February 2nd, 2008
07:07 PM ET
10 years ago

Ethel Kennedy backs Obama

In a statement, Ethel Kennedy compares Obama to her late husband.

In a statement, Ethel Kennedy compares Obama to her late husband.

(CNN) - Ethel Kennedy, widow of Robert F. Kennedy, became the latest member of the high-profile clan to weigh in on the presidential race Saturday, announcing her support for Democrat Barack Obama.

In a statement released by the campaign, she compared Obama to her late husband. “Over these past few years, I’ve watched Sen. Obama inspire Americans from all walks of life to believe in real change and a new sense of hope and possibility. He’s a magnetic force, drawing the nation together for the common good and galvanizing us all to help shape our country’s future.

“Barack is so like Bobby, who struggled for the rights of the poor in the Mississippi Delta and Appalachia, traveled to California to stand in solidarity with Cesar Chavez and farm workers, and fought to end another war that cost so many lives.

“Today, we crave a leader with vision who can help us regain our lost humanity and rekindle our inherent generosity. With courage, caring, and charisma, Senator Obama is leading us toward a kinder, gentler world."

Obama said he was "humbled" to learn of Ethel Kennedy's decision.

This presidential campaign cycle has seen a split in the Kennedy family, many of whom generally avoid weighing in on political contests. Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy and former First Daughter Caroline Kennedy all endorsed Obama at a campaign rally earlier this week, and are actively stumping for the Illinois senator. Ethel Kennedy's children Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend have both publicly backed Hillary Clinton.

–CNN's Suzanne Malveaux and Matt Hoye contributed to this report

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. Lets deliver Obama to the World

    Mama knows best!

    February 2, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  2. independent for Obama

    I am glad our American royalty, the Kennedy's, are making their voices heard for Obama. These people are on America's side! They always have been. Look at all this family has sacrificed for our nation. Two revolutionary forces that stirred up our nation for righteousness and civil rights, John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy. Thank goodness their voices are still heard in the voices of their children and family!

    February 2, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  3. Joelle, Milwaukee, WI

    The Kennedy clan has a long and very troubled history here in America, having made there fortunes on the back of the labor of Blacks and Jews; it is interesting at the very least, that they still want to own one...

    February 2, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  4. HH

    This is amazing, the Kennedy’s family and Clintons are friends but to come out and endorse some one whom nobody knew before 2004 is testimony to Barack’s greatness.

    Obama gives me goose-bumps every time I hear him speak.

    He is intelligent, decent, inclusive, and man of integrity.

    Obama is true leader and that is what we need today.

    February 2, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  5. vigna

    Here You Go !!!!!!

    Sen. Ted Kennedy couldn’t attract Latinos vote for Obama
    He try to bring some more votes from his family members
    Best of luck Mr Senator for 2012

    Hillary Clinton next President of Untied States of America

    February 2, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  6. Livia

    Hillary 2008!!!!!

    February 2, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  7. john17

    noone cares

    February 2, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  8. Sam

    Joelle needs to take off the white cape. YES WE CAN!

    February 2, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  9. Terri Gilmanton NH

    I love the Kennedys BUT I am votiing for Senator Clinton. Go Hillary-Teddy you will be happy with Hillary in the White House!

    February 2, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  10. ramsfire

    Would love to see your sources on the above statement..........that is unless you are part of the Disinformation/Misinformation/MATRIX that runs rampant under the Bush/Cheney/Rovian NAZI REGIME. My research shows that Joseph P. Kennedy had "Alcohol-Related" Enterprises that accounted for the Family's Wealth, with nary a Black OR a Jew to be found laboring in their "Fields". Time for a REGIME CHANGE.........by any means necessary.

    February 2, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  11. Jon Cruz

    This is ridiculous. I agree, Ted Kennedy's endorsement is a big deal. But Ethel? The pro-Obama wave on here is ridiculous. You still aren't featuring the NY Times.

    February 3, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  12. Michael Katz

    actually, they made their fortune bootleging alcohol during the 20's when it was illegal.

    February 3, 2008 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  13. michelle t

    why would you leave such a racist comment are you low on hope or love come to obama.com we will fill you up with both yes we can

    February 3, 2008 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  14. observer#1

    This represents change? Another way for the Kennedy family to try to have some one "owe" them. The older Kennedys have had a blemished history since we have seen their name. What are they up to now???

    February 3, 2008 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  15. Andy, New York, New York

    I want you Hillary nutheads to see one thing:

    These people coming out in droves for Obama is really an anti-Hillary tsunami!

    February 3, 2008 03:58 am at 3:58 am |
  16. kevin from alaska

    On the NYTimes article about Obama.... let's not forget who they endorsed last week. And let's also mention HRC was one of the first backers of Obama's bill.

