January 28th, 2008
06:53 PM ET

Kennedy support for Obama?

Sen. Barack Obama stands with Sen. Edward Kennedy, Patrick Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy, during a rally for Obama at American University on Monday. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It was a big snub coming from one of the nation's most well-known Democratic families to another. And, you better believe Senator Ted Kennedy's endorsement of Barack Obama hit Hillary and Bill Clinton pretty hard.

The Clintons had apparently tried to keep Kennedy neutral in the race, but it seems that it was what Kennedy saw as former President Clinton's racially divisive comments that tipped the scales.

So Kennedy has gone "all in" for Obama, calling him a "man with extraordinary gifts of leadership and character." Ted Kennedy plans to campaign aggressively for Obama, both out west and in the northeast ahead of Super Tuesday. Kennedy will help Obama shore up support among unions and Hispanics. Getting the backing of one of the party's most senior members will also serve to blunt the criticism that Obama doesn't have enough experience.

And it's not just Ted Kennedy. Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy, is supporting Obama, too, saying he "offers that same sense of hope and inspiration" that her father did. Ted Kennedy's son, Congressman Patrick Kennedy, is also supporting Obama.

The symbolism here is breathtaking. Caroline Kennedy said, "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 a man who could be that president - not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans." Senator Kennedy also compared Obama to JFK, saying like his brother, Obama is a candidate who sees the world is changing and represents a new generation of leadership.

Here’s my question to you: What will support from the late President John F. Kennedy’s brother and daughter mean to Barack Obama’s campaign?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Helen from Morgantown, W. Va. writes:
Jack, Ted Kennedy's endorsement of Barack Obama "because he is tired of the politics of personal destruction that has been waged for the past 40 years" just blew my mind. Ted Kennedy is one of those nasty politicians who has participated in those nasty political attacks for 40 years; NOW he acts like he has brought us the 'Savior" who will save us from all the nastiness! Does anyone see the hypocrisy in all this?

Fern from Waltham, Massachusetts writes:
Kennedy's endorsement is huge. Many people my age (65) voted for and have great memories of John Kennedy's presidency. Ted Kennedy evoked the memories of a president who dared to dream, and inspire a nation to action. I was in tears as he symbolically passed the torch that belonged to John Kennedy and the Kennedy clan to Barack Obama. No more Slick Bill, or Tricky Hill to dominate the Democratic Party. The man with ethics, honesty and the ability to bring a nation together now carries the torch… hopefully all the way to the White House.

Tony from Los Angeles writes:
It will be significant both symbolically (a passing of the generational torch by the family of JFK and RFK – two of the most mythic figures in 20th Century Democratic politics) and from the progressive/liberal base of the Democratic Party. This will be bigger than the Oprah endorsement, especially since the Kennedys were friendly with the Clintons. This is powerful.

Eric from Naugatuck, Connecticut writes:
An endorsement from Ted Kennedy for Barack Obama will probably mean there won't be much 'change' as preached. How can there be change when there is another favor owed. If Barack Obama truly believed in change he would not accept any endorsement from such a Washington insider.

Annie writes:
If things keep going as they have, all Obama has to do is sit back and watch Bill Clinton get him elected.

Larry from Santa Barbara, California writes:
In a word, everything.

Filed under: Barack Obama
soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. suzie from Atlanta, GA

    It may mean a lot, or not.
    Ted Kennedy is not beloved by the country, in fact he is seen as the ball attached to the chain around McCain's neck. His speech today was great, and reminded me of the good old days, but when Obama says it's time to leave the past behind, he can't exclude Kennedy from that past. If ANYONE is a part of the past, it is Ted Kennedy , who is seen by many as out of step with the Democrats and certainly the GOP voters today. I see Ted's actions as a slap back to BILL Clinton, not Hillary, but it hurts anyway.
    I worked for Bobby Kennedy, and it's interesting that HIS kids are firmly in Clinton's corner. I think that's where Bobby would be as well. He was not a wild eyed liberal, he was a man who was strong on defense, strong on human rights, especially the Farm Workers, and strong on the environment. . it is interesting that the Farm Workers are for Clinton, the Hispanic vote is with her, and not Obama.

    January 28, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  2. Julie VanDusky

    No. Obama is not like JFK. When JFK said he was going to bring change, it's because his policies were different- Obama does not stand out from his opponents on policy issues. Remember, people supported JFK because he was against seperation but equal; Obama supports it when it comes to gay marriage. People remember JFK because he wanted to go to the moon; Obama wants to cut funding from NASA, ironically so, to pay for his education policy.

    January 28, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  3. RMackey

    Sen. Kennedy has been living off his daddys money his whole life and his brothers legacy for forty years. His endorsment of The inexperienced and naive Obama is making this democrat think McCain is looking better all the time.

    January 28, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  4. Will

    Jack:I can't see it making much of a difference. As a supporter of Obama, I make up my mind myself, and I sure do not need Chuck Norris, Oprah, the Kennedy's, or anyone else to tell me how to vote.

