Tuesday, January 20, 2009

JFK's Speechwriter on Obama today

Ted Sorensen, of "Ask not what your country can do for you" fame, gives his interpretation of today's inauguration and speech to the Guardian:

My experience is that great speeches are frequently in the eye of the beholder: Obama is so respected, even beloved, around the world that I think the speech will be hailed.

I have been speaking for two years of the parallels between Obama and Kennedy: two young senators, Kennedy even younger than Obama, two men committed to peace. Two men with progressive domestic policies and a multilateral foreign policy. Two men who reached out to young people and brought them into the campaign, and now, in Obama's case, bringing them into government.

President Kennedy, I am sure, would be beside himself with joy at today's events, having turned our country around in its attitudes towards our black citizens, with his speech to the nation, and then his legislation to Congress in June 1963.

The very idea of a black man being elected president, when in those days blacks could not be elected to almost any office, including the House of Representatives; he would think it was a wonderful day for America

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