Tag Archives: hillary clinton

RFK Jr., Hillary Clinton to Address United Farm Workers Convention

Robert Kennedy championed the United Farm Workers cause back in 1968.

This weekend may stir some memories for our California readers: Robert Kennedy championed the United Farm Workers' cause back in 1968.

BOBBY AND HILLARY AT UFW CONVENTION THIS WEEKEND

U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton and Robert Kennedy Jr. will speak in Fresno this weekend at the United Farm Workers of America’s 18th Constitutional Convention.

Kennedy will speak on behalf of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Fresno Convention Center.

On Sunday, Clinton will address the convention at 2 p.m. The convention will focus on the union’s campaign for the AgJobs bill, a bi-partisan measure that would allow undocumented workers to earn legal status in the United States. Obama and Clinton are co-authors of the legislative measure negotiated between the UFW and the agriculture industry.

Former Assembly speaker Fabian Núñez, author of the UFW-sponsored bill, will premiere “California’s Harvest of Shame,” a 20-minute documentary he produced in the Central Valley. The film focuses on the failure to enforce state laws and regulations that protect farmworkers. For more information, go to www.ufw.org

Bobby then heads for Denver, where a special tribute to his ailing uncle, Senator Edward Kennedy, is planned for Monday night. Senator Clinton will headline the convention speakers Tuesday night.

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ABC News Can’t Keep Their Kennedys Straight

ABC News logo

ABC’s WONDER BLUNDER

From the “if it weren’t so sad, it would almost be funny” department…

Apparently the overpaid geniuses at ABC News (and I use the word “news” very, very loosely) can’t keep their Kennedys straight.

In a piece posted May 1 on the “Political Radar” blog (“Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Says Family Members Are Wrong In Supporting Obama”), ABC News’ Eloise Harper clearly did not know the difference between JFK and RFK.

Our presumably college-educated reporter seems to believe, quite incredibly, that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is the son of John F. Kennedy.

Go figure.

Quoting Madame Harper’s original story:

Introducing Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., in Jeffersonville, IN, Robert Kennedy Jr. had some pretty harsh words for his family members who are backing Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., for president.

“There are some members of my family who’ve decided to do the wrong thing, support Senator Obama,” he said of the Democratic presidential fight.

…Kennedy went on to speak about the attacks that Sen. Clinton received while in office saying, “she came in after enduring one of the most savage beatings of a public figure during my lifetime with people like Ken Star going spending 40 million dollars going after her relentlessly with billionaires like Richard Mellon Scaife and his whole right wing machine that sent out hundreds of millions of letters to American citizens going after her relentlessly.”

Trying to connect the attacks Clinton pushed off to similar criticism President John F. Kennedy endured more than 40 years ago. “She had to endure the same kind of attacks that my father had to endure which was being called a carpetbagger when she came into New York.” Kennedy pointed to Clinton’s work in the upstate parts of New York to make his point saying that she”transformed those counties, which not even my father could do…..”

OH, WHAT’S HIS NAME?

Incredibly, none of the ABC copy or web editors noticed the error.

Even more incredibly, none of the readers did, either.

Finally…five days and 187 comments after the story’s original publication, one astute reader named Art Glick posted the following observation:

“Doesn’t it bother ANYBODY that JFK was NOT RFK Jr’s father?!?! And that the quote above likely refers to RFK???

Don’t they teach history in the schools anymore? Can anybody write copy for a news outlet???

Does no one proof the copy???

Am I really THAT old, that I’m the only one who remembers???

Posted by: Art Glick | May 5, 2008 12:04:20 PM

MEMO TO ABC COPY EDITORS

  • Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is not the son of President John F. Kennedy.
  • The reason his name is Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is…(wait for it!)…because his father was Robert F. Kennedy Sr.
  • The only son of John F. Kennedy is deceased. (please reference your own obituary files for 1999.)
  • President John F. Kennedy was a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, not New York State.
  • The President’s brother, Robert served as Senator from New York, 1964-68.
  • Senator Robert F. Kennedy was never President of the United States.
  • Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is the son of Senator Robert F. Kennedy. (Can’t believe I’m actually having to explain this, but just wanted to cover this territory one more time to make sure we’re on the same page…)
  • Oh…and one more thing: The correct spelling of Ken Starr’s name is with two R’s. (Please reference your own archival database from 1998.)

PARDON MY RANT

It would be one thing if this were Joe Blow’s Blog. Even a local newspaper with a limited staff of editors I could easily understand, but ABC News?

At one of this nation’s big three flagship news networks, an error of that magnitude is absolutely unacceptable. When neither the reporters, editors, or the majority of readers know the difference between JFK and RFK, I’m deeply troubled. We all should be.

Why? Because, as the network’s corporate slogan says, “more Americans get their news from ABC News than from any other source.”

When five days elapse without a correction to the story being posted, it speaks that basic newsgathering and editing skills are no longer required to get a job in the “news” industry.

