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. AKU

    You know a "pure-bred" when you see one – no pretences!
    A prime example for all alike - young & old (including HRC)!!

    May 22, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  2. Kevin

    Obama is the ultimate opportunist. Didn't call for a re-vote in Florida but is now down there sucking up to elderly Jewish folks. Dispicable man

    May 22, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  3. Desmond Sequeira

    Perfect Choice. OBAMA is the legacy of John, Robert and Ted Kennedy to the USA and to the world.
    Ted Kennedy recognizes Obama's "appeal for the nobler aspirations of the American people."

    May 22, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  4. Jean

    Giving a commencement speech when you are all speeched out, tired and BUSY, is an incredible feat. I am sure he would rather have spent a quriet afternoon with his kids. Don't knock what you don't understand. Some people just do nice things.

    Had Hillary been asked, which she wouln't have under the circumstances with which Kennedy and Bill parted ways, she might have done it too, and it wouldn't have been for political purposes, as far as I know.

    May 22, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  5. Bush was never elected

    "Obama May 22nd, 2008 6:15 pm ET

    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.



    Keep dreaming you delusional twit.

    May 22, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  6. Man from Heaven-Boston

    Way to go...every step on the way to the presidency, Barack has shown how deeply he cares and acts!!!


    May 22, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  7. S callahan new york

    I think this is a great place for him to speak and it is a good time for the Weslyan church to come and 'lay hands' on Obama for the road he will be going on..leading the nation. If he does it with God he can't fail!

    May 22, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  8. da

    Make Senator Kennedy proud!
    Get well soon Senator Kennedy
    Barack '08-12

    May 22, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  9. Patrick, Lake Stevens, WA

    JFK and RFK represented that fresh face of change and hope in politics more than 40 years ago that people wanted to identify with because we dared to believe they could impact the world in a positive way. It appears Barack Obama has accepted the mantle to move this country into new heights and write a new chapter in American history

    May 22, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  10. R


    May 22, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  11. Sandy

    Obama is not stealing anything, He is just being a friend...why all the hate when a friend stands up for a friend? I'm sure Kennedy asked Him to do this for him. Don't be so jealous.

    May 22, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |

    That's fabulous! Those students are very lucky.

    May 22, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  13. Nia

    awww i fell all warm and fuzzy inside :0)

    May 22, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  14. Yosemitebee

    My prayers are with the Kennedy family. Thank you to Obama for helping out when needed. That is the spirit all Americans should have. Obama you have my vote and my thanks for being willing to help lead this country.

    May 22, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  15. Jeannie Jacobs

    Yeah! How exciting for Wesleyan Grads. Thoughts and prayers for Senator Kennedy. Obama will inspire many at graduation.
    Hillary went to Wellesley college.

    May 22, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  16. Jo Bond

    I admire Obama for taking sick Sen. Kennedy's place this
    Sunday at the Commencement Address at Wesleyan University.
    It show how much his friendship means to him = = = =
    More folks need to take action into their fold of daily living.

    May 22, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  17. Alice

    Do Hillary supporters think Wesleyan would have been better served by a Clintonian speech about the disenfranchisement of FL and MI?

    May 22, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  18. Ilona Proud Canadian

    Sen. Kennedy,

    You are always in our thoughts and prayers. Please fight this terrible disease, Your family and America still need you.

    This agreement between Barack and Sen. Kennedy is magnificent!
    These kids will have this memory to look back on. Thank you Barack for offering, and thank you so much Sen. Kennedy for believing in Barack and trusting him with this special task.

    May 22, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  19. DeLong Tricities

    Seemed Senator Clinton would have taken that opportunity, the senior democrat running for President, plus I believe that was her alumni... Either way, it's showing the democrats stick together in good and bad times and that's what America should be about.

    Way to Go , Senator Obama~

    May 22, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  20. John Smith

    This is what we call "experience," not one that has anything to do with serving "tea" or hosting parties in the White House!@

    May 22, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  21. Femi, CO

    Go Obama! Smart guy, ever grateful to his suporters.

    Go Obamaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!

    May 22, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  22. calling all believers to pray!

    Obama will do Sen. Kennedy proud!

    Sen. Kennedy we love you, take care of yourself and know that we are truly praying for you! We thank you for all that you have done for us over the years and your endorsement of Obama, you have played a great part in helping him to come this far and for that we can't thank you enough. We know you are wanting to get out and help campaign the rest of the way, but we need you to rest and get well so that you can be a good adviser to him while he is in office, he will need good people such as yourself surrounding him.

    Love ya!!!!

    May 22, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  23. Jane

    Well, speeches are what he's good at.

    May 22, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  24. dusty

    Good for Barack. If people want to see who Obama is, take note. He has time to do this for his friend. He has time and he is only running for the presidency.
    I hope with all my heart that Senator Kennedy's doctors can find ways to extend to him a quality life. And I hope Barack can take time out from the Oval Office to go sailing with Senator Kennedy.

    May 22, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  25. Teresa, Georgia

    Knock them off their feet Obama...Gosh, wish I could be there. This is great! How wonderful of you Ted to allow Obama to fill in for you.

    Ted, Blessings to you and your family during this difficult time. America wishes you a speedy and successful recovery.

    May 22, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
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