    January 28, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  5. walter cincinnati

    I believe the kennedy support will mean very little.The american people want experience and a competent leader.Barack obama does not have the experience and has proven he is a leader.Hope and inspiration is not leadership.WE need a bright and proven leader who has the passion to handle this country,That leader is hillary clinton

    January 28, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  6. George Wilson

    I believe it will certify the fact that Obama is the more liberal of the canidates that are running as a Democrate for the nomination. Just as Dan Quale was no JFK, neither is his brother Ted, and as for JFK's daughter her endorsement doesn't carry any weight with Democrat voters. Ted maybe...

    January 28, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  7. Michael Coogen, Lorton Virginia

    What will support from the late President John F. Kennedy's brother and daughter mean to Barack Obama's campaign?

    It will only add a "spark" to his campaign. Realistically, Kennedy will support whoever the Democats nominates. It just another "political token spin" from a true liberal.

    January 28, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  8. Scott


    Bowling Green,Mo.

    January 28, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  9. tiara

    Personaly I'm amazed ol Teddy is still a polotical figure, I don't care who he endorses but If I were the one being endorsed I think I'd prefer he quietly voted for me and not even mention it to the exit pollers. An endorsement from Teddy Kennedy is more of a burden to overcome, not a good thing.. but then Most Americans have let 'ol Teddy off the hook along time ago.. guess I didn't.

    January 28, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  10. Tom

    This is a key endorsement from the standpoint of an experienced politician recognizing we need to get this country moving in a positive direction. We have had enough of the dividing up America demographically everyway imaginable for no purpose but to divide us. HillBillary are doing a good job of reminding us of the campaigning with the tactics of yesteryear and the Republican are hanging on to their mentor George Bush who has managed us into the mess we are in.

    United We Stand! We need just ONE AMERICA working for the good of all!

    January 28, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  11. TLC

    I know that some people look at Ted Kennedy and see an old man in the sea, but regardless of my personal feelings about the man he has tried for a long time to mend his ways the best he knows how. His endorsement to me and that of Caroline's is a great tribute to Jack, and that's Kennedy not Cafferty. They still have a lot of power in many arenas and to me it is about time the Clintons got kicked in the teeth.

    January 28, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  12. Colin

    Hi Jack:

    As a Canadian I am watching with great interest the race for leadership in both parties but in particular the Democrats.

    It seems to me the obvious difference between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is quite simple.

    When Barack Obama speaks I weep tears of hope and joy! When Hillary Clinton speaks I just weep.


    Abbotsford, BC

    January 28, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  13. Jim

    It MAY sway the young, those of us over 50 really don't care. If Kennedy is so concerned about "the amercian dream", why wasn't he in Washington hammering out a bill that might put some money in the hands of those of us who live on SS?? We gave up on the American Dream long ago, and one thing you can go to the bank on – We'll SPEND IT in order to survive!! Congress needs to keep their butts in Washington and get things done that may actually benefit all Americans., if any of them can remember how that is done. The election is 10 months away, personally I'm more concerned with surviving until then.

    January 28, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  14. earl illingsworth

    His endorsement really suprised me? Caroline's endorsement was something of pure thought, and integrity, with great sincereity! Ted really must have have been twisting, and turning in bed, for several nights, pondering his decision. The Kennedy's family legacy has never left the poor or disinfranchised down, and once again they've rose to the occasion,Bravo! This surely will help Obama. Senator Ted Kennedy is world known as a champion for the poor. What a coup for this fledgling Senator that dares mention change and hope in the same breath.

    January 28, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  15. Laura

    Hi Jack,

    Not much. The Kennedy's need to let go and move on. Camelot is over. Even though I am a democrat, Ted is definitely a congressional dinosaur that I wouldn't miss. If he feels we need a new generation of leadership (which we do), then he can start with himself. Look, I have no issue with the Kennedys. JFK and RFK have their legacies for THEIR work, for THEIR sacrifice. Certainly, there are some Kennedy kids and grandkids who are doing public service every day, and that's wonderful. Their opinion of the 2008 being important just becasue their name is Kennedy is ludicrous. Perhaps someone should let THEM know.


    January 28, 2008 at 3:08 pm |

    jack, this is a major setback for the clintons, and for her to try to down play this huge endorsement just makes her look stupid. We all know that if ted had endorsed her she would have made a big speach about how important teds endorsement means to her and her campaign. But being that she did not get the kennedy's endorsement she acks like a kid that just got a peace of candy tookin away from her! Let us not forget what she did when she did not get the big unoin endorsement in Las Vagas. Not to mention what she just did this past weekend to her supporter's in S.C.

    January 28, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  17. kip in albany

    The Clintons have pretended for years that they were Kennedyesque, so this is totally humiliating to them. For a white influential political family to support an African-American for president,it is a humongous endorsement that will hopefully propel him to victory.

