May 22nd, 2008
04:30 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama to deliver commencement address for Kennedy

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Obama will deliver Wesleyan's commencement address."](CNN) - Barack Obama will take Sen. Ted Kennedy's place in delivering the commencement address at Wesleyan University this Sunday.

According to Kennedy's Senate Office, Obama offered to take the Massachusetts senator's place earlier this week after Kennedy was diagnosed with brain cancer.

"Senator Kennedy accepted knowing it would be an historic opportunity for the school and all those attending, including his daughter Caroline Raclin who is graduating and his son Ted Jr. who is attending his reunion," Kennedy's office said in a statement. "He's enormously grateful to Senator Obama and the support he's received from all of his colleagues this last week.”

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Ted Kennedy
soundoff (313 Responses)
  1. FEDUP

    Kennedy needs to makes amends to his Lord for the error of his ways. I will not forget Mary Jo and his action were less then honerable. Kennedy is morally bankrupt.

    May 22, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  2. yay of PA

    I would ask the media outlets to please post a transcript of Obama's commencement speech somewhere, even if not prominently, so people can see for themselves if he uses the address to his own political advantage.

    Otherwise there's no need to taint the goodwill of the event just cause the speaker is a current Prez candidate and us outsiders are curious political beings. I hope the students, family, and faculty at Wesleyan University enjoy all of their speakers this year, last-minute replacements or not..

    May 22, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  3. Sharon Minneapolis

    Obama wants to steal the nomination? How ,he's followed the rules. In fact his campaign knew the rules better that's why they have more delegates. Not to mention he has more votes. How is it possible that he steal something she never had?? The rationale of the Clinton supporters is that Obama is somehow to blame for Clintons' misfortunes. That taking the high road and running a well organized and planned campaign is cheating. The Clinton machine had all the advantages but didn't measure up. Blame them. Obama didn't cause the problems with Michigan and Florida. And the vote there favors Hillary because she has the name recognition. Without being able to campaign you cannot get your name out- that's not fair if anything. Plain and simple. Stop reading info on her website or Clinton blogs. Get sound information and think. Many of the Clinton's arguments are irrational and deceptive.

    May 22, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  4. FEDUP

    PS Dummies, this is not Hillarys alma mater. Educated, yeah right.?

    May 22, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  5. Hillary Is Scary As Hell

    I didn't see Hillary stepping up to the plate to offer her services at HER alma mater why is that? Oh that's right...she's too busy trying on a black top hat and twirling that handlebar mustache (grown just for the occasion) so that with a dastardly evil laugh she can pursue her life's calling of stealing the presidential nomination from Sen. Obama that according to her and her followers about to storm the DNC like it was Normandy is her right and due.

    May 22, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  6. Obama

    Hello All,

    This is Senator Obama. I want to bow out of the race.

    Hillary is a better choice.

    VOTE Clinton because thats what I am going to do.



    May 22, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  7. Y

    The students must be excited!!! I wish I were a student there.

    May 22, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  8. Michael in Seattle

    If you would read the earlier article on CNN Sen. Kennedy asked Obama to give the speech for him...He did not ask but gracously accepted as a freind....please get your facts straight before attacking anybody!

    May 22, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  9. Steve

    Jeremiah Wright has the Kennedy speech patterns down pat. He gave some good impressions of JFK. Maybe he should give the address.

    May 22, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  10. Anne E.

    Note to "soy": While the two could be easily confused, Hillary's alma mater was WELLESLEY, not Wesleyan.
    Having said that, it just goes to show that Sen. Obama can step up wherever and whenever the need arises. That, plus good judgment are but two of the reason he IS qualified to lead this country.

    May 22, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  11. D

    James "Who cares???"
    That's what everyone said about the news coverage of Brittney Spears and friends, but everyone still read it. Anything Obama/Clinton/McCain do is going to make the news until one of them is president.

    I'm sure Kennedy knows more about politics than you do, and I'm sure a man who is faced with death isn't going to let someone use him or his situation for political advantage. Although they probably knew it would be covered by the press, I'm fairly certain the move wasn't just for publicity.

    May 22, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  12. cnn rocks

    i wonder why some of you never have anything positive to say,its really sad.

    May 22, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  13. Scott

    Such a gracious offer on the part of Obama. The Wesleyan graduates will surely have a commencement they will remember forever.

    May 22, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  14. AYO

    What a graceful man Obama is. God bless you and God bless America.

    May 22, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  15. Tayuh

    haters.. go away!
    obama 08/12

    May 22, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  16. gg

    Hillary went to WELLESLEY, Obama is speaking at WESLEYAN.

    May 22, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  17. Petra, Independendent from PA

    This is great that Obama can give this key note speech. Senator Kennedy has faith in him and I trust Ted Kennedy's judgement. It will be a great speech no doubt.

    May 22, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  18. Kristina

    To you people who are claiming he is doing this for political gain. You people are sick in the head, literally. You have to give it up to him, its been a long jounrey.God has surely blessed this man and with a good heart such as his, he will only continue to bless him–like it or not people.

    May 22, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  19. Paul

    Who cares...

    we will get 4 more years of Republican administration if this man( the wonderboy) gets the nomination

    Hillary 08, our only hope for a better future in America

    Have you realized the latest gas prices.? She has a plan and will hold accountable to those who exploit millions of Americans at the pump.

    May 22, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  20. ???

    Duane in Philly
    May 22nd, 2008 5:06 pm ET

    "Great move for Obama in using Kennedy's illness for political advantage.

    Change? Yeah, right."

    So he can't possibly be doing it out of the goodness of his heart/duty to a friend. I bet you think Obama is some kind of soulless monster don't you? Geez, are we really that cynical?

    May 22, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  21. bill s

    H. you are the one that is a disgrace. (smile)

    May 22, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  22. NG in DC

    Obama so nice of you you kind kind nice nice man to all the old dog democrats who can't wait to push you around the white house.

    c'mon, I'm so tired of mr. nice guy I can't stomach it.

    go give a's what you do so well anyway....let Hillary run the country.

    May 22, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  23. nick

    People, Obama is nothing but all talk.

    May 22, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  24. Donna


    I guess if folks didn't have anything negative to say, they'd be 1000% speechless!!!!

    I think that is wonderful that Ted asked Barack and he was able to step in...shows the type of respect and admiration two intelligent men have for one another!!!

    May 22, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  25. Lorenzo Clemons

    HillLights.... Let it go! To the Obamites, I see you in the future and you look better. I see America's future and it is walking and working in favor and will be a better place for all races, religous groups and both genders. Bless America, the Kennedy family and the OBama family.

    May 22, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
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