Saturday, January 26, 2008

Barack Wins by a Tsunami in South Carolina

And the torch is being passed...
Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans . . . proud of our ancient heritage and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Everyone knows Caroline Kennedy is the daughter of President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. She is also the author of “A Patriot’s Handbook: Songs, Poems, Stories and Speeches Celebrating the Land We Love.” At the moment she published her column A President Like My Father for today's New York Times, she was still listed on the Hillary Clinton Org site as a supporter.

A President Like My Father
Over the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. This sense is even more profound today. That is why I am supporting a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama.

My reasons are patriotic, political and personal, and the three are intertwined. All my life, people have told me that my father changed their lives, that they got involved in public service or politics because he asked them to. And the generation he inspired has passed that spirit on to its children. I meet young people who were born long after John F. Kennedy was president, yet who ask me how to live out his ideals.

Sometimes it takes a while to recognize that someone has a special ability to get us to believe in ourselves, to tie that belief to our highest ideals and imagine that together we can do great things. In those rare moments, when such a person comes along, we need to put aside our plans and reach for what we know is possible.

We have that kind of opportunity with Senator Obama. It isn’t that the other candidates are not experienced or knowledgeable. But this year, that may not be enough. We need a change in the leadership of this country — just as we did in 1960.

Most of us would prefer to base our voting decision on policy differences. However, the candidates’ goals are similar. They have all laid out detailed plans on everything from strengthening our middle class to investing in early childhood education. So qualities of leadership, character and judgment play a larger role than usual.

Senator Obama has demonstrated these qualities throughout his more than two decades of public service, not just in the United States Senate but in Illinois, where he helped turn around struggling communities, taught constitutional law and was an elected state official for eight years. And Senator Obama is showing the same qualities today. He has built a movement that is changing the face of politics in this country, and he has demonstrated a special gift for inspiring young people — known for a willingness to volunteer, but an aversion to politics — to become engaged in the political process.

I have spent the past five years working in the New York City public schools and have three teenage children of my own. There is a generation coming of age that is hopeful, hard-working, innovative and imaginative. But too many of them are also hopeless, defeated and disengaged. As parents, we have a responsibility to help our children to believe in themselves and in their power to shape their future. Senator Obama is inspiring my children, my parents’ grandchildren, with that sense of possibility.

Senator Obama is running a dignified and honest campaign. He has spoken eloquently about the role of faith in his life, and opened a window into his character in two compelling books. And when it comes to judgment, Barack Obama made the right call on the most important issue of our time by opposing the war in Iraq from the beginning.

I want a president who understands that his responsibility is to articulate a vision and encourage others to achieve it; who holds himself, and those around him, to the highest ethical standards; who appeals to the hopes of those who still believe in the American Dream, and those around the world who still believe in the American ideal; and who can lift our spirits, and make us believe again that our country needs every one of us to get involved.

I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans.

30 Moderated Comments:

Blogger Blogging4Food said...

P.K.! Great post!!

1/27/2008 12:36:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Yes, Well done, P.K.! Last night Trophy Wife was dragging me off to the mother of all dinner parties. I had to leave a minute before Obama's victory speech concluded, but when I heard of Kennedy's column, I fully intended to do it. I was just too late getting home and too full of performance-debilitating substances to address it! But this is excellent!

1/27/2008 07:30:00 AM  
Blogger Yellow Dog said...

Sean Wilentz, Obama's misuse of history:

... comparisons distort the past beyond recognition. By the time he ran for president, JFK had served three terms in the House and twice won election to the Senate, where he was an active member of the Foreign Relations Committee. In total, he had held elective office in Washington for 14 years. Before that, he was, of course, a decorated veteran of World War II, having fought with valor in the South Pacific. Kennedy, the son of a U.S. ambassador to Britain, had closely studied foreign affairs, which led to his first book, "Why England Slept," as well as to a postwar stint in journalism.

This record is not comparable to Obama's eight years in the Illinois Legislature, his work as a community organizer and his single election to the Senate in 2004 -- an election he won against a late entrant, right-wing Republican Alan Keyes, in a state where the GOP was in severe disarray.

... Historians cannot expect all politicians and their supporters to know as much about American history as, say, John F. Kennedy, who won the Pulitzer Prize for a work of history. But it is reasonable to expect respect for the basic facts -- and not contribute to cheapening the historical currency.

Spreading bad history is no way to make history.

1/27/2008 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger LTE said...

Endorsements are important among the Democrats in this primary because they affect the non-elected super delegates to the convention. They can show trends, slippages, groundswells, steamrollers.

The Clinton campaign has just been informed, as a courtesy, that Ted Kennedy will be endorsing Barack Obama.

1/27/2008 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Beach Bum said...

