HAS KENNEDY SUNK CLINTON?

A couple of hours ago surrounded by most of his family, Senator Edward Kennedy stood up in Washington and announced to a round of cheers that he and his family were supporting Barack Obama for President of the United.

Kennedy’s decision was an enormous boost the junior senator from Illinois and a body-blow for the junior senator from New York. It would not be too much to say that Kennedy’s choice may have a decisive influence on Super Tuesday and the rest of the campaign.

Kennedy and his allies have solid roots in the liberal wing of the Democratic party as he also has in the labour unions and the latino population. These are all elements that Hillary Clinton was counting on.

By this extraordinary endorsement Mrs. Clinton’s forces are diminished and so is she.

The whole Kennedy dream indeed will never die because it has been united with the Obama dream. This is a potent political elixir.

Is Kennedy’s endorsement enough to swing the election against Mrs. Clinton?

Or will be it be old news by tomorrow?

16 Comments »

  1. 1
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    The Kennedy dream, as you write, seems still very much alive despite JFK’s cavortings and some shady relations he had. Ted is still somewhat of a mythical figure despite his drinking, the “accident” on Martha’s Vineyard and so on. Robert is still very much around and the memory of what he could have been. Yes they are as close as the Americans can get to a royal dynasty. With quiet unassuming Caroline leading te announcements, they have pulled a remarkable stunt.
    I guess we will, next january, see the swearing in ceremony of president Obama.

  2. 2
    John Says:

    As much as elections are about ideas and policies etc and people voting with their head, they are also about human emotion and people voting with their gut. If the vote in New Hampshire was a reaction to the guys ganging up on the girl (a gut thing). The vote in South Carolina was a reaction to two white folks ganging up on a young black (a gut thing).

    Ted Kennedy didn’t sink Hilary clinton. Bill did. As soon as he took centre stage on the campaign trail it raised issues of fairness in people’s minds (a gut thing) and doubts about whether Hilary could do it on her own.

    With the Kennedy endorsement things just got evened up (as Ted knew they would).
    Going to get real interesting.

  3. 3
    Barbara Says:

    John is spot-on. The idea of dynasty and the palpable sense of entitlement on the part of the Clintons have done them immeasurable damage. What kind of “first woman president” allows her husband to play the attack dog and engage in the usual dirty politics? People see them as the morally suspect, power-hungry team they are. Obama has more or less stayed above this level, engaging people in unifying ideas, talking about “we” rather than “he/she/they.” That takes character and strength. More than anything else, Americans want to be united at this time. Clinton is, unfortunately, divisive.
    Kennedy has now made it permissible to oppose the mighty Clintons. This is a serious blow to their dreams of Restoration.

  4. 4
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    A fact seems to go unnoticed, maybe because it is unnoticeable: Robert Kennedy’s children have swung behind Hillary.

  5. 5
    jim Says:

    a)The move by the Kennedys now gives the blacks permission to vote for Clinton without their feeling guilty for voting white.
    b)Bill should mark time and go home to Harlem untill after super Tuesday. He should hang around the corner and check out the skirts,
    oops!!!!

  6. 6
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    The Kennedy endorsement is a boost but by no means a big one.
    Ted Kennedy is a bloated, alcoholic blow-hard who should have spent 10 years in jail for the death of a young woman whom he abandoned to the cold waters off Chappaquiddik. Ted Kennedy could be Jesus Christ Incarnate but his actions of that night will always hang over his head…and justifiably so.
    The Kennedy mystique is not what it once was. Sober historical analysis of President Kennedy’s administration reveals the legacy of Vietnam, abandonment of Cuba, and not much in the way of civil rights legislation (indeed, Kennedy courted the racist, pro-segregation Dixiecrats in order to procure his nomination for president). Kennedy’s use of his father’s mob and union connections to “steal” the electoral votes from Nixon in West Virginia and Illinois in order to win the presidency makes any suggestion of wrong-doing on George W. Bush’s part in Florida in 2000 look like a boy scout in comparison.
    Indeed, one of the few positive things Kennedy ever did was his across-the-board income tax cut which current political wisdom accepts as textbook Republican policy.