    February 3, 2008 04:04 am at 4:04 am |
  17. Doris Bianchi

    I was surprised to hear that Ethel Kennedy endorsed Obama.I have always had the impression Ethel Kennedy was of the highest intelligence, but I was wrong. Following the debates, it is clear Hillary Clinton has a much better health care policy, immigration control and ideas on how to implement and correct the problems concerning the illegals already here. She is definetly the most experienced in all areas. She has our entire families votes.
    Obama is good and has good ideas, but he just does not have the "Give em hell ",ability Hillary has. She's got the "BEEN THERE-DONE THAT experience
    Obama ought to give the "dream team" considerable thought, (Clinton/Obama)and be ready for the next four years.

    February 3, 2008 04:05 am at 4:05 am |
  18. The observer

    La Opinion to endorse Barack Obama

    February 3, 2008 04:24 am at 4:24 am |
  19. Wade San Diego

    I'm excited and super proud of the amount of blogging and commenting that goes on on here. I was surprised however that most of the Hillary Supporters on here continue to show incredible divisiveness. Aren't we a Democratic Party? Why do we do the attacks and negative campaigning on each other. Isn't it really all about our Party joining together and fighting the fight.

    Obviously, I support Barack Obama. I originally supported Hillary early on, until I found out more about Obama. Not to say that Hillary isn't a great candidate, it's just I'm excited and feel that there is a chance to change things to a different tone in Washington.

    Hillary is a great candidate, I don't and will not speak ill of her. I know she would be a great President. I just feel like taking the chance to hope for something new.

    I hope and pray that we all discontinue all the bickering here in these rooms. Support your candidate, love your candidate, be excited about them too. But don't use divisive language that just tears us apart.


    That's what we need to be whoever should win the nomination.

    Stop playing Republican political tactics and attacking your fellow Democrats.

    "there is not a red America or a blue America there is the United States of America." – Barack Obama.

    Democrats start being American and be excited and inspired, but don't be negative and attacking. We are above that.

    February 3, 2008 04:32 am at 4:32 am |
  20. Chuck Rhodes

    As Hillary slips in the polls, her supporters quickly turn nasty.Oops, just like Bill and Hillary. Their true colors come out when pushed to the wall. They can't stand it when they are not in the spotlight.

    As a feminist, I fought with women for years for them to be identified by their own accomplishments rather than their husbands. And now the great Hillary's biggest claim is her experience as FIRST LADY. 'Cuse me but that is not the battle that true feminist fought.

    Don't get me wrong I have supported BIll since he ran in 1992 but their evil side has really come out during the past few weeks.

    And don't think for one moment that IF she gets the nomination, their behavior will be poor kindle for the GOP. The Democrats may blow this chance to regain the White House if we nominate Hillary. She has a dirty dirty record.

    February 3, 2008 04:38 am at 4:38 am |
  21. jon

    Dear Doris, how is MANDATED health care a better health care policy? If I make $30,000 and am in generally good health, shouldn't it be up to me to take the risk of not having insurance? Especially when I can use that money to better provide for my family, my children. MANDATED health care has insurance companies drooling at the incredible profits they will make at the citizens' expense. And do you think the quality of care will improve under such a system? Look at Canada, England, etc. Due to the bureaucracy comes with universal, state-supported health care, it can take years to get treated for a life-threatening disease!

    February 3, 2008 04:41 am at 4:41 am |
  22. Alison, FL

    When all of you HIllary supporters are forced to purchase healthcare and forced to have microchips inserted in your arms for monitoring, then don't come complaining to the rest of us who actually have brains! Can't you see in her eyes the greed for power? Does it not scare you just a bit that her and her husband want to be back in the White House so bad? THINK

    February 3, 2008 04:43 am at 4:43 am |
  23. gina

    How can one vote again for the Clintons. 10 years is moe then enough! How not to soo that all they do is essentially for themselves and for their own greediness for power?

    February 3, 2008 04:44 am at 4:44 am |
  24. Big

    may be if we put a clinton in office may bill want cheat on her

    February 3, 2008 04:45 am at 4:45 am |
  25. For Authenticity & Real Ability

    Putting aside all of the feel good endorsements which are wonderful and speak to just how great Barack is....there is no denying how brilliant he is. he's incredibly real and authentic. People like him don't come around often. For all those who don't get it, go read about him, read his book The Audacity of Hope, check out his policies on his website, watch his Google interview and others on youtube, and finally, don't ignore this incredible opportunity! Barack Obama!

    February 3, 2008 05:01 am at 5:01 am |
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