    January 28, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  18. Maribeth Morgan

    I do not think so much. I am disappointed in Carolines's reference to Obama as if comparing him to her father, APPLES and ORANGES Jack. apples and oranges. Obama is no John Kennedy. I am glad to hear that Bobby's children have the sense to go with the Clintons, I think he would as well if he were still alive. Wait until all these folks who state that they are inspired by Obama and his liberal views. I will just sit back and watch. Hopefully Obama will not lose his life the way Bobby Kennedy did. As long as there is a democract in office this time next year I can relax and we can start moving our beloved country forward FINALLY.

    January 28, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  19. Greg

    It means nothing to me. I can't stand Kennedy at all, he disgusts me in everyway!

    January 28, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  20. Allan

    I wonder why now, this is a real slap in the face of the Clintons. I wonder why he couldn't wait till after Super Tuesday. I think he is backing a loser, I don't think Obama can win. I think Hillary can. we will see.

    January 28, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  21. Brenda

    Kennedys supporting Obama doesn't mean much. Obama is talking about putting past behind ,but apparently has nothing other than the past to talk about . His speech earlier today did not have too much mention of anything but the past. Can someone tell me HOW Obama plans to execute the so called "CHANGE" . I for sure am tired of hearing his "noble intentions and the need for change" and all the talk about the dreams-show me the execution plan.

    January 28, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  22. Sharon

    To think that OBama is like JFK is really ridiculous. JFK was wonderful, OBama is only a smooth, fast talker. He knows how to wooooo the people. It is sad to think this country will probably elect him for President. Wake up America. We need help but he is not the help we need.

    January 28, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  23. Ken

    Kennedy wants Obama in because of his lack of experiance. With that, Kennedy would have a mouthpiece and the ability to push his own agendas. It would be Obama's first lesson in Capital Hill politics.

    There going to run all over him...

    January 28, 2008 at 3:22 pm |

    Wow Jack, Hey America are we all paying attention to everything that is going on? Now the Kennedy family is backing Obama for change, are you kidding me the Kennedy's have been in politics for how many decades? I am shocked that a family that has made a living in "POLITICS AS USUAL" for how long now would use that same phrase to try and manipulate Americas voters into thinking that they also have always been a family of change! I only hope that the younger generation is not falling for all this political manuvering and we can get back to the issues that can make America better!

    My name is Jim from Mora,MN and I support this message!

    January 28, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  25. Alex Smith

    JAck to me it seemed like Obama was getting support from everyones hero. It is a little odd, for some reason I remember Obama and Edwards in a debate saying that Hillary was the status Qo in Washington, that she had been there too long. Well then what is Ted Kennedy? HAs he not been there to long, is he not a part of old politices? Well too me it seems like a Name contest if you have a wounderful last name then it will help. Kennedy's, Norris, Winfrey, etc. It may help and it may hurt at the same time, but not because of the support, but maybe people are tired of seeing the media cover the Obama campaign so possitivly and the Clinton's negtly. Are people tired of seeing Edwards complain about no coverage? Wheres the non partison media, ask yourself a question if Hillary would have had that endoresment today, there is no way every media market would have had it on.

    January 28, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  26. don judson

    The Kennedy endorsement means we can look forward to the best of all possible worlds in January of 2009; President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Hillary Clinton to put some backbone in this vacillating body (anyone care to surmise what would happen to a Senator who crossed their new leader?)

    January 28, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  27. Thomas, FL

    I've never understood the concept of these big publicized endorsements. Wake up and think for yourselves, people.

    January 28, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  28. Brian in CT

    It will help! I speak for for three. Me, Myself, and I, but having the dark looming fear and gloom of the past 7 years lit by the light of hope and positive change is what this means. I am almost 50 now, and have some memories of the hope and promise offered by JFK to the American people. It is truly refreshing to see and feel this kind of positive outlooks again. I want to forget the last decade in history, but will be reminded as I and all other americans work hard with President Obama to repair those damages incurred. We should be inspired by the chance to regain all we have lost with technology begging us to develop planet earth's future in renewal resources.

    January 28, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  29. Terry

    There are some people left that are still waiting for another Camelot, they will listen to Ted Kennedy, however I dont think this will make much of a difference to Obamas campaign.

    January 28, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  30. Scott

    With the huge win in SC and now the Kennedy endorsments – Clinton is done unless they get some serious dirt to stick to O'bama's shirt. Straight up it's done

    January 28, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  31. Carol

    Jacl, Inspiration does not make a leader. We need experience. No matter how much the media trys to lead us, I think we can make up our own minds. We do not need the male population tells us woman how we should vote.

    January 28, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  32. Richard Sternagel

    The support from Ted Kennedy and JFK's daughter will allow Senator Barack Obama to focus on his positive change for America! I believe that the future not the past is what is needed! Senator Obama will provide bi-partisan hope in solving the difficulties of the economy,Iraq,healthcare etc. He will unite us! Go O bama!

    January 28, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  33. Emmanuel

    its obvious that obama has the charism of powerful speech and ability to move and motivate both young and old. For the Kennedy's to choose him over the Clintons means a new eye opener and a new lid that our politics is now moving on a right direction that over comes popularity, friendshipism and racialism.

