If that doesn’t give you chills, perhaps nothing will.
Every time I find myself leaning toward Hillary and the competence and experience argument, either Obama himself or somebody else does something to send my spirit and heart soaring with the hope and change argument.
Indeed, I’ve been thinking of late that the endorsement–more than an endorsement, really, more a coronation–of Barack Obama by Ted Kennedy was one of those moments which rings with something greater than just the moment itself, but with a sense of history.
The Civil Rights Moment came to its fruition under John F. Kennedy. JFK’s telephone call to Martin Luther King in the Birmingham jail was one of the singular actions which helped turn the 1960 election. Robert Kennedy, both as attorney-general and later as senator from New York and presidential candidate himself in 1968, became one of the strongest champions for civil rights in the nation. His impromptu speech in Harlem on that April night when King was shot down was extraordinary.
In short, there has been an unbreakable link between the Kennedy legacy and the civil rights legacy, between JFK and MLK, the feeling by many, me among them, that the night RFK was himself assassinated ended our last best hope of finally getting it right. So many things, starting with the election of Richard Nixon, would have been different had Bobby Kennedy not died.
Yes, we can’t know for sure what would have happened, that things would actually have been better in the long run, but a world without four more years of Vietnam, Watergate and (possibly) the Reagan Revolution and the subsequent Bush Disasters hardly seems likely to have been worse.