  7. 7
    John Says:

    That may all be true, Tony, but it’s all head stuff…….the least important aspect of what the Kennedy name brings to the table.

  8. 8
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    John is right about “gut” vs “head. Even us most sedate and boring Canadians are voting with our emotions. This has begun to sink into “Steely eyes” Harper as his changing style and stance on Afghanistan demonstrate.

  9. 9
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Sadly, both John and Paul (and maybe even George and Ringo) are probably correct: people vote with their hearts, not their heads.

    I suppose it is like the old adage about selling: we buy something on impulse (i.e. by the heart) and justify the decision by logic.

  10. 10
    Peter LeBlanc Says:

    Hilary is still ahead in the polls, until that changes she is the front runner. I think Obama would serve his country best Internationally.

  11. 11

    There is so much confusion and indecision surrounding this stage of the election process. I teach dog training classes – no stay with me here this is relevant. This past weekend I had a beginner class where I did my standard lecture about why dogs are such great companions. They don’t care if you’re rich or poor, which god(s) you worship or whether you are gay or not. Then I threw in “they don’t even care who you are voting for.” Big mistake. The whole class went off on a discussion of politics and the dogs went home still pulling on their leashes.

    I have never seen until now a political climate where total strangers are speaking to each other about politics – especially here in New York. People are genuinely, I think completely lost when it comes to deciding what sort of direction our country should take over the next several years and there is an almost uniform consensus, I have seen also, that there needs to be significant if not radical change.

    Breaking with the past though can remind us of past times when there was a feeling of hope and our ability to make real changes. And for a time, amidst all of their flaws, the Kennedys were a symbol of that. I am not at all surprised that their endorsements could very well be a pivotal point in this campaign – changes that seem somehow grounded in the past are more easy to accept than just blindly choosing between door 1 or 2.

  12. 12
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    With all due respect, Bill, New York is not America.
    You write that you have noticed “almost uniform consensus…that there needs to be significant if not radical change.”
    Well, that’s what we heard from the New York-centric national media back in 2003 when John Kerry was running against Bush’s second term…and we all know what happened then.
    New York is an insular, elitist world that oftentimes has no idea what is happening in the hinterlands. Montreal was that way for me until I got a job in the ’80s that required me to travel throughout the Maritimes and the rural areas of Ontario and Quebec. I then learned there was more to the worldview that had been imposed upon me by my urban surroundings.
    America — for good or bad — is, outside of New York and Los Angeles, very different than the one you or the Kennedy’s have in mind.

  13. 13
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Well, once again I have to agree with Tony. For instance, in Quebec, the reasonnable accomodation debate is a Montreal thing. Elsewhere there may some contamination boosted by the Montreal press, but nothing else.

  14. 14

    Well, Tony, that was kind of my point in a rather vague sort of way I suppose. I’ve lived in Illinois, North Dakota, Minnesota, Georgia, Rhode Island and Colorado at various times and for the traditional kinds of attitudes one normally expects of New Yorkers to be so much different now, I personally find it rather startling.

  15. 15
    Kate Says:

    Hillary couldn’t even run her husband – who’s going to trust somebody like that to run a country? Bill’s a pig and Hillary stood behind him all the way. I think people are tired of the Bush years of nobody-can-do-anything-wrong-if-I-say-they’re-right and Obama seems like a breath of fresh air. I hope he wins.

  16. 16
    daphne Kenward Says:

    Obama is absolutely right for the time, a time of great change that is required at this important and uncertain times. New approach is needed and and fresh ways of moving forward, from years of backwardness, and backward thinking. A country that 2 in every hundred of its Citizens in prison, need to look at where the young is being failed, in American Society, and fifty years on they still have segregated schools. a Health care than no ordinary worker can afford. A country that only gives it’s workers 2 weeks Hoildays off per year. Most of the Developed world has 4 weeks spread out plus 10 days Bank Holidays. When a country don’t respect it’s citizens, but expect them to waste their lives fighting in petty wars that does nothing for the American people it’s time it was ended, infact it should never have started.


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