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The Kennedy Endorsement

Frankly, we're surprised it took this long for the Sen. Ted Kennedy's (Mass.) endorsement of Obama to come up in the debate.

Clinton was asked by the L.A. Times's Doyle McManus whether the Kennedy endorsement was a signal that Obama is the candidate of change.

A toughie that she handled relatively well, playing down the import of any one endorser and arguing that in the end it was a choice between her and Obama -- not any of their endorsers.

"Either way we're going to get a big change," she said. "I think having the first woman president would be a big change for the United States and the world." (That's a line she used first in a New Hampshire debate earlier this month to great effect.)

Obama generally agreed with Clinton about endorsements, but noted that he has brought huge numbers of new voters into the process -- highlighting the movement elements of his campaign. "Who can inspire the American people to get re-engaged in their government again," Obama said. "That is something I have worked on my entire life."

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 31, 2008; 9:14 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Comments

Cmon folks.... I grew up in the Kennedy era and while JFK was inspirational he got little accomplished in his shortened presidency. Congress was in grid lock as it is today.... It took a fat Texan named LBJ who owned congress and used the untimely deaths of RFK, JFK and MLK to pass JFK's stalled legislation including the Civil Rights Act.

Obamma (Mr. Sound bite) is a talent... But to trash Hillary and Bill as yesterday's news either directly or through surrogates is way over the line. Some of the work that the Clintons did helped give the Obammas the opportunities that they have..... Wake america.

Then there is the undercurrent of Bill's morals... did I mention the Kennedy men...all the Kennedy men.

Obamma has a future... it should not be in 2008!

Marty G.

Posted by: oreosilver | February 1, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Watching Hillary debate tonight, I was very impressed with her polished manner and grasp of the issues.

In fact, if I hadn't followed the race from the beginning and watched as her campaign:

- took money from Washington lobbyists and PACs
- lied to women about the candidates' comparative records on abortion in order to collect ill-gotten, fear-inspired votes in NH
- tried to disenfranchise shift workers in NV
- race-baited throughout SC
- tried to change the rules mid-game with regard to MI and FL delegates (that's called cheating, folks!)
- declared "victory" in FL where there was never a contest to begin with (that's called lying!)...

...well, heck, if I didn't know she had done all of those dishonest and unethical things, I might have been tempted to vote for her!

America, keep your eyes open, and don't let her smooth debate performance fool you. She is a silver-tongued liar who will abandon all principles and ethics to win. That is not the kind of leadership America wants or needs.

Obama is the clear, honest, ethical choice in '08.

Posted by: drama_king | January 31, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

It's true that an equal number of Kennedy family members have endorsed Hillary Clinton. Kathleen Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, Jr. and Kerry Kennedy, all children of Bobby Kennedy have endorsed Hillary. They are all very active politically.

The media has unfairly focused on Ted Kennedy's endorsement of Obama.

Posted by: TAH1 | January 31, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

The Kennedy endorsement is much ado about nothing. My two children ages 18 & 21 asked "Who's Ted Kennedy". I explained to them that in 1980 Ted Kennedy arrogantly decided to wage a campaign spectacle against a sitting President Carter OF HIS OWN PARTY causing the defeat of Pres. Carter and handing us eight long years of Ronald Reagan. Ted Kennedy is always out of the mainstream of the majority of Democrats, desperately seeking to return to the political power & influence his family had nearly 50 years ago. Kennedy can't order the Clintons around so his ego dictates an endorsement for Obama. Obama would be better off with a Kennedy endorsement.

Rock on Hillary! You won the debate tonight as you have won all the debates, by being the smartest, most experienced, most politically skilled, with the best grasp of domestic & international issues of any candidate in the race. You will be a GREAT President Hillary Clinton!!!!!!!!

Posted by: TAH1 | January 31, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Senator Clinton doesn't get it.

"Either way we're going to get a big change," [Sen Clinton] said. "I think having the first woman president would be a big change for the United States and the world."

With all due respect, that is not the kind of change that Senator Obama is talking about. Breaking demographic barriers, while symbolic and not irrelevant, is not as important as the kind of change this country needs.

Posted by: bsimon | January 31, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

the dynasty question--bush, clinton: i think that there is a difference between dynasties and our presidential election. one, we vote for our candidate. but more importantly, bush senior had different policies than gwb; hillary and bill are different candidates as well. and if one were to consider issues, there are more similarities within parties than across issues regardless of the last name.

Posted by: k1omal | January 31, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

I AM glad Hillary got a chance to tell the American people on national TV that, indeed, the Bobby Kennedy side of the Kennedy family is supporting HER.

The media had not been fair in its reporting before now. Including you, Chris .

HALF the Kennedy dynasty supports Obama.
HALF the Kennedy dynasty supports Clinton.

So it's a wash, really. As it should be.

Posted by: auntmo9990 | January 31, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

I have a lot of respect for Ted Kennedy as a public servant, but the idea that the Kennedy's indicate "change" is absurd. They are the embodiment of Democratic establishment politics. They've loomed over this party for 4 decades at least.

Posted by: jdoctors | January 31, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Is there something wrong with Obama's mouth? It is so tight it is a wonder he can get a word out between questions.

Breathe man.

Posted by: Realitycheck6 | January 31, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking about the question immediately afterwards from the 38 year old woman who said she had never voted in an election that didn't have a Bush or Clinton on the ballot. Well, I am 56 and I have only voted in 2 presidential elections ('72 & '76) where a Bush or Clinton wasn't somewhere on the ballot. My father turns 80 in a few months and half of the presidential elections he has voted in saw a Bush or Clinton somewhere on the ticket.

Posted by: jimd52 | January 31, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Well, well, lot of liemericans read newspapers to keep informed over the presidential race. I might as well grab the opportunity to ask 2 rather burning questions. What will happen with oil supply when you use 9 barrels pro second and find only 1 barrel pro second ? What happened with building 7 on 9-11-2001 ? Opinion Research Business and the Independent Institute for Administration and Civil Society Studies figured out that 1 million Iraqis have died sinds the start of the American invasion in 2003. Figures are based on questioning more then 2000 Iraqi's in Baghdad. In Baghdad 40 percent of the families lost at least 1 family member during the war. The WHO (World Health Org) figured out that sinds the start of the war in 2003 120 people died on a daily basis. They questioned 9000 Iraqis and used figures from the Lancet and Iraqi health organizations. Enough seed for growing a million terrorists...yah continue the good works. This administration gave you Americans indeed a million reasons to be afraid. This is not a question but an answer to your feelings of insecurity. But you've got to do something when other big economies steal your oil away under your nose, and your economy is drifting on oil. In short 'NO OIL, NO AMERICA'. I wish the next president of the U.S.A., Barak Obama, all the best to get your economy back up again. Against all odds, take my advice and set up a good infrastructure to strengthen your home market, railways etc and get rid of domestic flights, to boost your economy on the longer term.

Posted by: jwholtkamp | January 31, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

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