Sunday, January 27, 2008

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

h/t NevadaDem at Daily Kos.

According to Shailagh Murray of The Washington Post, Ted Kennedy will announce his endorsement of Barack Obama on Monday at American University.

The elder Kennedy's decision came after weeks of mounting frustration with the Clintons over campaign tactics, particularly comments that seemed to carry racial overtones. Kennedy expressed those frustrations directly to former president Clinton, but to no apparent avail. Yesterday afternoon, as Obama was racking up a South Carolina rout, the former president compared his wife's chief opponent to Rev. Jesse Jackson, who won South Carolina twice, in 1984 and 1988, when it was a caucus state.

UPDATE: The New York Times has a front-page article this morning on Bill & Ted's recent exchanges: "Kennedy Chooses Obama, Spurning Plea by Clintons," by Jeff Zeleny and Carl Hulse.
Senator Edward M. Kennedy, rejecting entreaties from the Clintons and their supporters, is set to endorse Senator Barack Obama’s presidential bid on Monday as part of an effort to lend Kennedy charisma and connections before the 22-state Feb. 5 showdown for the Democratic nomination.

Both the Clintons and their allies had pressed Mr. Kennedy for weeks to remain neutral in the Democratic race, but Mr. Kennedy had become increasingly disenchanted with the tone of the Clinton campaign, aides said. He and former President Bill Clinton had a heated telephone exchange earlier this month over what Mr. Kennedy considered misleading statements by Mr. Clinton about Mr. Obama, as well as his injection of race into the campaign.

The endorsement, which followed a public appeal on Mr. Obama’s behalf by Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy, was a blow to the Clinton campaign and pits leading members of the nation’s most prominent Democratic families against one another.

Mr. Kennedy, of Massachusetts, has worked closely with Mrs. Clinton, of New York, on health care and other legislation and has had a friendly relationship with both Clintons, but associates said he was intrigued by Mr. Obama’s seeming ability to inspire political interest in a new generation.
The article also mentions that three of Bobby Kennedy's children - Bobby Jr., Kerry and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend - are supporting Hillary Clinton. But their mother, Ethel Kennedy, evidently, liked Obama:
[N]ear the end of Mr. Obama’s first year in the Senate, Ethel Kennedy asked him to speak at a ceremony for her husband’s 80th birthday. At the time, she referred to Mr. Obama as “our next president.”

“I think he feels it. He feels it just like Bobby did,” Mrs. Kennedy said in an interview 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, so, part of our American royalty pitted one against the other. It's interesting to see a friend and long-time supporter of the Clintons get so upset about their tactics over the last two weeks.


Liam said...

The Jesse Jackson thing was too much. Here's TPM on how bad the comparison was.

cowboyangel said...

It's interesting to me to see Liberals race-baiting each other. Not totally surprising, perhaps, but disturbing nonetheless. Obviously, it disturbed Ted Kennedy as well. I'm curious to know how Clinton supporters who have worked for a long time on civil rights reconcile the behavior of the last two weeks. I suppose - "It's all in the game." But it's funny/sad to see self-righteous, high-and-mighty Liberals defending the right to use race-baiting tactics. No hypocrisy there.