among Democrats, even more so than the Clinton name, and the association between the legacy of a fallen President and the hopes of a young Senator from Illinois are not going to be lost on many voters.

Will it be enough to give Obama the edge he needs ? I don’t know, but I can’t help but think that we’re witnessing something extraordinary here.

9 Responses to “Ted Kennedy Passes The Torch To Barack Obama”

  1. Anon says:

    Anyone heard anything about the rumor that Obama promised Ted Kennedy the VP slot in exchange for the endorsement?

  2. phil Geffen says:

    We at believe that the endorsement is a positive one for Obama. Through this endorsement – esp. Caroline Kennedy’s – we see that there are possibilities for change.

    Hillary (and esp. Bill) are running a nasty campaign – putting out negative ads then pulling them at the end. What are we getting? same ole politics – the pursuit of power. That will not help America.

    We at what-a-world are independent and have not made a deciison overall – we just believe that having bill and hillary in the white house will not further the American dream and possibilities. We believe that on Super Tues people should wake up and decide on someone positive, energetic and fresh. Hillary does not fit this – she is a politco thru and thru.

  3. says:

    Dont know how many others are as incensed as I am about these chain emails being sent to religious groups and others that question Sen. Barack Obamas patriotism and religious beliefs. (See press link to last weeks open letter from Jewish groups being bombarded with these emails:

    The use of the Internet to spread false information about a political candidate— and thus to affect the outcome of an election— is particularly abhorrent to me.

    We cannot regress to old-style dirty tricks. In the public interest, we need to get behind these emails—and identify who originated them.

    If you have received such an email, please forward it to me.

  4. Nick Corn says:

    This is like getting the O.J. Simpson endorsement.

  5. Sean77 says:

    It is a good day when Ted Kennedy recognizes true change and leadership. For all of you who support Hillary “Wall-Mart” Clinton, her experience at places like Wall-Mart did not and will not benefit working families!

  6. beaches357 says:

    Well, I like Hillary and I’m not as gullible as to believe Obama and all his hot air! If anyone believes that Barack, if elected, will “change things” in Washington is being, well gullible. This is the system we have and its been this way since the beginning and no one man or administration is going to “change” it. Oh by the way Barack’s hands are not clean, he has taken a few negative shots at Hillary but for some reason he gets a pass! Yes Barack, it’s the same ole Washington politics and you are up to your eyeballs in it!! He has effectively been put in the: poor black man being done wrong by the Clintons; category and any real vetting of him will be seen as a racial attack. As an AA female, I am amazed at how people seem to be tip-toeing around this man

  7. Obama is God says:

    Obama is GOD – All praise Obama – whomever disagrees is a racist!

  8. [...] very best in PR strategy.  This one has already seen some brilliant maneuvers, most notably by the Obama camp, but also by Clinton and McCain.  But lately Hillary’s campaign suffers from a negative [...]

  9. [...] rest, of course, is history. Obama went on to win the endorsement of Ted Kennedy, the most delegates on Super Tuesday, the Potomac Primaries, and Wisconsin. The momentum that [...]

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