January 28th, 2008
01:15 PM ET
7 years ago

Kennedy endorses Obama: 'I feel change in the air'

Ted Kennedy formally endorsed Obama Monday.
Ted Kennedy formally endorsed Obama Monday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Edward Kennedy backed Sen. Barack Obama for president Monday, saying: "It is time again for a new generation of leadership."

"It is time now for Barack Obama," the Massachusetts senator and brother of the late President Kennedy added.

He stood with Obama, his son Rep. Patrick Kennedy and his niece, Caroline Kennedy before a screaming capacity crowd of students at American University in Washington, DC.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Ted Kennedy
soundoff (828 Responses)
  1. Dave in SF

    Hillary's campaign rests on the singular idea that Senator Obama is not experienced enough. One of the most experienced members of the U.S. Senate, Ted Kennedy, thinks Obama is plenty experienced, plenty wise and plenty ready. More importantly, he believes Obama has the optimism, charisma and authenticity to inspire a country that need to be healed rather than divided. Obama represents the future of American politics. It's a future we can be proud of.

    January 28, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  2. Emmanuel

    His message was fascinating!!! If he loses I'm voting Republican sad but true! The Clintons are too divisive :(

    Obama 08!

    January 28, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  3. John John

    Go Obama! Cheers! :)

    January 28, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  4. janet heller

    Kathleen Kennedy was Governor of Maryland not Lt. Governor.

    January 28, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  5. DJ

    Wow... the Hillary shills are out in full force.

    They want so badly to say that Obama's endorsements are about "race".

    They are right to a degree.... Kennedy decided to endorse Obama after the Clinton's copied Nixon 1968 "Southern Strategy" in South Carolina in an attempt to "tokenize" Obama.

    Kennedy is a friend to the Clintons.... and this time, he said, "You two have crossed the line. I'm sorry, I can no longer support you."

    William Jefferson Clinton spent the past two weeks morphing into William Jefferson Atwater.... and he may have lost his legacy forever.

    Hillary and Bill followed the Rove playbook..... and that doesn't work in the Democratic party.

    January 28, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  6. Matt

    Jessica,

    The views of the endorser aren't necessarily the views of the candidate. Can you blame Kennedy for not supporting Clinton after the cheap tricks her campaign has been pulling? Her claims that Obama is running against her and not her husband rang hollow after she let Bill handle South Carolina while she was absent, and her most recent ploy to change the rules after she has the advantage and get the delegates from Michigan seated was a sad demonstration of her dedication to old school political tricks.

    Bush may have said he was a uniter and not a divider, but if Clinton spoke the same words they'd seem just as false. I'm all for a woman president, but not one who uses those methods, and not one who will start her term with a great deal of animosity focused on her from across the aisle.

    -Matt

    January 28, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  7. Elanor

    Get on the bus! The kennedys endorsing Obams is about them seeing something in him that has not happened since John and Robert were alive. Obama can end the apathy and cynicism that has pageued... not washington, but the American people. Change happens when "we the people" get involved. No one politician (Hillary, Edwards, or Obama) is going to change Washington on their own. But when the people are inspired and get involved and take back their government, we can change the world. The Kennedy's know it, they see it, and it's courageous of them to cross their allies, and friends in Washington to reach again for what they think is a historic opportunity for America. Obama uplifts and inspires. He has lit a fire and increased participation. He is a once in a life-time leader, but it is all of the people he inspires to stand up and get involved who will change the world.

    January 28, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  8. Dimitrios, Washingon DC

    It boggles my mind how anyone sees the Kennedy and Kerry endorsement – two Limousine Liberals – who also represent the core of the establishment in Washington as a positive.

    On one hand, Obama teleprompter reads (how dissappointing) inspirational speeches of change where he promises a new direction away from the divisive politics of old, and he parades out two of the most obviously old establishment senators there are.

    That is more of the same.

    My two problems with Obama are:

    1.) He lacks signigicant experience to take on the presidency in an era of institutional and global instability. We can't afford an albeit bright and inspirational candidate who has to learn on the job and has never even finished a single senate term and spent his careeer in politics as a lowly state senator.

    2.) He is an ULTRA LIBERAL. Clinton is actually a Centrist. This appeals to me greatly beacuse I don't think the answer is to swing hard to the left. For all the talk about Obama bringing the country and Washington together and how divisive Clinton is, he has the more liberal track record. Which do you think will provoke a culture of divisiveness in the next adminstrative cycle? Wake up people.

    January 28, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. benvictor

    Simple question. If you were running for President, would you want Teddy's endorsement?
    It means diddly squat coming from a guy who has no success in presidential politics either for himself as well as for others. He has been a non-player in the party for decades. Bobby's kids have endorsed Hillary, so one wonders why the fuss over Teddy.

    January 28, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. swift boat

    I'm amazed at how people trying to attack someone like Obama who is only trying to do something positive in the world. Regardless of how you feel, you can't knock someone for doing that. Out of all the dems running, Obama gets the most respect, not as a political figure, but as a regular human being. Women that stick with Hillary soley because she is a woman, is kind of a double standard, because if black people say they're voting for Obama because he's black it would be considered racist. with Hillary you're not getting her, you're getting a co-presidentcy.

    January 28, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  11. Yolanda

    all these great endorsements aside

    ITS THE ECONOMY STUPID

    January 28, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  12. Kevin

    I think that Caroline's endorsement is just as important as Ted's support, if not moreso. She has intentionally stayed out of politics and refrained from invoking her father's name for years. I thought it was especially poignant tht it was her children that led her to make this decision, further supporting the fact that Obama's appeal goes beyond just race. This is a generational shift along the same lines that occured when JFK was elected.