Way to go ABC News. With top-drawer journalism like this, no wonder Americans are(as RFK Jr. likes to say) are “the most entertained and least informed people on the planet.”

 

Copyright RFKin2008.com.

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RFK Jr.: Why I’m for Hillary

RFK Jr.

KENNEDY: WHY I’M FOR HILLARY

Ever since Robert F. Kennedy Jr. endorsed Hillary Clinton in the presidential race late last year, many of our readers have wondered if he made the right choice. Some even questioned his motives. But most people just really want to know “why Hillary?” 

Kennedy tackled that question in an exclusive interview with the Terre Haute Tribute-Star last week, going more in-depth with his reasons that in previously published accounts.

So for those of you who are still asking, “why, Bobby, why?” – here’s your answer.

TERRE HAUTE America needs someone as its next president who’s going to go toe-to-toe with the oil and coal industries, and for Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Sen. Hillary Clinton is that person.

“ … it’s dependence on carbon that’s really destroying America’s economy, destroying our security,” Kennedy, 54, said Thursday in a phone interview with the Tribune-Star. “It’s destroying all of the things, it’s hurting all of the things that we value in our country.”

He is the son of the late 1968 presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of former president John F. Kennedy. He is an environmental lawyer and co-host of “Ring of Fire” on the Air America radio network.

Billions of dollars a day are spent to import oil to our country while trillions of dollars a year are given to oil and coal industries in subsidies, Kennedy said, which is keeping more efficient and economic alternatives from being used.

One nation that has decarbonized is Iceland, he said, which went from being one of the poorest countries in Europe to the fourth richest nation in the world.

“They are a net energy exporter,” Kennedy said about Iceland today, “and corporations are lined up to get into Iceland to take advantage of it’s clean, cheap energy.”

Decarbonizing would create millions of jobs, reduce the country’s trade deficit and drop the budget deficit by $100 billion a year among other things, he said.

“Hillary has challenged, she’s been one of the most vocal to challenge the oil companies for control of our democracy, control of our jobs and control of our economy,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy noted that most of his family members have been to Terre Haute at one time or another. His father campaigned in Terre Haute in 1968.

Though he acknowledged the Democratic Party has two candidates that would make wonderful presidents, he believes Clinton can win against the Republicans in November as many polls have shown, he said.

“I think Hillary is more seasoned of the two …,” he said.

Like the Democratic Party, the Kennedy family has been split in whom they support for the nomination. Still, family gatherings have not been a problem, Kennedy said.

“I think the family is together in heart, the same way the Democrats are,” he said. “Division is really a function of the fact that we have two really great candidates.”

Should Sen. Barack Obama win the nomination, Kennedy said he would support him and encourage other Clinton supporters to do the same.

Some national polls have indicated Clinton supporters would choose Republican John McCain if Obama wins the nomination and vice versa.

Kennedy said he hoped that wasn’t the case, but had a way to convince them to join.

“I say ‘George Bush and John McCain’,” he said. “Those are four words, that’s all they need to hear.”

 

Story from The Terre Haute Tribune-Star.

By Crystal Garcia
The Tribune-Star

Crystal Garcia can be reached at (812) 231-4271 or crystal.garcia@tribstar.com.

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Super Bowl `08: Kennedys vs. Kennedys

POLITICAL SUPER BOWL `08: THE KENNEDYS VS. THE KENNEDYS

This ain’t your father’s game of touch football.

The `08 race just keeps getting more interesting by the minute, with the Kennedy players taking sides on different teams, all in preparation for the big game on Super Tuesday.

As of Super Bowl Sunday, here’s the lineup so far:

TEAM OBAMA:

Senator Edward Kennedy

Caroline Kennedy

Patrick Kennedy

Ethel Kennedy

Maxwell Kennedy

Rory Kennedy

Maria Shriver

TEAM CLINTON:

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend

Kerry Kennedy

TEAM MCCAIN:

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Clearly, Obama has the advantage going into Tuesday’s election, with more Kennedys on his team than any other candidate. Will it make a difference? Who knows, but we’ll find out Tuesday night when the final score is in.

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Edwards Drops Bid for the Presidency

EDWARDS BOWS OUT GRACEFULLY

At a press conference in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans, still decimated from the effects of Hurricane Katrina, John Edwards announced today that he is suspending his candidacy for President of the United States.

With his family and Habitat for Humanity volunteers standing behind him, Edwards gave an eloquent speech that should live for all time. Anyone who saw it shall never forget it.

Throughout this campaign, his opponents have drawn numerous comparisons to JFK, RFK, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — but it is John Edwards who rightfully deserved the credit for keeping the populist progressive dream alive. His message echoed President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, FDR’s New Deal, Robert F. Kennedy’s Poverty Tour, and Dr. King’s Poor People’s Campaign.

While other candidates talked the talk, John Edwards walked the walk.

