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


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)


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. “


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.






Filed under election 2008, hillary clinton, jackie kennedy, JFK, JFK Jr., John F. Kennedy, john f. kennedy jr., media, politics, president kennedy, RFK, RFK Jr., robert f. kennedy, robert kennedy jr., senator robert kennedy, the kennedys, Uncategorized

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

  1. Pingback: Carol Platt

  2. Pingback: Jamelle

  3. Pingback: Hillary Clinton

  4. (Editor’s note: This comment has been edited to remove derogatory personal comments about members of the Kennedy family. While we encourage an open and frank debate, it is the policy of the blog to keep the conversation focused on legitimate and timely issues only. Personal attacks are strictly off-limits.)

    Just Like Her Daddy and Worse

    The Princess Royal of the Kennedy clan has draped her father’s moth-eaten cloak on Barack Obama, who, in her father’s White House, would have been a footman or cook. Say what you will about Obama, he got there himself without the benefit of a rich daddy. He may be more unprepared to be president and more disastrous for this country than was JFK.

  5. Pingback: Maria

  6. Are you sure your father was like this one?…

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