Monday, January 28, 2008

The Kennedys Pass the Torch

To Barack Obama

First Caroline Kennedy:

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.

And now Teddy Kennedy:

"When John Kennedy thought of going to the moon, he didn't say no, it was too far, maybe we couldn't get there and shouldn't even try," he said.

"I am convinced we can reach our goals only if we are not petty when our cause is so great -- only if we find a way past the stale ideas and stalemate of our times -- only if we replace the politics of fear with the politics of hope -- and only if we have the courage to choose change.

"Barack Obama is the one person running for president who can bring us that change. Barack Obama is the one person running for president who can be that change."
When you put both endorsements together they are huge symbolically. But I think that both backed Obama for different reasons. Aside from thumbing their nose at the Clinton wing of the party that is. Whereas Caroline Kennedy sees someone that can inspire and unite Teddy Kennedy also sees someone who harness substantive thought, hard work, and even compromise in order to help as many people as possible. As Kevin Sullivan puts it someone like him
In Obama, Kennedy no doubt sees the inspirational rhetoric and youthful energy of his brothers. But more importantly, Obama possesses a message that matches up to his own legislative record. A candidate who would govern the executive branch with a deliberative philosophy, Obama doesn’t resemble the lofty–and sadly, mostly unrealized–ambitions of Jack and Bobby, but rather, the more grounded and gritty ambitions held by Teddy himself. After eight years of what has been dubbed the “imperial presidency,” Barack Obama’s message of change, unity and progress obviously resonates with a legislator who has spent years clawing and compromising for bills he believed in.
Simply put Obama is left of center but he's smart, tactful, and pragmatic enough to know when to compromise in order to get at least get what results are possible done. So whereas Bill Clinton compromised because he had no choice (usually after a knock down drag out bout of mud slinging) Obama seems more likely to compromise to preserve good will and then try to get the rest through later. So rather then the continual partisan fighting of the Clinton era we'd be more likely to see constant give and take

Of course that strategy has its own difficulties. Because while Republican law makers have no choice but to compromise when they're in the minority many Dems resisting the move to post partisan politics. After all for many partisan warfare is all the know. However I'm also fairly certain that they'll wait until after Obama's approval rate slips below fifty percent. After all politician's don't eat their own until they can no longer ride their coat tails to reelection.