Monthly Archives: August 2007

Keeping Up With the Kennedys

One of the most impressive things about the grassroots movement to draft Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is that it is comprised of some truly amazing people (as is so often evidenced by the insightful comments left on our blog). You’re well-educated. You’re literate. You’re politically passionate. You’re devoted to justice for all. You know your history. And you love the Kennedys. 

The Kennedy Clan, circa early 1960s

CAPTION: The Kennedy clan at Hyannisport, circa 1963.

(Who’s that cute little boy standing with JFK and Caroline?;)

Many of you have been Kennedy supporters all your lives. Some of you may be old enough to remember when young Jack Kennedy was a Senator! You might recall when John-John was born. Maybe you responded to JFK’s inaugural call of “ask not what your country can do for you,” and entered public service to do what you could for your country.

You remember the Cuban Missle Crisis firsthand and lived to tell the tale to your grandchildren. You’ll never forget that day in Dallas. Or Los Angeles five years later.

Through the years, you’ve stayed politically active and fully engaged in your duties as a citizen. Maybe your inspiration in part comes from a sense of helping to complete important work that Jack and Bobby started nearly 50 years ago. You’re still committed to those ideals of fairness, justice, and peace.

You also most likely have kept up with the Kennedys, staying informed on news and maybe even a bit of irrisistible gossip now and then. In more recent years, the internet has made it possible to do research, engage in political activism, and network with other like-minded individuals all from the comfort of home. It has also created communities and forums where Kennedy fans gather to share stories, ideas, and information.

We try to keep this website focused exclusively on Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and the grassroots movement to draft him in 2008, although we do run related historical features periodically. We don’t usually cover the latest political news of the day unless RFK Jr. is a part of the story. Our mission is to bring you information about Mr. Kennedy’s life, his work, his stand on the issues, and hopefully convince you that he is the best possible choice we could make for the next President of the United States.

So for “all the news that doesn’t fit” the theme of our website, we’ve added a couple of new features and blogroll links we think you’ll enjoy.

You can now read our online journal at Democratic Underground. Here you can not only get more information on RFK Jr. and other Kennedys currently serving in government, you can also join the discussion forums and engage in spirited debates on the hottest political topics of the day. Want to talk about the 2008 race? The candidates? The issues? The war? Want to rant about George Bush? This is the place for you.

You can also read our posts on the Kennedy Family Forums, a great place to find news and information about all of the Kennedys, and to interact with others who share your interests. Chances are you’ll always learn some fascinating new tidbit here you didn’t know before! (Is it really true that Jackie O. wouldn’t allow Caroline to have that piece of pie after dinner because she worried Caroline was getting too fat?)

Anyway, happy reading. See you in cyberspace.

Copyright 2007 by RFKin2008.com. All Rights Reserved. 

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Kennedy Visits L.A.; Speaks at NeoCon Xpress

The headline got your attention, didn’t it? RFK Jr. at a NeoCon Convention? WHAT???

We know what you’re probably thinking: what on earth is Robert F. Kennedy Jr. doing at a NeoCon gathering? In Los Angeles, of all places? Who invited him, of all people? Were the Republicans smoking crack? How did he manage to even get in the building without being arrested and carted away by Bush’s secret police? Is the world coming to an end?

Okay, okay, we won’t keep you in suspense any longer. While it is true that RFK Jr. attended the curiously-named NeoCon Xpress Convention in L.A. this past Thursday, we’re not talking about that kind of Neocon. It’s an interior design fair, silly, not a Neo-Conservative Extravaganza.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

When Kennedy took the podium at the commercial interior product tradeshow, his talk on environmental policy was quite literally in tune with the floor beneath his feet. Architecture and design firm WWCOT had created a green set for the event made of recycled materials.

The “Sustainability Stage” was made of materials including carpet tile remnants (stacked to create the stage platform and back wall); mailing tubes (used for the ‘curtains’);  and recycled color, black and white, and sepia-tone architectural plans from WWCOT (the backdrop collage).