Sadly, the media has all but ignored Edwards’ campaign in recent weeks, as the pundits focused on the fight between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Even more distressing is the fact that the only way to get John Edwards back on the front page was for him to quit the race.

Edwards may have abandoned his campaign, but not the struggle for economic and social equality in America. No sooner had he delivered his announcement today, he picked up a hammer and got to work building a new home in Musician’s Village for those displaced by Katrina. This in itself was a powerful statement – and he wanted all the world to hear.

As a journalist, I’ve covered every presidential race since 1988, and have seen a lot of candidates come and go. But never have I seen a candidate drop out of the running with as much eloquence and grace as John Edwards did today. His words of farewell moved me deeply, and I sincerely hope they are not forgotten.

The following is a transcript of this moving and memorable speech by John Edwards. Please share it with your friends and family, and ask them to put pressure on whichever candidate they support to incorporate Edwards’ anti-poverty mission into their platform:

John Edwards in New Orleans, Jan. 30, 2008

Thank you all very much. We’re very proud to be back here.

During the spring of 2006, I had the extraordinary experience of bringing 700 college kids here to New Orleans to work. These are kids who gave up their spring break to come to New Orleans to work, to rehabilitate houses, because of their commitment as Americans, because they believed in what was possible, and because they cared about their country.

I began my presidential campaign here to remind the country that we, as citizens and as a government, have a moral responsibility to each other, and what we do together matters. We must do better, if we want to live up to the great promise of this country that we all love so much.

It is appropriate that I come here today. It’s time for me to step aside so that history can blaze its path. We do not know who will take the final steps to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but what we do know is that our Democratic Party will make history. We will be strong, we will be unified, and with our convictions and a little backbone we will take back the White House in November and we’ll create hope and opportunity for this country.

This journey of ours began right here in New Orleans. It was a December morning in the Lower Ninth Ward when people went to work, not just me, but lots of others went to work with shovels and hammers to help restore a house that had been destroyed by the storm.

We joined together in a city that had been abandoned by our government and had been forgotten, but not by us. We knew that they still mourned the dead, that they were still stunned by the destruction, and that they wondered when all those cement steps in all those vacant lots would once again lead to a door, to a home, and to a dream.

We came here to the Lower Ninth Ward to rebuild. And we’re going to rebuild today and work today, and we will continue to come back. We will never forget the heartache and we’ll always be here to bring them hope, so that someday, one day, the trumpets will sound in Musicians’ Village, where we are today, play loud across Lake Ponchartrain, so that working people can come marching in and those steps once again can lead to a family living out the dream in America.

We sat with poultry workers in Mississippi, janitors in Florida, nurses in California.

We listened as child after child told us about their worry about whether we would preserve the planet.

We listened to worker after worker say “the economy is tearing my family apart.”

We walked the streets of Cleveland, where house after house was in foreclosure.

And we said, “We’re better than this. And economic justice in America is our cause.”

And we spent a day, a summer day, in Wise, Virginia, with a man named James Lowe, who told us the story of having been born with a cleft palate. He had no health care coverage. His family couldn’t afford to fix it. And finally some good Samaritan came along and paid for his cleft palate to be fixed, which allowed him to speak for the first time. But they did it when he was 50 years old. His amazing story, though, gave this campaign voice: universal health care for every man, woman and child in America. That is our cause.

And we do this — we do this for each other in America. We don’t turn away from a neighbor in their time of need. Because every one of us knows that what — but for the grace of God, there goes us. The American people have never stopped doing this, even when their government walked away, and walked away it has from hardworking people, and, yes, from the poor, those who live in poverty in this country.

For decades, we stopped focusing on those struggles. They didn’t register in political polls, they didn’t get us votes and so we stopped talking about it. I don’t know how it started. I don’t know when our party began to turn away from the cause of working people, from the fathers who were working three jobs literally just to pay the rent, mothers sending their kids to bed wrapped up in their clothes and in coats because they couldn’t afford to pay for heat.

We know that our brothers and sisters have been bullied into believing that they can’t organize and can’t put a union in the workplace. Well, in this campaign, we didn’t turn our heads. We looked them square in the eye and we said, “We see you, we hear you, and we are with you. And we will never forget you.” And I have a feeling that if the leaders of our great Democratic Party continue to hear the voices of working people, a proud progressive will occupy the White House.

Now, I’ve spoken to both Senator Clinton and Senator Obama. They have both pledged to me and more importantly through me to America, that they will make ending poverty central to their campaign for the presidency.

And more importantly, they have pledged to me that as President of the United States they will make ending poverty and economic inequality central to their Presidency. This is the cause of my life and I now have their commitment to engage in this cause.

And I want to say to everyone here, on the way here today, we passed under a bridge that carried the interstate where 100 to 200 homeless Americans sleep every night. And we stopped, we got out, we went in and spoke to them.

