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What Would JFK Do?


If JFK were alive today, who would he endorse? We'll never know but Senator Ted Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy, JFK's daughter, are endorsing Obama. Read below from The Boston Herald:

Senator Edward M. Kennedy will endorse Barack Obama for president tomorrow, breaking his year-long neutrality to send a powerful signal of where the legendary Massachusetts Democrat sees the party going -- and who he thinks is best to lead it.

Kennedy confidantes told the Globe today that the Bay State's senior senator will appear with Obama and Kennedy's niece, Caroline Kennedy, at a morning rally at American University in Washington tomorrow to announce his support.

That will be a potentially significant boost for Obama as he heads into a series of critical primaries on Super Tuesday, Feb. 5.

Kennedy believes Obama can "transcend race'' and bring unity to the country, a Kennedy associate told the Globe. Kennedy was also impressed by Obama's deep involvement last year in the bipartisan effort to craft legislation on immigration reform, a politically touchy subject the other presidential candidates avoided, the associate said.

The coveted endorsement is a huge blow to New York Senator Hillary Clinton, who is both a senatorial colleague and a friend of the Kennedy family. In a campaign where Clinton has trumpeted her experience over Obama's call for hope and change, the endorsement by one of the most experienced and respected Democrats in the Senate is a particularly dramatic coup for Obama.

Read more here. Not to be outdone, Hillary Clinton rolled out Kathleen Kennedy Townsend as an endorsement: Her statement is below:

"I respect Caroline and Teddy's decision but I have made a different choice. While I admire Senator Obama greatly, I have known Hillary Clinton for over 25 years and have seen first hand how she gets results. As a woman, leader, and person of deep convictions, I believe Hillary Clinton would make the best possible choice for president. She shares so many of the concerns of my father. Hillary has spent a lifetime speaking out on behalf of the powerless and working to alleviate poverty, in our country and around the world. I have seen her work up close and know she will be a great President. At this moment when so much is at stake at home and overseas, I urge our fellow Americans to support Hillary Clinton. That is why my brother Bobby, my sister Kerry, and I are supporting Hillary Clinton."

So let me get this straight. JFK is the gold standard on the Democratic side and Reagan is the gold standard for Republicans. There are certain endorsements that mean something and with all due respect to Caroline and Kathleen, the one that really matters here is the one from Ted Kennedy.

Obama now has some "street cred" from a grizzly veteran and a very popular figure among liberals. Tangibly, the Ted Kennedy endorsement pokes a hole in Hillary's experience argument against Obama. The thinking here (which the Obama campaign hopes will stick) is if Ted Kennedy (Mr. Experience) is OK with Obama, then voters can feel more comfortable with the fact that experience isn't everything. Maybe even more importantly, the endorsement may be a signal that Democrats are looking for a "once in a generation candidate," a transformational figure who can broaden the base.

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Print     Email to a Friend    posted on Sunday, January 27, 2008 5:00 AM



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