    January 28, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  13. Clovie

    This endorsement is a divisive one, which in my opinion is more of a curse than a blessing. Ted Kennedy is a controversial character even in the Democratic Party. His endorsement will affect very few Democratic primary voters, but provide much needed fodder for a negative Republican ad in the general election.

    Why perfectly good candidates have to dablle in the divisive politics of race beats me. Why can't we tlak about the issues without personal barbs? As a political science major and a law student, I am an avid reader of blogs and news. This is the first time, I have felt completely turned off.

    January 28, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  14. tanner, ca

    jessica says, "Men have screwed up usa for the last 200 years.. now its time for a woman to fix things."

    Hmmmm, I guess Hillary doesn't have to say anything of substance. She's got your vote just because of hers and your gender.

    As a white, traditionally republican male I will say that Obama has certainly caught my eye. While I may not agree with some of his positions, what I do see is a person who can genuinely unite this country and bring people from all walks of life together and restore a common interest in the future of this country. And like it or not, that is exactly what I think our country needs right now. No other candidate on either side can do that I'm afraid.

    Certainly not Hillary, she is the most divisive person in the country right now.

    So if you want 4-8 more years of petulent squabbling and bitter divisiveness then by all means vote for her. But if you really want to move forward, put the bitterness behind us and come together as one, united country then I think Obama is possibly the candidate up to the task. Just like there were "Reagan Democrats" in the 80's, I may just have to admit that I'm an "Obama Republican".

    January 28, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  15. Dagim

    Surprisingly , Obama is doing well. Not only Kennedy's are influencial , but they say something about this election when they support a juniour senator from Illinois. Who can be more influential than Kennedy? Go Obama. I'm with you.

    January 28, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  16. Barbara

    I'm one of those 50+ year old, Democratic women who the TV heads have been saying are Senator Clinton's loyal block of backers. That was true until the dirty politics of South Carolina. I have changed my loyalty to Senator Obama and urge others to do as well.

    Our country is desperately in need of his inspiring vision for our country. Time to put an end to the Bush/Clinton time in our history.

    Thank you Kennedy clan for your brave endorsement and once again showing the moral leadership that has been missing in this election cycle.

    January 28, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  17. Karl

    The result was a speech with a light touch on the most striking point about Obama's victory: the historic nature of a black candidate's win in the almost entirely white state of Iowa. "The first line was simply, 'They said this day would never come'," says Favreau. "Even when we do speeches to African-American crowds, it's hinted at and it's understood. It's not hammered over the head."

    by Jon Favreau. Obama's speech writer.

    January 28, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  18. Wake up

    Here's a concept. Why don't we see how the political process plays out? I'm still very concerned with Obama's lack of foreign affairs experience. Let's look at each candidate's experience and vote on that. I hope that the DNC gets with the program and allows the FL delegates to count. I feel as though my constitutional rights are being violated.

    January 28, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  19. kadi

    AMERICANS HAVE ALWAYS HAD A CONNECTION WITH THEIR PRESIDENT.
    THAT END WHEN JFK DIED. OUR PRAYERS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED.
    OBAMA NOW HOLDS OUR BATON. WHAT ELS CAN WE ASK FOR. WE MUST COME OUT AND VOTE FOR OUR LEADER. OUR TIME HAS COME.
    OUR WORLD IS NOW RUN ON LINES LIKE THIS.
    EU, NATO, OIL, IRAN, MUSLIM FUNDAMENTALISM, WAR ON TERROR. WE MANIPULATED THESE LINES. THIS WORLD IS MORE PEACEFUL THAN OUR CURRENT MANIPULATION AND ECONOMIC GREED WANTS US TO BELIEVE. WE HAVE DIVIDED OURSELVES. THE WORLD YEARNS FOR A NEW BEGINNING, A PROMISE, A NEW DAY, A NEW WORLD OF HOPE AND CULTURAL INTERGRATION. PLEASE COME OUT AND VOTE. THIS IS OUR OWN UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO SHOWCASE OUR FIRM CONVICTION THAT THE WORLD CAN BE PEACEFUL, STRONG AS A MUTIRACIAL PEOPLE.
    OBAMA WILL TAKE US THERE.

    January 28, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  20. Salamandra

    I;m black and I pray Obamah doesnt win. The first balck man in the white house needs to have a brain and experience. He will be judged twice as hard by white america. ThisBarack aint even a real brother! Hes just playing. He may set us back a hundred years cause he is just not ready. being a friend of Oprah dont make a resume!!!

    January 28, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  21. Brian

    The Hillary clown is going down to Chinatown.

    January 28, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  22. dee

    Sen. Obama is recieving some "interesting" endorsements.

    January 28, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  23. Mike, St. Paul MN

    Carol, at least he got the most important foreign policy issue of our time right. IRAQ!!!!

    Obama = good judgement
    Billary = experience excercising BAD JUDGEMENT

    January 28, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  24. AJ, IL

    Say all you want Obama-haters and die-hard Hillary-supporters, but this endorsement is HUGE! With great endorsements like this come all the contacts and organization with it.

    Let's not fool ourselves. Hillary Clinton and John Edwards both really wanted this endorsement. Even slick Willy himself called up Ted Kennedy to beg him not to endorse Obama.

    FIRED UP! READY TO GO! YES WE CAN! FIRED UP! READY TO GO! YES WE CAN! FIRED UP! READY TO GO! YES WE CAN! FIRED UP! READY TO GO! YES WE CAN!

    I'm so pumped, I think it is time to make another Obama donation.

    OBAMA in '08!

    January 28, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  25. Denise

    vote Ron Paul!!!

    January 28, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
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