Still recovering from my Obama victory binge last night but with a pounding head I did find this by Bob Herbert:

Still, it’s legitimate to ask, given the destructive developments of the last few weeks, whether the Clintons are capable of being anything but divisive. The electorate seems more polarized now than it was just a few weeks ago, and the Clintons have seemed positively gleeful in that atmosphere.

It makes one wonder whether they have any understanding or regard for the corrosive long-term effects — on their party and the nation — of pitting people bitterly and unnecessarily against one another.

What kind of people are the Clintons? What role will Bill Clinton play in a new Clinton White House? Can they look beyond winning to a wounded nation’s need for healing and unifying?


Billary may in the end find itself sitting in the Oval Office but the nation will be even more divided with republicans ramping up for the 2010 elections. But in the end that is what the Clintons want, a nation divided that they can play one group off against each other while playing the victim. To hell with them and their attitude, the country has already suffered through one "I'm a uniter, not a divider".

1/27/2008 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger M.D. said...

I got off the Obama bus. I'm trying to get back on (it's him or Edwards) but the reaching out thing annoys the hell out of me.

The country might be better off without all the divisiveness but a lot of that divisiveness was the a right-wing product.

Kennedy could be one mean son-of-a-bitch when he needed to be. I hope the same can be said of Obama.

1/27/2008 03:10:00 PM  
Blogger Indicted Plagiarist said...

A possible rebuttal to Sean Wilentz (cited above) is Ted Sorenson's Barack Obama: the new JFK (last July). Thanks to Schmog's Blog for picking this up!

1/27/2008 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

From The California Majority Report:

Score a big behind the scenes victory for Obama’s California campaign today. Word is leaking out that CTA’s membership staged an outright mutiny at Los Angeles’ Bonaventure Hotel and bucked its own Board’s attempt to railroad through an early endorsement for Hillary. CTA’s elites apparently got a big wake up call when their effort to crown Hillary as the official choice of California’s teachers was upended by overwhelming resistance from rank and file Obama supporters. The vaunted pre Feb 5th CTA endorsement – which was widely expected to go Clinton’s way – appears to now be postponed to April (when we will all be on the edge of our seats, I am sure).

The Hillary repudiation at CTA is more than just inside baseball. This could portend an erosion of support among powerful constituencies that are supposed to be the bedrock of Clinton’s California operation. Add this development with Obama’s superior California ground game, and a big bounce coming out of South Carolina, and he may have enough steam to pull off a victory in the Golden state.

1/27/2008 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger Beach Bum said...

M.D. I have to respectfully disagree to a certain point. While all the collective antics of the Clintons during the 90's are sub-atomic scale compared to the crimes of the Bush administration the Clintons did all they could to polarize the country as long as it served their purpose. In a way their actions spawned the Bush reaction.

1/27/2008 04:57:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

I don't think so, Beach. When M.D. says,

The country might be better off without all the divisiveness but a lot of that divisiveness was the a right-wing product.

I have to agree with her. I have never understood the RW campaign to dredge up dirt on the Clintons from the get go (1992). That was polarizing.

Where I parted with Clinton was (a) when he thought he was so clever and had so much free time that he could do Monica; and (b) when Hill stood by her man and (c) when he lied to get out of it and (c) all those pardons and commutations at the end of his term. But that wasn't polarizing. That was classless. And, I would argue, it poisoned the well for Al Gore in 2000. Unforgivable.

1/27/2008 05:41:00 PM  
Blogger Urbanpink said...

Hi Yellow Dog,

Comparing JFK's rich resume with ANY recent presidential candidate or even President (except maybe Al Gore) is a red herring. Who since Kennedy can line up that combination of veteran AND scholar? Certainly not Billary.

1/27/2008 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger HILLBLOGGER said...

Have just listened to Obama's victory speech via You Tube.

Must say I thought the speech was not just one of them post-Primary speeches but was in itself already a full blast Democratic presidential campaign speech against a Republican contender.

Great speech!

European media commentators were all hyped up by Obama's speech -- some say that if he wins, bound to have an effect in UK; I have a suspicion that this SC primary is not lost on David Cameron.

Btw, Sarkozy won the presidency largely on his campaign theme of CHANGE.

Now, if only they can do the same in Russia... CHANGE, maybe, just maybe, there will be change in our war-infested world...

1/28/2008 06:14:00 AM  
Blogger HILLBLOGGER said...

Vigil, Must confess that all factors thus far considered, I still have to make up my mind on whether I "should vote" Obama. (Heh!)

1/28/2008 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Finally, Hills! (I was beginning to worry.)

1/28/2008 07:01:00 AM  
Blogger HILLBLOGGER said...

