February 2nd, 2008
07:07 PM ET
7 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. Ricardo

    Hillary cannot run a decent campaign, how will she run the country? For all those voting with their female organs, just get this, most prominent American females are voting OBAMA, And just in case you cannot see it, SHE NEEDS A MAN, to get her into the White House and a pretty woeful man at best! What does Hillray's surrogate in chief think about women? Lewensky, Flowers, Jones etc may have something to say about that! But then all the feminists never considered those very wronged sisters as kin!

    The Clintons and their cronies in the White house? Phuleeez!!!! As for disrespecting the Kennedys, know that none ever faced impeachment, lied under oath or disbarred from practicing in their own state. How do you want a man in the White House who cannot practice law in his own state of Arkansas? Do not delude yourselves that it is all about Hillary. You know she is squat without Bill. Just look at the campaign trail.

    The Kennedy family sacrificed two of their own for a better America. What has the Clintons done for America apart from lining their owm pockets with funds from very dubious sources? $100 million from outside sources and nice guys like P Paul. Your heritage is already mortgaged, they need to get in for you to start paying the interests.

    Vote with your heads and not genitalia!!! Enough already!!!

    February 3, 2008 05:02 am at 5:02 am |
  2. amazed

    Talk about playing both sides! Actually, who cares what Kennedys think, though you have to give them credit, they know how to play the game. (whats next)? Kennedy's maid supports Clinton, but the butler supports Obama? HAHAHA Wake up people....either way they get a piece of the winner.

    February 3, 2008 05:05 am at 5:05 am |
  3. Fernando

    Record breaking turnouts! It's not because of Hillary, sorry! Obama will be the next President of the U.S.A.. I wouldn't be surprised that on Monday the day before Super Tuesday Edwards endorses Obama. Edwards wants change also and that would be a very big blow to the Clintons. The Clintons are backed by the corporations, but Obama is backed by the people! We the voters decide.

    February 3, 2008 05:11 am at 5:11 am |
  4. john

    I hear Hustler Magazine has endorsed McCain

    February 3, 2008 05:11 am at 5:11 am |
  5. GRACE, SUN CITY CENTER, FL

    GOOD!! I VOTED FOR RON PAUL IN THE PRIMARY.
    BUT OBAMA WOULD BE MY SECOND CHOICE.
    THE WAR ISSUE IS CRITICAL TO EVERY OTHER
    ISSUE BECAUSE OF THE MONETARY AND MILITARY
    COSTS IN DOLLARS AND LIVES.

    February 3, 2008 05:17 am at 5:17 am |
  6. Eli, Milwaukee

    Doris, Ethel is not intelligent just because she backs Obama? Are you saying she has become dumb overnight?
    Just tell me how do Hillary health care plan helps the poor if they cant afford it?
    What I see is mandated money for the pharmaceutical companies. Can anyone say lobbyist in the mist?

    February 3, 2008 05:20 am at 5:20 am |
  7. Eli, Milwaukee

    And by the way. Clinton could very well lose to McCain in a election. No chance for McCain to win against Obama.

    OBAMA '08

    February 3, 2008 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  8. Ken

    Wow, nice to see another endorsement for Obama.
    I'm so glad my parents and all 5 of my siblings are going for Obama. The more I learn about Hillary, the more disturbed I am. Sadly, I used to respect the Clintons lot too, but I learned my lesson.

    February 3, 2008 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  9. shaun

    Hillary's been attacked by the Republicans for soo many years...THEREFORE she can work across the aisle with Republicans.

    Anyone else confused by this??

    OBAMA 08

    February 3, 2008 05:39 am at 5:39 am |
  10. charlotte

    I'm not a Kennedy but I endorse Hillary. I know the Kennedys have more clout then me however, they are each just one vote. I think so far we are tied at three and three.

    February 3, 2008 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  11. Adam, LV, NV

    No, truth is we are not a "United" party. And sorry all you Obama supporters, he won't change that. A lot of Democrats are still put off by that word.

    Anyone remember what the last "Uniter", "Doer", and "Decider" (not to mention the whole Hope, Change, etc he babbled about as well) who had no experience did? If not, look at what everyone is saying on the stump, usually the first words: "President Bush's days are almost over"...

    At least I was not naive enough to drink the change kool-aid the last time around. I voted for Gore and I voted for Kerry. I've seen what a "Uniter" does to the country. And I am ashamed that the people of this country were actually gullable enough to fall for it...

    It's our DIFFERENCES that make us STRONG! It's our DIFFERENCES that get things done. If everyone was united and all thought the same, no new ideas would come about. It's what makes us look in the mirror everyday and say "How can I make a difference". Deviceivness is what BRINGS about change.