    Emmanuel from London

    January 28, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  34. Ronald Coleman

    Kennedy's endorsement for Barack Obama is simply a matter of choice.....a personal choice to pass the paton of leadership to someone anew. This country pleads and seeks for a new direction, and unlike Kennedy, many Americans seek change through continued methods and practices of the old establishment that has sent this country into a rapid tailspin. The latter is not change; its ignorance....doing the same things over and over, expecting different results.

    January 28, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  35. T.DeMari

    Voters have reached the point where we know whom we are going to vote for, and all of these endorsements, are tedious, and unimportant. Considering all the bad luck of the Kennedy family members, it would be to Obama's advantage, not to have Kennedy's endorsement. I'm not sure, but I think Kennedy endorsed John Kerry, when Kerry was running for President, and look at what happened. Obama is smart and a very articulate speaker, but his experience and credentials are not ready to put him in the Oval office –yet, but likely in another election.

    January 28, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  36. John Naples FL

    IF there was 10 reasons not to vote for Obama this would be number 1

    January 28, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  37. AJ

    Jack, With the way the Clintons were portrayed by the media was disgusting. Showing only snipnets that were against the Clintons. Not one snipnet was displayed on equal ground against any other candidate, both Republican or Democrat , than there were for the Clintons and there were plenty to chose from. Really the media is running the Primary elections and will probably run the National one too. So who does the media want for President of the USA? I know where Lou Dobbs stands. Can the rest of the media be as honest?

    January 28, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  38. Sherrie

    Jack – I think the Kennedy's support will mean just about as much as Martin Luther King III support to John Edwards meant. Absolutely nothing! Let's face it, nobody really cares about these so called "visions" for the future. It 's a popularity contest unfortunately and that is all it is. I do, however, think the Kennedy's support of Obama will benefit the media, after all, the media's motto is, "IT'S THE RATINGS STUPID."

    January 28, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  39. TI - MN

    I think the dislike for Hillary is so strong, that an endorsement for Obama has to be questioned as real or support or just a way to get back at the Clintons.

    January 28, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  40. Hal

    Obama reminds me more of Robert Kennedy than John...and yes, I hope to be able to vote for him in November.

    January 28, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  41. Jenny from New York

    It means we should get used to saying, "President Obama."

    January 28, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  42. Greg from PA

    It is not so much the Kennedy's endorsement that will make the difference as the reason why they chose to support Obama over Clinton. I was leaning toward Hillary until Bill made diminutive remarks about the Reverend Jesse Jackson and Hillary went over the top saying that Obama worked for a slum lord. Then Hillary went against her word and campaigned in Florida and is pushing to re-seat Michigan and Florida's delegates. I'll pick a unifier like Obama over a mud-slinger like Hillary any day.

    January 28, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  43. loretta from palmyra pa

    Unless you're living in a cave, it will affect a lot of people. This country is starving for an honest, charismatic leader – one that doesn't need a speechwriter to step up to a podium. Obama's off the cuff speech today was inspiring to this 60's antiwar activist. Let's hope he makes it to the white house!

    January 28, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  44. Jenny from New York

    It means you should get used to the words, "President Barack Obama."

    January 28, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  45. Brian Nancoo - Trinidad

    The campaign for the Democratic Presidential Candidate has clearly taken a tone that is as divisive as any other campaign that I have ever seen. The line-up to endorse Obama has more of an anti-Clinton position than a pro-Obama position.For a candidate who is running on the promise of bringing people together,Obama seems to relish any opportunity to encourage the anti-Clinton rhetoric as opposed to the anti-poverty,or anti-war,anti-crime.The Kennedy endorsement is pathetic for Obama to accept.He is starting to look like a bought and paid for candidate,with his fawning attitude to big money people,first Oprah then Kerry,then Leahy now Kennedy.The Kennedy mystique started to die with when Ted Kennedy caused the death of that young woman with whom he was carrying on an adulterous affair with.People remember that vividly,even today.It died when President Kennedy's personal conduct – numerous mistresses,links to organized crime figures – was revealed long after his death.You are judged by the company you keep.This type of company will come back to haunt Obama.

    January 28, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  46. Bob Moore

    Anybody who saw Ted Kennedy's speech would say that he is one inspirational orator. With the endorsement of the Kennedy family,who I would suggest are the heirs to the Camelot Legacy, Barack Obama is well on his way to leading a new generation to the promise of a great new future.

    January 28, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  47. Patrick Murray

    Jack- The endorsement by the Kennedy's gives legitimacy to Obama and might provide an opening now for others within the democratic establishment to follow.

    But, as a black man myself, I am left to wonder if Bill Clinton really ever cared about african american issues as he claimed, or was it just part of his clever poilitical game to win votes. Our Latino brothers should now reassess their support for the Clintons!

    January 28, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  48. Anna

    Jack, The bandwagon mentality sweeping the Democratic party is disturbing. I for one don't need Ted, Oprah, or Caroline to tell me how to vote. Until the residents in Mr. Obama's closet (Rezko and Wright) are adequately explained by the candidate and covered by the media, I cannot take him seriously as more than just another ambitious politician with questionable judgment.

    January 28, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  49. mike

    the endorsement will help some but they are all has beens the Clintons, the Bushes and the first royal family the Kennedys. no one cares what they have to say anymore been there done that.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  50. Chris, NJ

    Ironic that the candidate of change, who wants to change the nature of politics in Washington needs support of the "OLD GUARD" of the Democratic Party to get the party's nomination. Just goes to show you that a candidate will say the key word to the "mob" to get elected. Politics as usual, just a different face that's all. Kennedy has pretty assured that there will be a nasty floor fight at the DNC later this year. John McCain is looking better and better every day.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  51. Jorge

    It means a lot!! My generation have his new JFK!! and Barack represents the change that the old guard don't wants... For me, after watching the speaches today, it means that Barack Obama its the New era of this country, the men that can take us to a new country! Hillary Must steep down and let the new era come!! Hillary must step down before she divides this party! she can't stop the movement any more! she can't stop Barack Obama! she can't stop CHANGE!!!

    January 28, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  52. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    In the end,it means nothing, All of the lame candidates are cut from the same cloth. They are all empty suits who will just continue the same old policies. There is no such thing as a new,change politician.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  53. Vicki

    Congratulations, Barack Obama! You are the newest recipient of the Kennedy Curse. I would think that Obama, a man who purports to be the candidate of "change," would be intelligent enough to steer clear of an endorsement from one of the oldest, tirest, most unflattering status quo liberals in the universe of Democrats. The fact that he actively sought the endorsement of the Kennedys is a total admission to me that he is not, as he claims, "change we can believe in." Perhaps he's just trying to build a "bridge" between two polarized generations of voters. Regardless, I think it shows poor judgment on Obama's part. Being a passenger in the Kennedy carpool is not "change we can believe in." Who in their right mind would hitch a ride with tired ole Teddy?

    January 28, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  54. Jonathan

    It means that another senator, representative, and their relative is jumping on the bandwagon. Just don't learn too much about what Obama wants to do because you might make a well-informed re-assessment of your support.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  55. joe m

    kennedy is like a cardinal of the democratic party. his endorsement is a blessing by the establishment to obama. this is a blow to the clintons. if this momentum continues in the trajectory that it seems to want to move, this contest may not get all the way up to the convention at all.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  56. Eric Woodruff

    Not much. Obbama has all the support he needs from the elitist in the media. There is not one single canidate who gets as much media support as him. It's blaringly obvious to most people that the media is bound and determined to get this man elected. Why is that you ask? Is it because of the issues he champion's? Is it because he supports universal health care? No, its not any of those reasons. The media supports him for one single reason. That reason is this: he is black. Not only is that racist but it also shows you how childish and petty our modern day media has become. What will we have if he gets elected. Will the working man have more money or more leasure time? Will the poor have any more money? Probably not. Most likely we are gonna get another Bill Clinton. All talk and no action. However, you people should be happy. We are gonna get a man with a darker pigmentation to his skin. Hooraa. Who cares about money, free time, or economic security? We get to get a black man be our President.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  57. Ron K - San Diegp

    Hi Jack:

    Ted Kennedy will have little or no effect on Mr. Obama's campaign. Mr. Obama needs to prove himself. he has not done that. Anybody can stand in front of a microphone and TV camera and make claims of how experience they are. Either Mr. Obama or Mrs. Clinton have demonstrated they could stand up and brave the storm. We need somebody better than who is out there. Any Taker's? is there a democrat out there somewhere that can prove he or she can weather the storm that is attached to the presidency? Stand up and be counted. Your country needs you.

    Ron K. San Diego

    January 28, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  58. nellie

    Why don't you cover the news that Bobby Kennedy's family for support for Hillary also. What happened to the good old CNN ?. Report the facts not just one sided reporting. We love CNN glued to this channel but you are being unfair to the people of U.S.A

    January 28, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  59. Donald, Butte Montana

    I don't need any of the Kennedys or others to tell me how to vote.

    I think Hillary needs to tell Ted Kennedy what Jimmy Carter told him when he tried to take the 1980 nomination away from him!!!

    Its all about electability not what the next President and his policies will do for this country. Where is a viable third party candidate?

    January 28, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  60. scott Britney

    Jack the times are a changing

    January 28, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  61. Larry - Santa Barbara

    In a word, everything.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  62. sally

    ted kennedy is a has-been and if obama wins, for the first time in my life -which president kennedy was my first time voting – I will vote republican and many of my friends and family. obama DOES NOT have enough experience

    January 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  63. Scott

    It's huge Jack, it's HUGE.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  64. John Connally

    It puts him over the top and prevents this candidacy from ever being race based again.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  65. Terri

    What does the Kennedy support mean for Barack Obama – a "slam dunk" for his candidacy and election as President!

    January 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  66. Richard Adams

    I am a life long "establishment Democrat". I am a liberal and I love Sen. Kennedy. But I am for Hillary. Yu know, I am not a member of any organized party. I am a Democrat.
    Greetings from Kansas City

    January 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  67. steve olivier

    Ref how will Kennedy support help Obama campaign? How about "like a trip to the Moon!"

    January 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  68. Wade

    Very impressed with Mr. Obama and agree with his vision and ability to inspire hope and change. If he is the democratic nominee I'd get behind and support him.... But I am less concerned with "inspiration" and more concerned with a plan for making change happen and the experience to implement that plan. Not as confident in his ablilities at this point.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  69. Jason

    I don't know about that Liberal Lion Ted Kennedy, but I'll do whatever Caroline Kennedy asks of me!

    January 28, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  70. Ken Cooper

    I thinks a great boost for Obama to get the Kennedy endorsement. As an african-American, I truly considered Hillary Clinton but I agree wholeheartedly with Teddy that the divisive comment made by Bill just soured me on her campaign. Obama you got my vote too.

    Elkins Park, PA

    January 28, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  71. Desmera

    This endorsement is huge!

    The Kennedy's have the most powerful name in the Democratic party, and for the family to be in cahoots with supporting Obama is such a blow to the Clintons! I hope this is the beginning of the end of the Clinton campaign, it's time that they realize their racial polarization will never give them an advantage, and our country is ready to move beyond our differences.

    Obama '08!

    January 28, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  72. Carol

    The endorsement for Obama is important only in that the various Kennedys did not endorse Clinton.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  73. John Stuart

    It wouldn't surpise me if the Kennedys have brokered a deal with Obama to enlist Ted Kennedy's son as his VP, should Obama win the Democrat nomination.

    Poetic justice for the Clintons. Bill campaigned against Bush Senior as the younger candidate with young ideas in '92. I guess it has come back to bite him.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  74. Kyle from Illinois

    I think that this really has an impact on the race. Older Democrats (50 and older) have been hesitant to support Obama because they are nervous about his youth with my Grandma being the exception, but she is extremely spunky. The Kennedy family coming out in support of him will help change some of those fears. They will show those people that if the oldest family in Democratic politics can support Obama, that they can too!

    January 28, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  75. Khan

    I am glad that senator Clinton did not get Ted’s endorsement. Now, Obama has even less chances to get to the presidential nomination.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  76. anonymous

    I see it as the boys again teaming up against Hillary with the help of the media. Did you say one word about the other Kennedy who is supporting Hillary? This convinces me even more not to vote for Obama. And who is more the old Washington establishment than Ted Kennedy. Obama should not have accepted this endorsement.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  77. Sherry from Maplewood

    The endorsement will go a long way toward legitimizing Obama for many old school Dems. Teddy and Caroline, evoking Camelot, send an emotional message to those still undecided. Give hope a chance!

    January 28, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  78. Adam

    Jack, If American thought they had lost hope for change, they have found it today. The endorsement of the Kennedy family is a testimony to this.Obama is not only representing the hope for only American but for Africa and the world at large.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  79. Mark K

    The Kennedy endorsements are great. This allows other Americans to see Obama in the light that his current supporters do. This being a symbol of change, innovation and hope. JFK was such a symbol, and it's great that the people that were closest to him see these qualities in Obama.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  80. Lexie Carter

    The Kennedy Endorsement helps the Obama campaign rise above the criticism of the Clinton campaign. It also creates a type of force-field that will discourage further racial division while opening a gate for other key endorsements,

    January 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  81. Cheryl

    I don't know that it will be that much help. The media complaint is that the X-president is overshadowing his spouse in her campaign and who will control the white house if she is elected. This sounds pretty similar. Obama's whole campaign has been based on CHANGE that is NOT within the belt-way, yet his main support right now is Kennedy, one of the longest serving beltway politicians. Isn't this a contradiction in his number one basic reason to support him. Yes, Obama does have a dream and it is one of hope but I hope that his inexperienced dream does not become America's nightmare. He does not have the experience or time to even consider himself on the same level as JFK or MLK. Please, that only comes with time and accomplishment. As far as the whitehouse, I want to know that either Barack or Hillary is running it – not Ted or Bill.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  82. Susan Lambert

    Ted Kennedy's endorsement of Obama influences me about as much as Don Shula's commercial for Nutri-System makes me want to go on a diet.

    Susan Lambert
    Newnan, GA

    January 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  83. Bishaw Naraine

    Ted Kennedy endorsement for Obama will not help because that was 40 years ago. We need economic help in this country and we need someone with imminent experience. Ted Kennedy needs to retire and shut his big mouth he speaks just like a republican.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  84. Jannan L.

    I don't know about you Jack, but I sure wouldn't want Ted Kennedy backing me on anything!