There was a minister there who comes every morning and feeds the homeless out of her own pocket. She said she has no money left in her bank account, she struggles to be able to do it, but she knows it’s the moral, just and right thing to do. And I spoke to some of the people who were there and as I was leaving, one woman said to me, “You won’t forget us, will you? Promise me you won’t forget us.” Well, I say to her and I say to all of those who are struggling in this country, we will never forget you. We will fight for you. We will stand up for you.

But I want to say this — I want to say this because it’s important. With all of the injustice that we’ve seen, I can say this, America’s hour of transformation is upon us. It may be hard to believe when we have bullets flying in Baghdad and it may be hard to believe when it costs $58 to fill your car up with gas. It may be hard to believe when your school doesn’t have the right books for your kids. It’s hard to speak out for change when you feel like your voice is not being heard.

But I do hear it. We hear it. This Democratic Party hears you. We hear you, once again. And we will lift you up with our dream of what’s possible.

One America, one America that works for everybody.

One America where struggling towns and factories come back to life because we finally transformed our economy by ending our dependence on oil.

One America where the men who work the late shift and the women who get up at dawn to drive a two-hour commute and the young person who closes the store to save for college. They will be honored for that work.

One America where no child will go to bed hungry because we will finally end the moral shame of 37 million people living in poverty.

One America where every single man, woman and child in this country has health care.

One America with one public school system that works for all of our children.

One America that finally brings this war in Iraq to an end. And brings our service members home with the hero’s welcome that they have earned and that they deserve.

Today, I am suspending my campaign for the Democratic nomination for the Presidency.

But I want to say this to everyone: with Elizabeth, with my family, with my friends, with all of you and all of your support, this son of a millworker’s gonna be just fine. Our job now is to make certain that America will be fine.

And I want to thank everyone who has worked so hard — all those who have volunteered, my dedicated campaign staff who have worked absolutely tirelessly in this campaign.

And I want to say a personal word to those I’ve seen literally in the last few days — those I saw in Oklahoma yesterday, in Missouri, last night in Minnesota — who came to me and said don’t forget us. Speak for us. We need your voice. I want you to know that you almost changed my mind, because I hear your voice, I feel you, and your cause it our cause. Your country needs you — every single one of you.

All of you who have been involved in this campaign and this movement for change and this cause, we need you. It is in our hour of need that your country needs you. Don’t turn away, because we have not just a city of New Orleans to rebuild. We have an American house to rebuild.

This work goes on. It goes on right here in Musicians’ Village. There are homes to build here, and in neighborhoods all along the Gulf. The work goes on for the students in crumbling schools just yearning for a chance to get ahead. It goes on for day care workers, for steel workers risking their lives in cities all across this country. And the work goes on for two hundred thousand men and women who wore the uniform of the United States of America, proud veterans, who go to sleep every night under bridges, or in shelters, or on grates, just as the people we saw on the way here today. Their cause is our cause.

Their struggle is our struggle. Their dreams are our dreams.

Do not turn away from these great struggles before us. Do not give up on the causes that we have fought for. Do not walk away from what’s possible, because it’s time for all of us, all of us together, to make the two Americas one.

Thank you. God bless you, and let’s go to work. Thank you all very much.

Copyright RFKin2008.com. Speech text courtesy of the John Edwards for President campaign.

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Has the Media Already Crowned Obama King?

THE OBAMA PHENOMENA

If the election were tomorrow (and maybe it should be), Barack Obama would be president. Thanks to a media transfixed by the candidate’s star power, Senator Obama has seemingly unstoppable momentum. He’s got the media and the masses. The delegates can’t be far behind. And that’s the ball game, folks. The race may be over before it’s even been run.

So what’s the point of having an election then, if this thing has already been decided? Just think of all the money and trouble we could save ourselves by just calling the race early and getting the damn thing over with. If it’s a foregone conclusion, can we all go home now? 

Here’s a novel idea: let’s redirect all that obscene money candidates spend on campaigns back to the people. There’s a few billion bucks we could use to feed the hungry and the homeless in this country. Might even solve the economic crisis. It would certainly make a sizeable dent in the debt. Nah…that’s far too compassionate and wise. Can’t do that.

All sarcasm aside, I am troubled by the media’s rush to crown Barack Obama the once and future king (or perhaps the next Dr. King) after only five primaries. Ever since his astonishing win in Iowa, it seems the pundits can’t contain their own bias. Nor could they disguise their disappointment when Hillary Clinton won New Hampshire and Nevada. And after South Carolina, I’m convinced they’ve lost all objectivity and possibly their minds.

No sooner had Obama been declared the winner in South Carolina, in came the news that Caroline Kennedy, the late president’s daughter, was endorsing Barack Obama. The very next day, Senator Edward Kennedy’s endorsement of Senator Obama was treated like the Second Coming of Camelot. All three cable news network took his speech live (quite rare), and proclaimed that “Obama is the next JFK.”