    February 3, 2008 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  12. Democrat219

    Obama is for real change? He is 'an outsider' willing to work with the other side? He is going to bring ALL people together – black, white, asian, latino? Here is a very telling quote: the candidate said, "I talk about a larger goal, which is to call upon the best of America. It's part of the renewal. Part of the renewal is a set of high standards and to remind people that the greatness of America really does depend on neighbors helping neighbors... and...I'm very worried about...the kid who just wonders whether America is meant for him. I really worry about that....people sense my heart, know my sense of optimism and know where I want to lead the country...I've got a great sense of where I want to lead..." — Interview with the Washington Post, March 23, 2000 by George W. Bush.

    ANYONE can say they are for change. Hillary has shown it for years and has definitive policies to get us there. Hardworking and tough as nails...

    February 3, 2008 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  13. Texas Democrat

    How is Obama about change when that is all he does is invoke names of the past and his endorsers are nothing but the past? I have learned more history from Obama this last month than my whole primary and secondary education span combined!

    Don't his endorsers from Washington realize that Obama is insulting them when he insults the ways of Washington? The whole message is so inconsistent!

    He says he is about unity and he has managed to divide gender, race, political parties, and he has even managed to split the Kennedy’s! The most Democratic Family of all! He is on a bigger roll than Bush! Obama has accomplished in one month what has taken Bush 7 ½ years to accomplish! Real “amazing” alright!

    Obama=The Permanent Divide

    February 3, 2008 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  14. Lisa Salt Lake City, Utah

    Hillary's health care plan – tax everyone to subsidize the health care for those who don't have it. If I pay for my own health care plan through work, I will also be paying through my taxes for Hillary's gift of health care for everyone who doesn't have health care.

    She says that this benefit would be greatly subsidized by the "government" (which mean us the taxpayers). So you are paying through your taxes, and again based upon your salary "your premium" for your insurance.

    Hillary takes credit for her present to us–which we are paying for.

    February 3, 2008 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  15. d

    who cares about Ethel...

    February 3, 2008 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  16. Joe-Wilmington, DE

    Will Slick Willy have disparaging comments about Ethel Kennedy like he did for Sen. Ted?

    Please, NO MORE CLINTONS; NO MORE BUSHES.

    February 3, 2008 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  17. Chyke

    Keep them coming!!! Congratulations President Obama!!

    February 3, 2008 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  18. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    These Obama posts are by and large the most divisive. The one by the Obaman stating Hillary supporters are divisive is very funny. Sure, the sky is green. The earth is flat. Bush is a uniter. Good luck with that.

    February 3, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  19. SecondSage

    wait till the story of Susan Eisenhower, President Eisenhowers Granddaughter comes out.

    A life long Republican backing Obama.

    February 3, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  20. average JOe

    Ted Kennedy , royalty , you've got to be kidding me. Where have you been. If he was an average American he would probably have spent some time in prison. You can't deny that Hillary has worked hard all her life to help people. Obama, I like him but he isn't ready yet. Maybe next time. And guess what? I'm just a little person who doesn't need Guilini, Kennedy Opra, Bill or anyone else to tell me how to vote. I am informed–Iam for Hillary. You might like to be told–but not me.

    February 3, 2008 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  21. Ralph

    So much for the promise of "change" in Washington. We now see that Obama is just like the rest of the wealthy, politicians entrenched in the political sewage in Washington. Don't expect anything other than the same old politics if Obama is elected, he is beholden to the Kennedys and wealth. His hand is out to all the wrong people also, Rezko.

    February 3, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  22. KB26

    At Hillary's rally. they say Yes she can. At Obama's rally , they Yes We can. What a difference.

    February 3, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  23. Thomas

    If Hillary wins the Democratic Nomination i vote Republican. She is too divisive. She also would not aid the Democratic ticket by being placed as a vice presidential candidate. Sorry Hillary don't cry.
    Go Obama / Edwards !!!!!

    February 3, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  24. Make history

    We needs somebody in the White House who is not a technocrate/bureaucrate like, not a pragamatic politician, Barak is in it for the task, he embodies the brilliance of a leader. Clinton is not a leader, none is but BARACK

    February 3, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  25. Persaud

    Read the history about the Kennedys and then tell he if you guys want OBAMA as your LEADER. I live in Canada Now but all this stuff about the kennedy want me and my friends come and vote for Hillary and it about 599 of us and still growing
    so go Hillary. I am not saying Obama is a bad guy.

    February 3, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
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