Remember that day? I waited in line for 2 hours, along with thousands of others, but never made it inside. Still, it was a great day, when Caroline and Ted Kennedy (RIP – we miss you!) passed the torch to Barack Obama. On the “flip,” see Caroline Kennedy’s email, which concludes, “As you think about what role you can play this time, I want you to remember that when Teddy joined this campaign, it wasn’t just Barack Obama who drew him in.”
Exactly. This is not about one individual, this is about the future of our country. This is about continuing to make progress, not to allow the radical, reactionary Republicans cause us to lurch backwards. This is about continuing to build on the major accomplishments of the first 3 years of Obama’s presidency, and to achieve a lot more in a second term. And, last but not least, this is about building a powerful, progressive movement in our country, one that can push for a healthy environment, equal rights for all, economic fairness and social justice, a peaceful world, and much more. That’s why you should be personally involved in reelecting Barack Obama in 2012 (and electing as many Democrats to Congress as possible), just as much as you were in 2008. As the Republicans move to nominate Mr. 0.00001% himself, Willard “Mitt the Ripper” Romney, it’s time for us to start getting “fired up” and “ready to go” once again. Why? Simple: so that we can continue to pursue, as Ted Kennedy put it in his endorsement speech four years ago, “the possibility of hope for the America that is yet to be.” Let’s do it!
Four years ago today, I joined my Uncle Teddy and thousands of excited students at American University to endorse Barack Obama as the next president of the United States.
Barack Obama had stirred something in young people and the young at heart. I saw the passion in my own teenage children, and I heard it from a different generation of people who said they felt like they did when my father ran for president.
We felt strongly that we needed to elect a president who urged us to believe in ourselves, who could tie that belief to our highest ideals, and who understood that together we can do great things.
Four years later, as I think about what first inspired me to support Barack Obama, I’m proud we have a president who has fought hard for the values Teddy held dear, and stood up on issues that matter.
Will you join me by saying what first inspired you to stand with Barack Obama?
Teddy understood that the challenges of health care aren’t political — they are personal. That’s why he fought for 40 years to make health care a right and not a privilege for American families.
How proud he would have been to see his candidate sign the Affordable Care Act into law as president, giving all Americans the security of knowing that their health care will be there when they need it most.
In his speech four years ago today, Teddy reminded us all of that bright light of hope and possibility that shines even in the darkest hours. He knew that with Barack Obama as president, America would shine again. I don’t think he would be surprised to know that four years later, this president would have ended the war in Iraq, repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and guaranteed women the right to equal pay for equal work.
The 2012 election will be harder than the last. As you think about what role you can play this time, I want you to remember that when Teddy joined this campaign, it wasn’t just Barack Obama who drew him in.
It was you.
The possibility of a campaign run by ordinary people determined to change our country for the better and willing to work as hard as necessary inspired him then, and it’s what inspires me today.
Thanks for all you do.
I’ll see you out there,