Bobby was there bright and early for the 8:30 a.m. breakfast event inside the Los Angeles Convention Center. He looked tanned and relaxed, freshly arrived back on the mainland after a month-long vacation in the Pacific islands. But as soon as he rose to speak, it was clear that RFK Jr. was ready to get right down to business.

In his address, A Contract with our Future, Kennedy explored the role that natural surroundings serve in the arenas of work, health, and the American identity. He believes that good environmental policy is good business policy, good economic policy, and good policy for posterity.

BUSH’S EPA: THE FOX IS IN CHARGE OF THE CHICKEN COOP

To say that Kennedy’s talk was politically charged is putting it mildly. He railed against the current Bush administration’s “deliberate and efficient efforts to eviscerate 30 years” of environmental policy. He noted that the NRDC website lists some “400 major environmental rollbacks” that have taken place in President Bush’s six years in office.

“You can’t speak honestly about the environment without speaking critically of the current administration,” he said. “They’ve put polluters in charge of the agencies that protect the environment.” (An article by Kennedy in the May 2007 issue of Vanity Fair goes deeper into the involvement of energy-industry executives put in charge of environmental agencies. Visit the Where He Stands page to read Texas Chainsaw Management by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.)

His L.A. speech was no doubt a blistering attack on the Bush administration, big business, and their Republican allies, but he said he would have done the same thing if a Democratic president were in charge.

“There’s no such thing as Republican children and Democratic children,” he said. “The worst thing we could do for the environment is allow it to become the province of a particular party.”

RFK Jr.

“FIVE CORPORATIONS CONTROL ALMOST ALL THE NEWS” 

Kennedy went on to talk about specific issues, including the effects — economic, environmental, and politically — of the U.S. coal industry, the alarming asthma rate among children, and the (largely unreported, he said) connection between high mercury levels and rising incidence of autism and other brain-related illnesses in kids.

He also took the mainstream media to task for paying lip service to environmental issues and refusing to do real investigative reporting that would reveal the deep, powerful connections between polluting companies and government policy makers.

Scoffing at the term “liberal media,” he said the “devolution” of the press resulted from the Reagan administration’s abolition in 1988 of the Fairness Doctrine (which regulated TV and radio programming, mandating fair news reporting and limiting consolidation). Since then, he said, corporate consolidation of media outlets has made it so that “five corporations control almost all the news. That means just five guys are deciding what I’m hearing as news.”

“Because [conservative-led media conglomerates] have no obligation to serve the public interest … Americans are the best entertained and the least informed people on the face of the earth,” Kennedy said. And when hard-hitting news does come to light, he added, “even Republicans say ‘How come I didn’t know about this?'”

Kennedy quipped that he’d come to the conclusion that “80 percent of Republicans are Democrats who just don’t know what’s going on.”

“YOU SHOW ME A POLLUTER, AND I’LL SHOW YOU A FAT CAT”

Toward the end of his speech, Kennedy talked about the connection between the environment and the economy. He said the notion that the U.S. operates in a free-market, capitalist economy is false because of the benefits that big businesses receive from the government. “You show me a polluter,” he said, “and I’ll show you a fat cat. I’ll show you a subsidy.”

Polluters and their political allies need to “stop treating the planet as if it were a business in liquidation,” he continued. “Environmental injury is deficit spending.” There has been a “liquidation of ours and our kids’ capital for cash.”

“We can’t sell the farm to pay for groceries, we can’t drain the pond to get to the fish, and we can’t [blow the top off] the mountain to get to coal.”

RFK Jr. met with attendees and signed copies of his book, Crimes Against Nature: How George W. Bush and his Corporate Pals are Plundering the Country and Hijacking our Democracy, following the speech.

The NeoCon Xpress World’s Trade Fair is produced by Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, a company run by the Kennedy family ever since RFK Jr.’s grandfather Joseph P. Kennedy, purchased it back in 1945. Bobby’s brother Christopher Kennedy currently serves as president of the Merchandise Mart.

