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The Kennedy and Toni Morrison endorsements of Barack Obama

(Karen Ocamb has excellent coverage here.)

Double-ouch! Look at the drop-kick Ted Kennedy delivered at the event today:

Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) appeared with his son, Rep. Patrick Kennedy, and niece Caroline Kennedy to anoint Obama the choice of the country’s longest-running political dynasty.

“I know that he’s ready to be president on day one,” said Sen. Kennedy, one of the most senior members of the Senate, whose endorsement was sought by every Democratic campaign. The statement was a clear shot at Hillary Clinton, who has argued that her experience better makes her better prepared for the Oval Office. It was not the only thinly-veiled salvo launched at the New York Senator and former First Lady’s presidential campaign.

“When so many others were silent from the beginning, and simply went along, he opposed the war in Iraq. And let no one deny that truth,” Kennedy said, referencing former President Bill Clinton’s accusation that Obama’s war opposiiton was a “fairly tale” and Hillary Clinton’s Senate vote to authorize President Bush to use force against Saddam Hussein’s former regime.

Here’s the video (via Joe Sudbay):

The text of speeches by Caroline and Ted, as well as Obama’s can be found here.


Toni Morrison – who called Bill Clinton ‘the first black president’ – endorses Obama

So if the Illinois senator wins, will that make him “the second black president”? (AP):

Writing with the touch of a poet in a letter to the Illinois senator, Morrison explained why she chose Obama over Hillary Rodham Clinton for her first public presidential endorsement.

Morrison, whose acclaimed novels usually concentrate of the lives of black women, said she has admired Clinton for years because of her knowledge and mastery of politics, but then dismissed that experience in favor of Obama’s vision.

“In addition to keen intelligence, integrity and a rare authenticity, you exhibit something that has nothing to do with age, experience, race or gender and something I don’t see in other candidates,” Morrison wrote. “That something is a creative imagination which coupled with brilliance equals wisdom. It is too bad if we associate it only with gray hair and old age. Or if we call searing vision naivete. Or if we believe cunning is insight. Or if we settle for finessing cures tailored for each ravaged tree in the forest while ignoring the poisonous landscape that feeds and surrounds it.

“Wisdom is a gift; you can’t train for it, inherit it, learn it in a class, or earn it in the workplace – that access can foster the acquisition of knowledge, but not wisdom,” Morrison wrote.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding