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.
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.