 

Copyright 2007 by RFKin2008.com. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

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“Fiery” New Co-Host Joins RFK Jr. on Air America

Mr. “For the People” himself, John Morgan, is teaming up with Bobby Kennedy Jr. and Mike Papantonio as the new co-host of Ring of Fire, a weekly show on the Air America radio network.

Morgan, a Central Florida attorney, consumer advocate, entrepreneur and self-described “Democrat on strike,” made his debut on the show this weekend, replacing former co-host David Bender, who left the program in early August.

In a July 21 interview with Bender on Ring of Fire, Morgan had some strong words for Democratic party leaders: “I’m so disgusted with what’s going on,” Morgan said, adding that as a major fundraiser and Democratic donor, he will not be giving any more money to the party “until the Democratic leadership gets it right. I believe in the right to go on strike, and right now, I’m on strike!”

“Where is the principle?” Morgan asked the Democrats. “I mean, what is the Congresssional approval rating now, like 17%? That’s lower than the president! What the Democrats in Congress need to realize is that they were brought here as agents of change.

“The reason Obama is doing so well is because people desperately want change,” he said. “For these Senators and Representatives to think they were brought here for a different reason is just wrong. They were brought here to end the war.”

Morgan also issued a call to action to all “Good Democrats” across the nation: “When they call you asking for donations, asking you to do a fundraiser, I urge you to say, `not until you do the right thing‘. Tell them, `we are on strike.’

“Now that we (the Democrats) are in power,” Morgan explained, “remember that we can’t blame the Republicans anymore for not ending this war. The blood will now be put on our hands if we don’t do the right thing.

“And if they do take a stand, they will be doing what John F. Kennedy talked about years and years ago and showing us “Profiles In Courage” by putting principle above politics.”

For more information about John Morgan, check out his website.

Morgan also plans to open a National Museum of Crime and Punishment in Washington, DC. Read about it here.

Ring of Fire can be heard on Air America every Saturday and Sunday. Find a local affiliate station in your area, or listen online at ringoffireradio.com.

Copyright 2007 by RFKin2008.com. All Rights Reserved.

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“At This Point, I Would Run” – RFK Jr.

In a recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. did away with his former protestations of having no interest in running for public office. He told her “at this point, I would run if there were an office open because I’m so distressed about the kind of country my children will inherit.”

(Pssst…Bobby, there *is* an office open, just waiting for you to claim it in 2008. The Oval Office.) 

“I’ve always avoided politics because I didn’t want to make commitments that would take me away from raising my children.” Kennedy said. “But now America has changed so drastically that I’m asking myself: What’s going to be left of this country? I’m spending time with my kids, but maybe my time would be spent just as well if I tried to save the country.”  

“I’ve tried to cling to the idea that I could be of public service without compromising my family life,” he told Oprah. “But at this point, I would run.”

At this point, I would run. Notice he says that not once, not twice, but three times in his talk with Oprah.

The interview, which appeared in the February 2007 issue of O Magazine, was the first time Kennedy has gone on the record saying that he is actively considering the possibilities of a run.

When asked if he would ever try for the Presidency, Kennedy certainly didn’t say no.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. with Oprah Winfrey

It is clear that Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s time is now, and he seems to realize it. From his recent public statements, we would not be speculating to say that he is obviously giving the matter serious thought.

Like any good patriot, RFK Jr. cannot turn a deaf ear to the call of his country. He accurately senses that there is a time for home and family, and there is also a time to serve. When one’s draft number is called up, a soldier has no choice but to report for duty.

Trying to balance the strong pull he feels towards serving his country as an elected representative versus his family obligations as a husband and father of six is what seems to occupy his thoughts most in recent months. This is the essence of what he told Oprah when asked how he feels about a possible run:

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. with Oprah WinfreyRobert F. Kennedy Jr. with Oprah WinfreyOprah: Why haven’t you run for office?

Bobby: I’ve got six reasons running around this house. But at this point, I would run if there were an office open because I’m so distressed about the kind of country my children will inherit. I’ve tried to cling to the idea that I could be of public service without compromising my family life. But at this point, I would run.

Oprah: For what?

Bobby: I might run for the Senate or for the governor’s office (in New York). But my friends are in those offices, and I’m not going to run against them.

Oprah: Why didn’t you run for New York attorney general?

Bobby: Because I really didn’t want to be attorney general. I have the kind of life where I can take my kids on trips with me. I can involve them in my work. I’ve always avoided politics because I didn’t want to make commitments that would take me away from raising these children. But now America has changed so dramatically that I’m asking myself: What’s going to be left of this country? I’m spending time with my kids, but maybe my time would be spent just as well if I tried to save the country.

Oprah: Would you ever run for president?

Bobby: I don’t know what the future will bring. I really just try to live my life one day at a time and do what I’m supposed to do on that day. But if opportunities came up for me to run for office, I would probably do it. If that doesn’t happen, then I’ll happily continue doing what I’m doing.

RFK Jr, Oprah, and Falcon

PHOTO CAPTION: RFK Jr. with Oprah Winfrey and a friend’s falcon, from the recent O Magazine feature. Mr. Kennedy is a licensed master falconer and a lifelong falconry enthusiast. 

We encourage you to check out the entire O Magazine feature on Robert F. Kennedy Jr.. In one of the most soul-searching and in-depth interviews he has given in recent memory, RFK Jr. opens up and talks about his thoughts on the 2008 election, his lifelong love for the environment, his family, and speaks candidly about how he struggled with drug addiction after the death of his father. Eight pages in length, it is packed with exclusive photos of Bobby at home, at work, and at play with his kids.

This interview is a great introduction to who Bobby really is and what he thinks about the greatest issues facing the world today. Read the Oprah Winfrey interview here (you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed to view this document in .PDF format. You can also right click the link above to download the file to your computer.)

Help us send a strong message of support to Bobby that we need him and will support him if he chooses to run. Please SIGN THE PETITION to draft Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for president in 2008 today, and be sure to email it to several of your friends!

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION!

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Sign the Petition to Draft Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in 2008

Q – “Do you see yourself running for elected office?”

A – “I could. I live my life one day at a time. I’m gonna go where I think God wants me to go and where I can be most effective. And that’s the way that I live my life.”

– Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Feb. 17, 2005

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at LIVE EARTH, July 7, 2007 

Ever since his riproaring speech at LIVE EARTH a few weeks ago, a lot of folks have been wondering aloud, “why the hell isn’t this man running for President?”

We have started a draft petition which will be forwarded to Mr. Kennedy, along with your signatures and comments.

Here is the text of the petition:

Dear Mr. Kennedy:

As you are already aware, there is a growing movement in this country to draft you into the 2008 race. Many Americans feel that you are the right man at the right time for all the right reasons. Please listen to our plea and run for the presidency of the United States in 2008.

We believe that you are the only man who can unite the country and restore America’s standing as nation of peace and goodwill in the eyes of the world.

We believe that you are the only man who will use the power of that high office to carry out the will of the people and bring our troops home.

We believe that you will not be intimidated or corrupted by powerful special interests, and that you will craft a sane energy policy.

We believe that you will make protecting our natural environment a top priority.

We believe that you will fight to restore public trust in our Justice Department and the dignity of the Attorney General’s office as your father once envisioned it.

You have devoted so much of your life to public service and making the world a better place. Although you have never run for office before, many of us believe it is time for you to make that leap of faith. Because we have faith in you.

We believe that you are the man who would live up to the highest ideals of all the Kennedy name stands for in American history. We know you would honor the legacies of your father and your uncle John F. Kennedy, and make us all feel proud of our country again.

40 years later, the Torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans. Who will we choose to lead us in these troubled times? Who best represents our common dreams, goals, and hopes? Who has the courage to stand up to the military hawks and corporate interests who rule Washington and want to rule the world? Who amongst the current crop of candidates not only talks the talk, but walks the walk?

In our opinion, *none* of them do. That is exactly why we must convince you, if we can, to take on the heaviest of burdens and run for the presidency in 2008, for all of us.