Vigil,

The following blog in the Guardian confirmed my thinking that all of UK's media have gone for Obama:

http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/news/2008/01/obama_the_british_medias_new_d.html

Last couple of weeks, I'd noticed that the British media have been very anti-Hillary. The Times, Independent, Telegraph have all been headlining the negatives of her campaign and even the Nevada victory was given a passing glance...

Looks like British media has merely confirmed that when all is said and done, most of UK population: liberal or "left-wing"!

1/28/2008 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger TomCat said...

Frankly, comparing Obama to JFK is does not hold true. Kennedy's policies were well defined, while Obama's are nebulous. While in time, Obama could approach Kennedy's stature as a leader, but so far, the only way in which he comes close is in his oratory skills.

1/28/2008 09:10:00 AM  
Blogger Beach Bum said...

Vigil, Good point. Hadn't thought of it from that direction.

1/28/2008 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Kennedy's policies were well-defined only after his inauguration, not before. I was there, Tom. Were you?

1/29/2008 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Caroline and Teddy made me late for work yesterday. No matter. When I finally got to work, I was All fired up and ready to go!

1/29/2008 07:06:00 AM  
Blogger TomCat said...

Dang, Vig! How old are you? When Kennedy was elected, I was 12. I was basing my opinion things read elsewhere. If you were involved in his administration and have first hand experience as you say, I'll defer to that.

1/29/2008 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

I was political. Put it that way. Very political.

1/29/2008 10:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Mikey said...

Could this influence your voting?

1/29/2008 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger MadMike said...

I would think if anyone had the right to compare Barack Obama to John Kennedy, it would be the Kennedys. I was there during the Kennedy presidency, and considered him one of the greatest presidents ever. I was there when Bobby was shot and realized that brutal act ended American dreams for the second greatest president ever. If Teddy and Caroline think Barack is like John and Bobby I think I will take their word for it. Obama for president!

1/29/2008 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

I approve the above message. Mad Mike knows what he's talking about.

As for "Mikey", he obviously voted for Busheney. Twice. Fooled once, shame on Bush; fooled twice, shame on Mikey.

1/29/2008 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

And, Mad Mike finally has a suitable avatar! His bite is worse than his bark, so lookout everyone!

1/29/2008 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger Messenger said...

McCain looks like he's on cruise control for the nomination. Slick Willy is not convincing anyone when he says that a McCain-Clinton finale will be a genteel one because Hillary and John 'really like' each other. What a crock! Slick Willy's modus operandi is to just say anything

Frank Rich, The Billary Road to Republican Victory, says that only the Republicans are dumb enough not to

recognize the value of John McCain should Mrs. Clinton emerge as the nominee. He's a bazooka aimed at most every rationale she's offered for her candidacy.

* Hillary's being "tested" by her "35 years of experience" won't fly when compared to McCain's when the latter was only emerging from P.O.W camp when Hillary was beginning her career.

* McCain's Iraq-Nam consistency has demolished Romney as a flip-flopper; imagine what he's be calling on Hillary's flip-flopping on the Iraq war.

* McCain (Straight Talk Express) is loved by the press compared to the Clintons.

Rich concludes:

Even in defeat, Mr. Obama may at least help wake up a party slipping into denial. Any Democrat who seriously thinks that Bill will fade away if Hillary wins the nomination - let alone that the Clintons will escape being fully vetted - is a Democrat who, as the man said, believes in fairy tales.

1/29/2008 08:50:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Anyone want to hear how Barack squelches Hillary? Here's how Obama put it to her in Denver, today! There's not a scintilla of doubt in my mind that it's his voice I want to hear on my nightly news for the next four to eight years!

1/30/2008 09:10:00 PM  
Blogger MadMike said...

Thanks Vigil:-)

Hillblogger I have a lot of family in England and they all tell me that Obama is very popular over there!!

1/31/2008 03:01:00 PM  
Blogger HILLBLOGGER said...

Madmike,

Your relatives are spot on! Obama IS the UK media darling -- seems he can do no wrong to them; not an iota of negative report at all.

I say pretty bad hatchett job of reporting on Hillary campaign aplenty in the UK media. There's loads of Hillary bashing in the UK press going... No longer 'objective' as one might say. Never seen anything like it, all major dailies and tabloids carry good news round the clock and rubbishing Hillary most of the time.

Why even old typical British imperialist fart Rees Mogg is barking for Obama!

The only on line medium that's being level headed I find in all the Obama British media frenzy is The First Post UK!

Truth is, I now have to consult US news on line to get a bit of even-handed or 'objective' bit of reporting on the campaign.

1/31/2008 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Another Kennedy endorsement for Barack Obama! Maria Shriver! Take that, Governator! It never stops!

"If Barack Obama were a state, he'd be California."

2/04/2008 07:22:00 AM  

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