August 28th, 2009
05:47 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama's Kennedy eulogy to be a 'personal message'

Obama will talk about the impact that the senator has had on him.
Obama will talk about the impact that the senator has had on him.

(CNN) – A senior administration official tells that President Obama will describe Sen. Ted Kennedy as a "legislator, mentor and friend" in a 15-minute eulogy Saturday that will be a "personal message about the life of [the senator]."

Obama will talk about the impact that the senator has had on him, says the aide, but will not include a lot of stories about the relationship between the president and the man whose endorsement played a major role in his capture of the Democratic presidential nomination. Instead, it will be a broader message of a national goodbye and national tribute from the president. Obama will talk about Kennedy's legacy - his "impact on the American people" - but the exact language is not set - the president is still going over his remarks with a speechwriter

The first couple are expected to depart Martha's Vineyard for Boston, where Kennedy's funeral service will be held, around 9 pm Friday night.


Filed under: President Obama • Ted Kennedy
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Willy Brown

    Whoopie!

    August 28, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  2. MaryJo Bruce Surprise, Ariz

    Lets hope that Mr. Obama doesn't use Sen Kennedys funeral as a stopping point to put n his agenda for healthcare. Not a good idea. This is a time for the family and friends to morn. Not to state what the Sen was trying to get through the people for years and couldn't.

    August 28, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  3. Steph

    I'm sure it will be a touching tribute to a man who has done so much for all of us.

    August 28, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  4. hypocrites_are_everywhere

    Ted,

    Like everyone else, you are not perfect but you a great man!

    August 28, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain

    I'm sure the President will be appropriate – he's a man of intelligence and class, someone who greatly admired the late Senator. I'm looking forward to his eulogy.

    That said, Teddy Kennedy dedicated his life to healthcare reform and it would be totally appropriate to remind people of the Senator's passion for this cause.

    August 28, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  6. Kent

    The torch is passed on for one politician for the people to another politician for the people. God bless America.

    August 28, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  7. hypocrites_are_everywhere

    Ted, (sorry for misspelling!)

    Like everyone else, you are not perfect but you are great man!

    August 28, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  8. Carlos

    He was the only democrap that was a bigger liberal than I am, so saith the fair skinned one.

    August 28, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  9. goodbye Kennedy

    you were great and will be missed

    August 28, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  10. Moderate Democrat

    Let's hope that Obama takes this opportunity to honor Kennedy by furthering the call for the Health Care Reform. This is the appropriate time to do so, it was Kennedy's hope that some day we would be a christian acting nation whom believed in helping our fellow man! We must continue to pursue that hope, that some day we will all be caring christians and americans who care about our fellow americans. This will only be done by passing Health Care reform!

    August 28, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  11. once upon a horse

    I'm very sure that the president has enough class not to turn this into a political statement of any means......so all you Obama-haters can just pull your claws back in. At least give us a weekend of peace and mourning before you get back to your job of hating.

    August 28, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  12. Joan

    Pres. Obama must feel terrible about two events during the last year. His beloved Grandmother died the night before his election win and did not see his historical victory. Now Sen. Kennedy has passed away before he could see his life long dream of universal health care for everyone. Maybe that is why Pres. Obama was trying to push hard to get a bill before the August break because he knew how ill Sen. Kennedy was and that he might not have long to live. He should feel proud though that Sen. Kennedy thought so highly of him and trusted him to carry out the same ideals that Kennedy fought for all his political life.

    August 28, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  13. bozo the obama

    From one Liberal to another Liberal...the eulogy will be onward socialism.

    August 28, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  14. Joe Fattal

    I bet Obama's eulogy will be highly personal in nature. Without Kennedy strong support , which until now I don't know what Kennedy was trying to achieve supporting Obama, and obviously without that strong support, Obama wouldn't have made it as president. And again Kennedy wasn't trying to support Obama to push his Heath care reform bill which from what I heard is doom right now. Again, I think Obama should be very thankfull for Kennedy, more than anyone else.

    August 28, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  15. RCasson

    This will no doubt be very moving to watch.

    August 28, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  16. Cynthia - Arkansas

    I'm sure it well be truly heart felt and beautiful. No one is a better orator than President Obama. We are so lucky to have him representing this country.

    August 28, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  17. Michael Templer

    Getting healthcare passed is exactly what Ted Kennedy wanted. The President unlike his opponents like you always strikes the right tone. He's dead and you worried about what he might say about the cause Senator's Kennedy's life. Whose using his death to further their agenda.
    To everything there is a season.

    August 28, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  18. annie for Palin

    a personal message written by his staffers.

    August 28, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  19. Hilary

    I don't think it'll matter what the President says; no one in the GOP or its followers will approve.

    August 28, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  20. nick

    Tell it like it is Mr. President and if they don't like it so be it.

    August 28, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  21. Tom

    PLEASE...!!! He will use THIS occasion to promote his socialistic, collectivism healthcare agenda IN THE NAME OF KENNEDY!

    Please find other SOCIAL ways to spend our tax money and raise taxes on our "wealth", however Obamy's team of Congressmen define that these days...

    August 28, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  22. GI Joe

    Healthcare for ALL was Ted Kennedy's life. I hope the party of no will realize what a true friend to all of us he was. Maybe they should start caring for the little people that pay them and stop catering to Insurance Companies, Wall Street, etc.

    August 28, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  23. Matthew

    I hope he uses the opportunity to drive the cause of Kennedy's life, national health care. Its the only fitting send off to such a great public servant, one who alas had to go without seeing his legislative dream realized.

    I don't think Obama's speech will be great, frankly, since unlike Kennedy, Obama hasn't mastered pathos in his oratory. So he'd better load it with his usual boring ethos and continue the fight for the less privileged.

    August 28, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  24. GuyInVA

    So, it will be a "personal message." AND... the president is going over his remarks with a speechwriter. How lovely.

    August 28, 2009 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  25. Tiffins

    We saw how the eulogies for Sen. Wellstone ruined Mondale's chances. Let's hope Obama doesn' t blow it here.

    August 28, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
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