CHICAGO, IL – In an op-ed published Sunday in The New York Times, Caroline Kennedy announced her support for Senator Barack Obama, citing his judgment in opposing the Iraq war from the start, his character in running a dignified campaign, and his ability to unite this entire nation around a common purpose.
Senator Obama said, “I am honored to have the support of Caroline Kennedy. Caroline has been a tireless advocate for providing every child with a quality education, most recently through her work with New York City’s public schools. And through her role in selecting Profile in Courage awardees, she has shined a spotlight on leaders who have the courage to tell people what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. It’s also a special privilege to have this endorsement because I’ve always believed that Caroline’s father was one of our greatest presidents. At a time of great challenge at home and abroad, President Kennedy led this nation with judgment and courage, pulling the world back from the brink of war, calling a generation to service, and inspiring this entire nation to reach for new frontiers.”
Caroline Kennedy writes in her op-ed (LINK):
A President Like My Father
By CAROLINE KENNEDY
January 27, 2008
"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."
Caroline Kennedy is the Vice Chair of the New York City Fund for Public Schools, a non-profit organization which seeks private sector support for public education. Since 2002, The Fund has raised more than $210 million in support of critical reform initiatives and enlisted record numbers of New Yorkers to volunteer in New York City schools. A graduate of Harvard University and Columbia Law School, Kennedy is an attorney and the author/editor of seven best-selling books on civil rights, American history, politics, and poetry including In Our Defense: The Bill of Rights in Action, and A Pariot's Handbook: Songs, Poems, Stories and Speeches Celebrating the Land We Love. She writes a column for TIME on the Power of One about people who are making a difference in their communities. Caroline Kennedy also serves on the Commission on Presidential Debates and the Profile In Courage Award Committee of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. She and her husband, Edwin Schlossberg, have 3 children.