Gone Fishing

Senator Barack Obama went fishing for endorsements and landed the equivalent of a thirty-five pound Cape Cod striper. Senator Ted Kennedy has decided to endorse Obama, the big winner in Saturday’s Democratic primary in South Carolina. This is big: Kennedy’s titanic political figure casts a huge shadow over Democratic Party politics and the endorsement will translate into increased interest in Obama among Latino groups, labor unions and liberal stalwarts, some of Kennedy’s biggest supporters. The $64,000 question, of course, is whether it will actually translate into enough votes. The conventional wisdom says no, but this election seems determined to defy the conventional wisdom. Kennedy usually sits out the primaries, so why is he doing this now? His associates told the New York Times that "Mr. Kennedy was upset over what he saw as attempts by the Clinton campaign to highlight Mr. Obama’s race and by what he viewed as distortions of Mr. Obama’s statements and record." I also suspect that Kennedy thinks that helping to elect the nation’s first African-American president might be a fitting capstone to a career dedicated to the cause of civil rights. What is also interesting is that the normally unified Kennedy clan is splitting its endorsements, mirroring the division within the Democratic Party itself. Three of Robert Kennedy’s children, Robert, Jr., Kerry and Kathleen are aligned with the Clintons. But the Kennedy family is famously hierarchical and Ted and Caroline (the late president’s daughter who endorsed Obama this weekend) reign atop the totem, so the prize of the Kennedy imprimatur goes to Obama.
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

James Comey is perhaps a better Niebuhrian than Niebuhr himself.
Drew Christiansen, S.J.November 20, 2017
“Not everything that is technically possible or feasible is therefore ethically acceptable.”
Gerard O’ConnellNovember 20, 2017
I have been trying with all my heart—with all my mind, with all my soul, to live peaceably with a terror that has been grafted onto me.
Robert I. CraigNovember 20, 2017
Image: iStock, (CNS photo/Jim Lo Scalzo, EPA) Composite: America
What ought to be the Ignatian contribution to the fight for racial justice, given our mission and our values?
Bryan N. MassingaleNovember 20, 2017