President Kennedy and his son, john F. Kennedy Jr.

WHAT STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS?

The endorsement drew the focus of the national media away from the runup to President Bush’s State of the Union address (as someone who has worked in newsrooms for more than 20 years, let me tell you how unheard of that is!), making the front pages of the major dailies and the lead of each of the networks last night.

ABC World News reported, “Today the audacity of hope had its rendezvous with destiny. The Kennedy clan annointed Barack Obama, a son of Camelot.” Sen. Ted Kennedy: “I know that he’s ready to be the president on day one.” For Bill Clinton, “who has always cast himself as President Kennedy’s political heir, today’s endorsement was a slap to face.”

The CBS Evening News reported, “It was a moment packed with political significance. Ted and Caroline Kennedy, the surviving brother and child of a revered Democratic president declaring that the torch has been passed.”

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams led by contending: “It’s been 45 years since a Kennedy has been in the White House, and yet because of the American fascination with the family name, and the family business of politics, the Kennedy name still has the power to grab the attention of millions of Americans.”

USA Today reports Obama also “picked up the support Monday of author Toni Morrison, who once called Bill Clinton ‘the first black president.'” The AP reports Morrison “said she has admired Clinton for years because of her knowledge and mastery of politics, but then dismissed that experience in favor of Obama’s vision.”

CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric teased, “Passing the torch: Barack Obama is tapped as the candidate to continue the Kennedy legacy.” NBC’s Lee Cowan, who earlier this month conceded “it’s almost hard to remain objective” when covering Obama, showed he also has a soft spot for the Kennedys as he radiated over how “the endorsement brought the Kennedy mystique to this campaign, not in a whisper, but a roar.”

With “New Son of Camelot” on screen over video of Obama and Ted Kennedy, Nightline anchor Terry Moran led thusly: “Ted and Caroline Kennedy pass the torch to Barack Obama to carry the legacy of JFK…

Good evening, everyone. I’m Terry Moran. And tonight, on a night when the President gave his final State of the Union address, he was overshadowed.” Moran soon hailed how “the political world was transfixed by the spectacle of the most powerful Democratic family of the 20th century christening a new torch bearer for the 21st.” 

 

HAVE WE GONE “CAMELOT CRAZY”?

I’m not saying that Obama isn’t an exciting candidate. He is. This man inspires and stirs the minds and hearts of people in ways we haven’t witnessed in 40 years. He’s one hell of a handsome fellow with charisma to burn. He opens his mouth and poetry flows from his lips. He also seems to have some pretty good ideas about how to get the country back on track. But so do his Democratic opponents – and we’re suddenly not hearing much from them. Why not? Aren’t Clinton and Edwards still in the race?

Well, last time I checked, yes. So why aren’t they getting a lot more face time on tee-vee?

The answer is clear to anyone who has been paying attention. The media even admits their pro-Obama bias, albeit sheepishly. They just can’t help it, they say: yes, we’re journalists, but we’re human beings, too – and we are simply moved by what Obama is doing. Is that so wrong?

Well, actually, yes it is. This is an election year, we’re only a few primaries into the race, and we have a stellar array of impressive Democratic candidates to cover. Our job as journalists is to provide fair coverage across the board to all. Our job is not to steer voters towards one candidate or another, nor is it to heap undue praise or criticism on any of them. We’re supposed to report the news and get the hell out of the way, remember?

In the midst of all the excitement, we seem to be forgetting ourselves. We’ve all forgotten that opinion belongs on the Editorial page. We are not serving the American people well if we are not providing accurate information and dispassionate analysis – even if it makes really good TV. We are not paid to drool all over Obama’s shoes, no matter how moved we may be by his message.

FAIR AND BALANCED, MY ASS

The 2008 election will likely be the most important in our lifetime. This race is for all the marbles — so this is hardly a time for the media to lose theirs. Americans must make a well-informed decision when they walk into the voting booth. How can they possibly do that if information about the candidates is selectively made available?

This was precisely the problem faced by dark horse candidates such as Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel (who is still running, incidentally – although CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX won’t tell you that), Bill Richardson, Joe Biden and Chris Dodd. On the Republican side, it’s a bloody miracle if Ron Paul can get five minutes on any network besides C-SPAN. And just imagine the uphill battle a Cynthia McKinney or Ralph Nader will have as Green or Independent challengers this year. One can’t win the presidency on netroots buzz alone.

Without mainstream media coverage, a candidate’s message is lost on the people. Unless each and every candidate is afforded the opportunity to present themselves and their platform to the public, they don’t stand a snowball’s chance.

So, I guess Lou Dobbs may as well throw his hat into the ring – at least he’s got a highly-rated nightly show on CNN – he has a strong base of followers and a media machine revved up and ready to take him to November. Dobbs may be the only hope for Independents who reject the two-party system outright, and who desperately need a candidate. But not just any candidate. This dog must hunt – otherwise the time, effort and expense of a campaign is an utter waste. Lou Dobbs is no fool, he knows this game all too well. (Which probably explains why he is emphatically not running!)