    January 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  85. Elva from Illinois

    Having Kennedy support will make a big difference in Obama's campaign. I hope Obama wins the democratic nomination and if so, I look forward to voting for him in the presidential election. He is what this country needs.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  86. Jim


    I find it funny that Obama would source Kennedy as an "agent of change" in Washington. "Establishment" could be Kennedy's nickname. So is Obama saying that experience counts? Gee, isn't that Hillary Clinton's argument? I do not see Ted Kennedy's endorsement having any long term effect! Now,if it was possible to get an endorsment from Bobby Kennedy, then I'd be listening!

    January 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  87. cedric

    Jack:The support of the Kennedys is very powerful, is it powerful to get senator Obama elected? Onjly time will tell.Camelot is still powerful.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  88. Miguelina from Arizona

    Caroline Kennedy's endorsement means more to me than her uncle's. Caroline's endorsement shocked me into wondering if I have overlooked Obama too quickly. I am giving Obama a second chance especially since I have been so disappointed in how Hilary has handled the past 2 weeks in South Carolina.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  89. Harold Dean Bare

    Absolutely nothing. This is not surprising because the Kennedy's have always hated the Clinton's. One tip off. The Kennedy's compared "Obama" to John Kennedy. This my friends is a joke.

    Harold Bare

    January 28, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  90. george brown

    Well, for one thing, it could help him immensely with the Latino vote, given how the Kennedy family is admired in Latin America. And if the Nevada Culinary Union's rank and file swinging hard for Hillary, in spite of their Union's leadership endorsement of of Obama , it looks like Barack is going to need all the help he can get with the Latino vote if he is to take the nomination.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  91. J Clemons

    Jack, yes it will help, that gives you guys some more days to beat up Clintons and not tell us anything about Obama. So far we know everything there is to know about the Clintons, but in the name of boys club? ratings? you will not vet Obama, his recorded votes, his political connections etc. Great reporting!

    January 28, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  92. Charles Ross

    Think about it. Who would most be influenced by,

    A strong relationship with JFK or Bill Clinton?

    This has to sway many fence setters who loved JFK which was most of the people in the country.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  93. gene

    I have been a democrat for many years now. I however have never been a fan of Ted Kennedy's. Perhaps if Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic nomaination , Kennedy's snub of the Clintons, will put Kennedy into a long overdue reitrement.
    The country can only hope so, after all, here is Senator who has proven time and time again that he is completely out of touch with our country's need and wants.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  94. Anba

    The Kennedy's endorsements are very timely and valuable. Obama's presence reminds us all of the transcendental qualities of JFK and Dr. King. Although I'm not an American, when I hear Obama's speech, a sense of hope envelopes me. My wife and I are inspired with this presidential election and the presence and hope that emanates from Barack Obama.
    Barack Obama represents hope not not only for the Americans but for the whole world. I pray for his well being and success. May God bless his timeless soul.
    God bless America.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  95. Chris Ritacca

    I think that the Kennedy endorsement is huge for the Obama campaign. I am a bit of a sap, but I was brought to tears. I am truly excited about Obama. I think he is what we need now to ensure a bright future for our children. Keep up the good work. Loved your book.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  96. Ernest Rajakone

    Jack- The endorsement of the Kennedy family in the favor of Obama presents somewhat of insurance for the Obama Campaign. The Kennedy Clan with the possible exception of the Clintons is the single most powerful family in the Democratic Party. This assures him that even if he does not win the nomination Hillary has immense pressure to take him as Vice President not only to secure high African American Turnout but also to keep the Democratic turnout high. However despite media portrayal not all the Kennedys have thrown their hat in with Barack Obama–RFK's oldest daughter is throwing her hat in with Clinton. Bill Clinton is a deity in the Democratic Party– he was a primary reason why Hillary won NH and NV–but the Kennedys mean that Obama has a Democrat deity in his corner as well.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  97. Kumar

    I have always been a big fan of Bill Clinton and a staunch supporter of Hillary, however I expected the former president to be a true statesman and support the cause of change. In that vein he could make the case for Hillary being without trashing another democrat. His outbursts, his "give me a break" and "fairy tale" comments were very unnerving, especially when we the tax payers are probably paying for his secret service aides who have to follow him everywhere trashing his wife's competitors. The Kennedy clan are not the only ones turned off by it. I have also decided to support Barrack instead. At least the man has class and makes sense in what he says!

    January 28, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  98. terri

    it means America should be ready for their world to be baracked!!!

    January 28, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  99. James V

    I think it's a big bonus. The "Kennedy" name, much like "Clinton," carries a ton of weight among the Democratic party. To have a family name with such impact supporting Obama will be useful for his campaign. However, I do find Barack Obama very undeserving of a comparison to JFK. Obama is a young, charismatic individual, but standing in front of a large sign reading "CHANGE" and chanting "Yes We Can!" will not heal America, regardless of what the media would have you believe.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  100. ted, new york

    Hi Jack, it is an interesting development. The kennedy clan certainly have credibility and Ted Kennedy's support will help convince those who are still not sure of Obama that he is the real thing.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  101. Dan

    The endorsement by itself is a 'bump" for Obama – but the fact that Sen. Kennedy is willing ot go out and campaign will be much larger – it will keep the media focus on Obama much more that would have been – maybe enough to counteract Bill's coverage for Hillary!

