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Showing posts from August, 2009

MSNBC Video and Commentary: Kennedy opened door for Obama

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Thomas Maier: Kennedy's heritage was of an immigrant family that broke barriers
Maier says the Kennedy brothers pushed wider opening of U.S. borders in 1960s
He says resulting demographic change helped usher in President Obama's election
Maier: Like JFK, Obama's background is much different than other presidents
By Thomas Maier
Special to CNN
Editor's note: Thomas Maier is the author of "The Kennedys: America's Emerald Kings," (Basic Books), which was the basis of a Warner Bros. video documentary released in November. He is a reporter for Newsday.

(CNN) -- With a sign from Dunganstown, Ireland, hanging in his U.S. Capitol office, a reminder of the famine-ravished farm where his ancestors began, Sen. Edward "Ted" Kennedy always seemed to understand that the Kennedys were perhaps America's greatest immigrant story -- overcoming religious, ethnic and cultural barr…

Sen. Ted Kennedy Dies at Age 77, Remembering the Kennedy Legacy As An Era Passes

Sen. Ted Kennedy's passing at age 77 brings the end of an era in America politics, the remarkable legacy of the Kennedys and their sense of public service and their embodiment of many American ideals. My history of the Kennedys -- "The Kennedys: America's Emerald Kings" (Basic Books) -- was updated in 2008 for the Warner Bros documentary based on the book and is available at Amazon and at the bookstore of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. Sen. Kennedy was very gracious to me personally, granting an interview for my book, allowing private family photos to be used, and in his comments about my investigative work at Newsday.