The same could be said for Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who also has his own media platform, a weekly show on Air America radio. This program is not only heard coast-to-coast, but around the world. Kennedy has already won countless thousands of converts via his books, articles, and public speaking engagements – to say nothing of having the Kennedy name.

The Independent Populists, Democrats, Liberals, Greens and Progressives who embrace him are hungry for a real candidate in 2008 – and they still haven’t found what they’re looking for in anyone but Bobby. They haven’t given up. They still want him to run. Now.

SIGN THE PETITION to Draft RFK Jr. for President!

Copyright RFKin2008.com.

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Teddy Gets Fired Up for Obama

Senator Edward M. Kennedy (Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s uncle), rejecting entreaties from the Clintons and their supporters, is set to endorse Senator Barack Obama’s presidential bid today as part of an effort to lend Kennedy charisma and connections before the 22-state Feb. 5 showdown for the Democratic nomination.
Both the Clintons and their allies had pressed Mr. Kennedy for weeks to remain neutral in the Democratic race, but Mr. Kennedy had become increasingly disenchanted with the tone of the Clinton campaign, aides said.
¡ 
He and former President Bill Clinton had a heated telephone exchange earlier this month over what Mr. Kennedy considered misleading statements by Mr. Clinton about Mr. Obama, as well as his injection of race into the campaign.

Mr. Kennedy called Mr. Clinton Sunday to tell him of his decision.

The endorsement, which followed a public appeal on Mr. Obama’s behalf by Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy, was a blow to the Clinton campaign and pits leading members of the nation’s most prominent Democratic families against one another.

Mr. Kennedy, a major figure in party politics for more than 40 years, intends to campaign aggressively for Mr. Obama, beginning with an appearance and rally with him in Washington on Monday. He will be introduced by Ms. Kennedy.

Mr. Kennedy then heads west with Mr. Obama, followed by appearances in the Northeast. Strategists see him bolstering Mr. Obama’s credibility and helping him firm up support from unions and Hispanics, as well as the party base.

The endorsement appears to support assertions that Mr. Clinton’s campaigning on behalf of his wife in South Carolina has in some ways hurt her candidacy.

Campaign officials, without acknowledging any faults on Mr. Clinton’s part, have said they will change tactics and try to shift Mr. Clinton back into the role he played before her loss in the Iowa caucuses, emphasizing her record and experience.

Mr. Kennedy, of Massachusetts, has worked closely with Mrs. Clinton, of New York, on health care and other legislation and has had a friendly relationship with both Clintons, but associates said he was intrigued by Mr. Obama’s seeming ability to inspire political interest in a new generation. For his part, Mr. Obama actively courted Mr. Kennedy for several years, seeking him out for Senate advice and guidance before making the decision to enter the presidential race.

Mr. Kennedy had been seriously considering an endorsement for weeks — a break with his traditional practice of staying clear of primaries.

He remained uncertain of his decision as late as the middle of last week. But, according to allies, when he learned that his niece’s endorsement would appear as an Op-Ed piece in The New York Times on Sunday, he decided to bolster that with his own public embrace of the campaign at a joint rally at American University in Washington on Monday, giving Mr. Obama, of Illinois a potentially powerful one-two Kennedy punch.

As Mr. Obama flew here on Sunday, he smiled when asked about his new wave of support from the Kennedy family.

“For somebody who, I think, has been such an important part of our national imagination and who generally shies away from involvement in day-to-day politics to step out like that is something that I’m very grateful for,” Mr. Obama said of Caroline Kennedy’s support. Ms. Kennedy declined requests on Sunday to discuss her endorsement.

Trying to dilute the impact of the twin endorsements by the brother and daughter of the late president, the Clinton campaign on Sunday issued a statement of support from Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, a former lieutenant governor in Maryland and a daughter of Robert F. Kennedy.

“I respect Caroline and Teddy’s decision, but I have made a different choice,” Ms. Townsend said in her statement, adding: “At this moment when so much is at stake at home and overseas, I urge our fellow Americans to support Hillary Clinton. That is why my brother Bobby, my sister Kerry, and I are supporting Hillary Clinton.”

But two years ago, Ms. Townsend’s mother, Ethel Kennedy, referred to Mr. Obama in an interview as “our next president” and likened him to her late husband.

The Kennedy endorsement grants Mr. Obama, who has been framed by the Clintons as being short on experience, the approval of one of the Senate’s senior members.

Before the Iowa caucuses, Mr. Kennedy had planned to stay out of the race, largely because he had so many friends in the contest, chiefly Senator Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut. He also said he was waiting for one of the candidates to spark a movement.

“I want to see who out there is going to be able to inspire not only our party, but others, because I think we’re going to need the inspiration in order to bring a change in American foreign policy and domestic policy,” Mr. Kennedy said last year on ABC News’s “This Week.”

After Mr. Obama won the Iowa caucuses, associates to both men said, Mr. Kennedy concluded that Mr. Obama had transcended racial lines and the historical divisions the Kennedy family had worked to tear down. Mr. Kennedy was also impressed at how Mr. Obama was not defined as a black candidate, but seen as a transformational figure.

It was then, associates said, that Mr. Kennedy began talking with his children, nieces and nephews, including Caroline Kennedy, who had reached her own judgment some time ago independently of her uncle. They then agreed last week to move ahead with their endorsements, coordinating their decision before the Feb. 5 contests.

Mr. Kennedy has a long history of working with the former president and Mrs. Clinton on health, education and other social issues and, according to his associates, has a good relationship with both. While the Clintons were in the White House, the families socialized and sailed off Cape Cod.

Mr. Obama courted Mr. Kennedy as well, using late-night sessions in the Senate to get some tutoring about the intricacies of the institution. Conversations about the White House began more than a year ago, with Mr. Obama paying Mr. Kennedy a visit to seek his thoughts about whether he should run for president. Mr. Kennedy told him that he should because such opportunities rarely come along.

On the night of Mr. Obama’s national political debut at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, he was preceded on stage by Mr. Kennedy, a symbolic bookend of the party’s dean and its new generation.

A year later, near the end of Mr. Obama’s first year in the Senate, Ethel Kennedy asked him to speak at a ceremony for her husband’s 80th birthday. At the time, she referred to Mr. Obama as “our next president.”

“I think he feels it. He feels it just like Bobby did,” Mrs. Kennedy said in an interview that day, comparing her late husband’s quest for social justice to Mr. Obama’s. “He has the passion in his heart. He’s not selling you. It’s just him.”

By JEFF ZELENY and CARL HULSE

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Campaigns Fight for Kennedy Endorsements

IT’S KENNEDY ENVY ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
The Hillary Clinton camp didn’t waste any time trying to blunt the effect of Barack Obama’s big Kennedy endorsements. Caroline Kennedy endorsed Obama in a New York Times piece Sunday. And Teddy Kennedy will be endorsing Obama on Monday.
The Clinton campaign hurried out a statement at midafternoon Sunday reminding everybody they’ve got some Kennedys too.

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Bobby Kennedy’s daughter, has endorsed Hillary: “I respect Caroline and Teddy’s decision but I have made a different choice . . . She shares so many of the concerns of my father.”

And Ms. Townsend noted that her siblings — brother Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and sister Kerry — are also supporting Hillary Clinton.

So for those keeping score at home, it’s JFK’s daughter and brother for Barack. Bobby Kennedy’s kids for Hillary. Got that?

 

4:20 PM Sun, Jan 27, 2008 |
Wayne Slater

Copyright 2008 The Dallas Morning News

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Caroline Kennedy: Obama Will Be “A President Like My Father”

SOUTH CAROLINA BRINGS SWEET CAROLINE INTO THE FRAY

For 28 years, Caroline Kennedy-Schlossberg steadfastly refused to endorse any presidential candidate, always wisely staying out of the political pillowfight.

All that changed as of about an hour ago when the last surviving member of the John F. Kennedy family broke her nearly three decade-long long silence and formally endorsed Barack Obama

The news came just moments before Obama took the stage to thank supporters who handed him a whopping 2-to-1 victory over Senator Hillary Clinton in tonight’s South Carolina Democratic primary.


Maybe she didn’t have time to “change”? Although Michelle Obama is always immaculately attired, her choice of the Jackie Kennedy-esque pink suit seems somewhat ill-advised in light of Caroline Kennedy’s nearly-simultaneous endorsement. (AP photo)

“A PRESIDENT LIKE MY FATHER”

In her New York Times Op-Ed column (which hits newsstands tomorrow), Caroline explained the endorsement this way: 

“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.

…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 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. “

A HOUSE DIVIDED? 

All eyes now turn to the senior senator from Massachusetts, one of the most conspicuous of Democratic fence sitters, who is known to have become mighty annoyed with Clinton campaign tactics in recent weeks. (See related story: “Teddy Tells Bill to Chill”)

Meanwhile, many of the Robert Kennedys — RFK Jr., Rory Kennedy, Kerry Kennedy and Kathleen Kennedy-Townsend — have been out on the campaign trail stumping for Hillary Clinton. (Although their mother, RFK’s widow Ethel, is reportedly an Obama supporter.)

Caroline’s endorsement of Senator Obama certainly creates an interesting dynamic both within the Democratic party and indeed the Kennedy family itself. Does this point to the possibility that the House of Kennedy is a house divided in the 2008 election?

Perhaps it will actually turn out to be a good thing in the end. A little healthy competition has always been welcomed within the Kennedy ranks, not to mention a spirited, passionate, good ol’ Irish family political debate. (Like the kind we always had at my house!) What some of us wouldn’t give to be a fly on the wall at that pow-wow!

