Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Kennedy Criterion

One of the touchstones of American presidential nomination in the last 50 years or so has been the likeness of the candidate to that Democratic icon, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. It has never been easy, least of all for the relatives of that historical figure, to come out from under his shadow. That shadow is as long now as it was then, for legends behave that way.

Enter Caroline Kennedy in the New York Times, writing on Senator Barack Obama.

I want a president who understands that his responsibility is to articulate a vision and encourage others to achieve it; who holds himself, and those around him, to the highest ethical standards; who appeals to the hopes of those who still believe in the American Dream, and those around the world who still believe in the American ideal; and who can lift our spirits, and make us believe again that our country needs every one of us to get involved.

I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans.

It is a powerful shot. It is much more powerful than saying, "You're not earnest enough, Mr Principal." It can certainly be compared to Lloyd Bentsen's famous retort, which made Dan Quayle look completely out of his depth. And it could spell the difference between a Clinton candidacy and an Obama one. If the luck of the Irish rides the storm out to the end, then the senator from Illinois might want to start spelling his surname O'Bama.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Jiesheng said...

I wouldn't say Kennedy was was the giant of Presidents but he was certainly great in trying to unite the people. But that's the way governments companies and organisations would like to go--united and moving forward together. And much of it has to deal with political discourse--the framing of words and ideas.

JS

Monday, January 28, 2008 4:58:00 am  
Blogger Khayce said...

"You're not earnest enough, Mr Principal."

Hahahahahaha!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008 3:38:00 pm  

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