Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg Endorses Obama

From tomorrow’s New York Times Op-Ed

The only surviving child of President John F. Kennedy writes “A President Like My Father:”

OVER the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. This sense is even more profound today. That is why I am supporting a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama.

My reasons are patriotic, political and personal, and the three are intertwined. All my life, people have told me that my father changed their lives, that they got involved in public service or politics because he asked them to. And the generation he inspired has passed that spirit on to its children. I meet young people who were born long after John F. Kennedy was president, yet who ask me how to live out his ideals.

Sometimes it takes a while to recognize that someone has a special ability to get us to believe in ourselves, to tie that belief to our highest ideals and imagine that together we can do great things. In those rare moments, when such a person comes along, we need to put aside our plans and reach for what we know is possible.

We have that kind of opportunity with Senator Obama. It isn’t that the other candidates are not experienced or knowledgeable. But this year, that may not be enough. We need a change in the leadership of this country — just as we did in 1960.

Most of us would prefer to base our voting decision on policy differences. However, the candidates’ goals are similar. They have all laid out detailed plans on everything from strengthening our middle class to investing in early childhood education. So qualities of leadership, character and judgment play a larger role than usual.

Senator Obama has demonstrated these qualities throughout his more than two decades of public service, not just in the United States Senate but in Illinois, where he helped turn around struggling communities, taught constitutional law and was an elected state official for eight years. And Senator Obama is showing the same qualities today. He has built a movement that is changing the face of politics in this country, and he has demonstrated a special gift for inspiring young people — known for a willingness to volunteer, but an aversion to politics — to become engaged in the political process.

I have spent the past five years working in the New York City public schools and have three teenage children of my own. There is a generation coming of age that is hopeful, hard-working, innovative and imaginative. But too many of them are also hopeless, defeated and disengaged. As parents, we have a responsibility to help our children to believe in themselves and in their power to shape their future. Senator Obama is inspiring my children, my parents’ grandchildren, with that sense of possibility.

Senator Obama is running a dignified and honest campaign. He has spoken eloquently about the role of faith in his life, and opened a window into his character in two compelling books. And when it comes to judgment, Barack Obama made the right call on the most important issue of our time by opposing the war in Iraq from the beginning.

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.

I couldn’t have said it better, Caroline.

  9 comments for “Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg Endorses Obama

  1. January 26, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    I am particularly impressed with how Caroline avoids candidate bashing…she just praises the candidate that she thinks could inspire our generation in the way her father had.

    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.

    I agree Ed; Caroline articulated what many of us are thinking.

  2. January 26, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    Quite a few people have been hinting, timidly making comparisons. We have just been given permission to say it out loud. Caroline and South Carolina in the same day! Wow.

  3. Where have you gone Joe Dimaggio?
    January 27, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Ed, glad to see you are an Obama Person. Can we get you to be an OC person as well? Get in the fight we need you.

  4. Dr Washington
    January 27, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    WHAT A MISTAKE. BARACK OBAMA HAS NOTHING SUBSTANTIVE TO OFFER AMERICA. HE IS GREEN, BRIGHT AND SHINY AND HIS ADDRESSES HAVE HAD THE QUALITY OF A CHEERLEADER OR SPORTS COACH GIVING THE PRE-GAME RAH-RAH TO THE TEAM. BUT WHAT WILL HE DO? HE NEVER SAYS.
    MS. KENNEDY MAY SEE THIS MAN AS AN ECHO OF HER FATHER, BUT THAT IS NOT ENOUGH REASON TO GIVE SUBSTANTIAL SUPPORT TO SOMEONE WITHOUT THE EXPERIENCE, LEADERSHIP, OR–MOST IMPORTANTLY-SOLID IDEAS NECESSARY TO GET AMERICA OUT OF THE MESS IT IS IN.

    A LIFE-LONG DEMOCRAT, I INTEND TO VOTE A REPUBLICAN TICKET SHOULD OBAMA (GOD FORBID) END UP AS THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE. HIS LACK OF IDEAS AND EXPERIENCE WILL BE AMERICA’S DEATH KNELL.

    (FORGIVE THE CAPS–I AM LEGALLY BLIND)

  5. 2001 to present
    January 28, 2008 at 10:58 am

    Please remember that when GWB came on the scene, he was from a state that has a system primarily run by the legislature. The Governor has no real power other than throwing the switch (and he did that very well for a “compassionate conservative”). You cannot convince me that Obama is too green after the complete debacle that Bush has left in our wake.

    Obama is inspiring to me and Billary is dividing up the party by dimissing the African American vote. The general election is going to be very tight and we need someone who is going to work for the all of the US, not just one party or another. We have been dealing with that for the last seven years. Time to move on to positive change and a positive candidate, Barack Obama.

  6. Tansy
    January 29, 2008 at 10:47 am

    To me I can’t stand Obama’s disdainful looks, as if he has this thing already won, that his inauguration is a mere formality. He gives fluff speeches that are without substance…”A change we can believe in…” what? How does that make you feel inspired? He doesn’t inspire me in fact he worries me because I never know exactly where he stands on issues, he always seems to sidestep questions with more grandiose speeches.

    I like Clinton’s direct approach. She doesn’t try to put up any smoke screens and you get a sense about where she stands on issues and that she’ll do her best to implement them because she cares and believes that she can and will make a difference. To me that’s genuine.

    But if cold indiffence is what inspires you, go at it.

  7. Vickey Monrean
    January 29, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg lives in a rarified air that none of us do-nor I think would we share a single moment of it with her. But it is rarified air and she can’t change and neither can we. Her endorsement of Obama is despicable, for even if she felt that all she said was true, surely she is not so protected that she does not know that race does trump gender. Women have voted for less than 100 years. Men including black men for over 130. Obama does not grow up with the horrendous oppression of those whose history binds them forever to slavery and its aftermath–both black and white. You should have kept to the rarified air Caroline and your uncle is only a Lion in Winter and increasingly a weak one.

  8. January 29, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    You know, when I was in Las Vegas I heard stories about hate-filled Hillary supporters. I thought it was just sour grapes and didn’t believe the tales.

    But reading the comments on this thread I see the evidence for myself.

  9. Jeanie
    March 8, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Caroline Kennedy has not idea that her fther and Obama have nothing in common.

    Does she not realize that when she stands with her  uncle Ted, it is not inspiring.

    Why not be more like you father and use a bit of common sense

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