Friday, June 13, 2008

Obama as the JFK Heir? Idealist, Winner or Both?




This exchange on Keith Obermann's Countdown program raised the question of whether Barack Obama was the political heir to the legacy of the Kennedys. It aired shortly after Ted Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy prominently endorsed Obama. Note that commentator Craig Crawford isn't sure how much effect it might have to help Obama's fortune. In retrospect, though, the Kennedy imprimatur seemed to carry weight, particularly as a repudiation of the Clintons. As this program asks, Was JFK an idealist or a winner? And will Obama be the true heir to JFK's legacy as the only U.S. president to come from a minority background? In the new introduction to the newly re-issued, "The Kennedys: America's Emerald Kings", I compare Obama's experience thus far to JFK's 1960 campaign.