The Next JFK …
The global fascination with yesterday’s Kennedy endorsement of Barack Obama has only just begun. In this piece by Dietmar Ostermann of Germany’s Frankfurter Rundschau, Obama’s benighting by the Kennedys breaks a decades-old family taboo. Ostermann writes, “For decades … America’s most famous political dynasty made sure that any politician who sought to claim the mantle of John F. Kennedy would fall by the wayside” … until now.
By Dietmar Ostermann
Translated By James Jacobson
January 28, 2008
Germany – Frankfurter Rundschau – Original Article (German)
Three years ago, on what would have been the 80th birthday of President Kennedy’s brother Robert [Nov. 20, 2005], a breach in a taboo emerged for the first time. For decades, the Kennedy clan had jealously maintained, nourished and cared for the legend associated with the initials JFK.
America’s most famous political dynasty made sure that any politician who sought to claim the mantle of John F. Kennedy would fall by the wayside. “Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy WATCH ” – as family friend Lloyd Bentsen reprimanded the future Vice President, Dan Quayle. And that’s the way anyone who sought to claim the mythology of the 35th President of the United States fared. But on Nov. 20, 2005, Robert Kennedy’s widow Ethel introduced a guest speaker to the gathered clan with the warm words, I’d like to present “our next president”: Barack Obama.
[Editor’s Note: According to The New York Times: ‘ It was on a November day in 2005, near the end of Mr. Obama’s first year in the Senate, when he was asked to deliver a keynote address at a ceremony commemorating the 80th birthday of Robert F. Kennedy. The invitation was extended by Ethel Kennedy, who at the time referred to Mr. Obama as “our next president.”
“I think he feels it. He feels it just like Bobby did,” Mrs. Kennedy said that day, comparing her late husband’s quest for social justice to Mr. Obama’s. “He has the passion in his heart. He’s not selling you. It’s just him.” ]
And what followed on Monday has never happened before: Edward Kennedy, Senator, JFK’s brother and current patriarch of the Kennedy clan, pronounced himself officially behind the presidential candidacy of his Black colleague from Illinois. Up to now, the influential senator from Massachusetts had retrained himself and remained neutral in regard to the nomination battle. Now, The New York Times reports that he wants to aggressively campaign for Obama. Just days before in the same newspaper, JFK’s daughter Caroline also intoned a hymn praise for Obama. The headline: A President Like My Father .
The unusual duel support from the House of Kennedy could not have come at a better time for the benighted one. Despite his triumph in South Carolina on the week end, Obama trails Hillary Clinton in the polls in most of the 22 states in which U.S. Democrats hold primaries on “Super Tuesday,” the 5th of February.
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