America and the world need you now more than ever. Your country is calling you. Please be our candidate.

With our signatures on this petition, we pledge that we’ll be behind you all the way to the White House.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned
________________________________________________________________

ARE YOU WITH US?

THEN,WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???

SIGN THE PETITION AND JOIN US ON THE BARRICADES!

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/RFKin2008 /

Sign the Petition « Draft Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for President 2008

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How To Show Bobby Your Support

 Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Oregon, 2004

If you’re reading this blog, chances are good that you already want Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to run for President in 2008.

We are glad you’re here and welcome your support. But it’s important for us to take just a moment to ask everyone to respect Mr. Kennedy’s privacy and to remember that he is not (yet!) an elected official. 

We can call/email/fax or elected representatives and yell at them daily; we can tell them what we want them to do or how we want them to vote on any particular legislation. That’s part of the job, every public official expects to get clobbered by their constituents from time to time. But Mr. Kennedy is still a private citizen. As such, he should be allowed to work and spend time with his family without a constant barrage of voices in his ear begging him to run for President.

There are already at least three internet web sites devoted to the task of coaxing him into the race, and he is certainly aware of them. We’re not suggesting that anybody should curb their enthusiasm for what is no doubt a noble cause. But we do take issue with some of the tactics that have recently been recommended by the MySpace page to draft RFK Jr. which we feel are invasive to his privacy and far too heavy-handed in their approach. 

HOLD THE PHONES!

For example, a call to action on the MySpace draft RFK Jr. web site is now encouraging people to flood Bobby’s radio program on Air America with phone calls urging him to run. We are strongly opposed to this idea. We do not believe that his supporters should pester the guy at work. When he is in the studio, taping an interview, or writing a segment, he needs to stay focused on the radio show and nothing else.

There is really nothing the show’s call screeners can do to convince Bobby of anything. Their job is to weed through hundreds of phone messages from callers who want to talk about important issues on the program. Leaving a bunch of long-winded voicemails is not going to accomplish anything other than to annoy the show’s producers, and perhaps Mr. Kennedy as well.

There is a time and place for everything, but bothering someone at work hundreds of times a day is not the best way to get them to do your bidding.

This, combined with other troubling reports and documentation which have come our way recently have forced us to distance ourselves and the RFKin2008.com web site from the Draft RFK Jr. page at MySpace.

We feel it necessary to inform RFK Jr.’s supporters that the RFKin2008.com web site does NOT endorse or support these tactics. It is important to let our readers know that we are in no way affiliated with any other site to draft RFK Jr., and that we feel very strongly about how to accomplish the goal of showing Mr. Kennedy our support without making him feel harassed.

THE DRAFT PETITION DRIVE

The purpose of our web site is to provide news and information to voters about RFK Jr., and hopefully convince them to show their support for his potential candidacy by simply signing the draft petition. This is a way to send a strong message that our country needs him now without invading his privacy or thought process.

We will forward the petition to Mr. Kennedy, which he can review at his leisure, on his own time, when he is ready. We feel this is the most respectful method of showing him our support and desire for him to run.

We encourage all of you to include any personal comments for him next to your signature on the petition, because your words are so inspiring and can have such a powerful effect. So please, tell him why you want him to run, make your case, take that opportunity to let him know how much you want him to be your candidate.

Let’s always respect the man’s privacy, his family, and the fact that he is already incredibly busy with the work he does. Above all, let us respect his right to make his own decisions. If he chooses not to make any announcements at this time as to whether or not he will run, let’s not put any more pressure on him than he is already no doubt feeling.

Remember, we are asking him to take on the greatest of burdens on our behalf. A run for the White House is not a challenge that he can take lightly, nor do we. This is one hell of an important decision, one that only he and his family can make.

So let’s give him the time and space he needs to choose his future, all the while letting him know with our signatures that he has the support, respect, and faith of all of us.

Please SIGN THE PETITION and add your comments here:

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/RFKin2008/

* Copyright 2007 by RFKin2008.com. All Rights Reserved.

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