JFK Jr., Caroline, Jackie Kennedy with Bill clinton

Ah, but we were so much older then…we’re younger than that now: the late president’s family – John F. Kennedy Jr., Caroline Kennedy-Schlossberg and Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis with then-president Bill Clinton back in the day.

 

 

Copyright RFKin2008.com.

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Democrats Hope to Recreate Camelot in `08

DEMOCRATS SEEKING A NEW CAMELOT

Kenbama

TORONTO STAR

The polls may have got it wrong this week in New Hampshire, but nobody is counting Barack Obama over and out.

There is something about the 46-year-old junior senator from Illinois that speaks to the always-simmering idealism of the Democratic Party. Ever since John F. Kennedy, it’s been in search of another hero, a charismatic leader whose appeal is fresh, optimistic and potentially universal. A leader who could bring back the magic, however much a myth, of JFK’s Camelot.

Even non-supporters concede that Obama ignites the kind of visceral excitement last seen when people tumbled over each other to get a glimpse of Kennedy.

In fact, the parallels between the two men are striking. Obama comes with baggage he has no control over: his race. But so did Kennedy, with his religion.

He had to persuade party chiefs it wasn’t “too soon” for a Roman Catholic to run, that Americans were ready. Then he had to convince voters his religion wouldn’t influence his thinking, all the while placating church leaders who thought he wasn’t Catholic enough.

“I am not the Catholic candidate for president,” said Kennedy. “I am the Democratic Party’s candidate for president who also happens to be a Catholic.”

Substitute “African-American” for Catholic, and it could be Obama.

In May 1960, when JFK won the primary in staunchly Protestant West Virginia, the religion issue vanished overnight. It will be tougher for Obama. Being the son of a white Kansan mother and a black Kenyan father will still count against him in parts of the U.S.

He too has heard the “too soon” argument from some senior Democrats. He’s certainly heard from several black leaders that he isn’t “black enough.”

Obama is also likely to be hit by the “Bradley effect,” possibly already was in New Hampshire.

(The effect involves a black candidate and what whites say about their voting intent vs. whom they actually pick. It’s named after Tom Bradley, the black mayor of Los Angeles, who surprisingly lost a 1982 governorship bid after polls showed he’d win handily.)

The next major primary is Jan. 26 in South Carolina, where for the first time Obama faces a large black vote. It could be his West Virginia or halt his campaign in its tracks.

DEJA VU’

The comparative youth of both men now, as then, is a major drawback. JFK was just 30 when he entered politics in Massachusetts, barely 42 when he began his run for the White House. He was seen as an upstart by party honchos and, with the U.S. engaged in the Cold War, far too young to be trusted with the presidency.

Obama’s lack of experience nationally has also been criticized, not least by his main competitor, Hillary Clinton. A state legislator for seven years, he’s been a junior senator for three, the last one of which he spent running for the leadership.

Like JFK, he faces a nation in the throes of anxiety and disillusionment. Just as nuclear war between the U.S. and Soviet Union once seemed inevitable, the current war on terrorism seems unwinnable and unending.

But Kennedy believed judgment, not experience, is the key criterion for leadership: “Experience is like tail-lights on a boat which illuminate where we have been,” he once said, “when we should be focusing on where we should be going.”

He won the narrowest of victories over Republican Richard Nixon and, in his inauguration speech, played up his youth: “In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger … The torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans.”

The hypnotizing words were actually written by speechwriter Ted Sorensen. There are few knights of the round table left, but Sorensen, now 80, is one of them and he’s actively supporting Obama. He sees him as heir to JFK’s legacy, with the same magnetic charm and “fantastically winning smile,” but more important, the same ability to motivate Americans.

People want to be inspired again, Sorensen told South Carolina’s The State newspaper last month, the way Kennedy did with his famous “Ask not what your country can do for you …” invocation.

“People are now ready for a call to service,” said Sorensen. “They want to have a hero, think great thoughts, hear bold visions again. And they want to be asked to serve. Service is good for the national character. Kennedy believed that strongly.”

Brad Warthen, The State’s editorial page director, says Obama, like JFK, has “grace and style – he is who he is. And he certainly has a Pied Piper effect on young people.” If he sweeps South Carolina, with its racially mixed voters, he could go all the way.

If not, Obama can remind himself that the “Camelot” of JFK’s presidency didn’t exist until after his death. It was Jackie Kennedy who planted the image in the public mind, telling historian Theodore White he loved listening to the record of the Broadway show: “Don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment, that was known as Camelot.”

White, 20 years later in his book In Search of History, wrote that “the magic Camelot of John F. Kennedy never existed.” There were no Merlins, no Sir Galahads. Kennedy was tough and unromantic. But he was a leader. “He posed for the first time the great question … What kind of people are we Americans? What do we want to become?”

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