    January 28, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  102. Kimberly Amble

    Ok, as a democrat, I'm all into the Kennedys. But-
    First of all Jack Kennedy had MUCH more experience than Mr. Obama as they both ran for president.
    Secondly, no one seems to remember that Ted Kennedy couldn't even come CLOSE to getting himself elected in 1980. In his speech he seems to think Mr. Obama can solve every problem in Washington including global warming. Pretty amazing for a 2nd year senator. Mr. Kennedy lost any credibility with me with such a limitless endorsement of the canidate's skills.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  103. Diana

    Ted Kennedy is wrong – Obama is no JFK and he is NOT electible. None of the life-long democrats I have talked to will vote for him if he is the nominee and it has nothing to do with race. He is inexperienced, immature, and all flash and no substance. He is the nominee most like Bush – so much for change.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  104. Derek lesser

    This support means a lot to Barack and to anyone in the Democratic party that did not see him as experienced. The momentum is moving in his direction going into Super Tuesday. Obama is the only candidate that represents "real" change.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  105. James

    I couldn't care one bit who endorses who. The last thing I need is someone else telling me who to vote for. But for so many Americans who see JFK as one of the greatest Presidents in our history, and rightly so, this has to mean something. If the people who knew JFK best see the same qualities in Obama then it's certainly reasonable to assume there is probably an entire generation who watched their hero and their chance at change be taken from them and have waited patiently for someone else to step up to the plate. I'll bet those people vote.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  106. Kelly Jon Andereck


    I am sure how much how much it will benefit. But I can tell you that as a gentleman approaching my 50s, I am blown away by how much I (a political junkie) am wanting to serve, to have goals and aspirations, having a president that brings people together "For Real" instead of saying it, then holding steadfast to ideological grounds or just lying to us all.

    I hope against hope that my collegues in the environmental movement and friends and neighbors and all of us seeing what is taking place in the democratic race, that change is needed, change is good, change is inspiring, change – I believe is Obama

    NW Suburbs of Chicago

    January 28, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  107. Charlie

    The Kennedy endorsement gives Obama the “Washington Institutional Liberal Seal of Approval.” It undercuts his “outsider” status, but who believes that anyway. For Hillary, it means that it is not only the Republican attack machine she needs to worry about, but those she counted on as friends.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  108. Austin, Tennessee

    I believe that this is a very important endorsement and extremely helpful to Senator Obama's campaign. All Democrats and Americans in general have great respect for the Kennedy family. Many voters, whether undecided or even supporting another candidate, will imagine that if they support him, he must be doing something right.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  109. Roni

    YES! It makes a huge difference to me. For years I have supported the Clintons. I literally drove to Washington to participate in marches that supported him when he was being impeached. I sent letters of encouragement to Hillary. However, their behavior these last few weeks was so sickening that I wrote to the DNC and complained mightily. I told them to get that destructive mouth of Bill Clinton under control because clearly his "strong, independent wife" couldn't. I told them if she got the nomination after such behavior I would rather swallow my own vomit than vote for her .. and me a flaming liberal.

    Finally, a leader in the Democratic Party stood up and took action. Wow, it is nice to see people with courage take action instead of whispering around the water cooler.

    Roni Jones

    January 28, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  110. Joe from Raleigh, NC

    Support from Senator Kennedy and JFK's daughter Caroline lifts the Obama run for the Democratic nomination to a higher plane. I haven't felt this inspired about a campaign since the 60"s. It's Camelot all over again!

    January 28, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  111. Carole

    Here I am, a former life-long Republican who changed her political affiliation after the last Presidential election. I believe that Senator Edweard Kennedy is our Senior Statesman and has emerged as the "conscience" of the United States. I want a Democratic President with a Democratic Congress. Until Caroline Kennedy's NYT OP Ed and ted Kennedy's endorsement of Barack Obama, I believed my vote would be cast for Hillary Clinton because of her vast experience in the White House and in the Senate. President Bill Clinton's remarks of late have been "unfortunate." Is Hillary "electable?" Is Obama? My choice will be based on who I think can beat McCain. If ted thinks he can win-it may be the deciding factor for me.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  112. Peter Rocchio

    The total embrace of Barack Obama by the Kennedys will surely tip the balance causing Senator Clinton to very quickly become burnt toast thanks to President Clinton's recent lack of verbal restraint . There is no more powerful force within the Democratic party than the Kennedy legacy and for the scion of that legacy to enthustastically pass that on to Barack Obama will seal the deal for him. I have been an ardent Edwards supporter but am happy to now join the Obama tide.

    January 28, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  113. Mike

    Didja notice? Senator Kennedy's endorsement seems to have a negative effect on Senator Obama's changes. Talk about time for all the old dogs to sit down, shut up and listen.

    January 28, 2008 at 8:16 pm |