Earlier this year, we commented on the significance of her endorsement and noted that Obama was not the first presidential candidate adopted by Caroline, though from the reaction of the media one would have supposed that a Hollywood starlet had just raided an African orphanage:
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Caroline Kennedy Anointed Al Gore As JFK's Successor in 2000
Caroline Kennedy's endorsement of Barack Obama has been commented upon by virtually every blog in the nation. One would think that her father himself dictated it to her by means of a Ouija board. It is, in fact, nothing more than the opinion of one individual. Except for her father's hagiographers her opinion would have no more weight in this race than Amy Carter's. But not all the presidents' children are created equal. For some reason Onassis-heiress Caroline, who has done nothing noteworthy in her life except sell all of her parent's keepsakes at public auction from her mother's wedding ring to her father's rocking chair, is regarded by many Democrats as their party's Holy Grail. They would have elevated her late brother to the White House on the basis of his "Y" chromosome even if he failed the bar exam a dozen times. As JFK's sole surviving daughter she doesn't meet the requirements of the Salic law of succession, but is nonetheless a powerful Roman matron who has the power to anoint future presidents, or so she and Democratic operatives seem to believe. This time around her conceit is actually being taken seriously by those in a position to effect the change she wants.
Someone said (actually it was a blogger who ordinarily writes about working terriers) that "Caroline Kennedy has never said this before. It is the kind of thing that you say only once in your life." But not if you are Caroline Kennedy. In 2000, she endorsed Al Gore with just as much canned passion and I would say enthusiasm if you take into consideration that it was Al Gore she was endorsing:
"I know that when my brother, John, and I were growing up, hardly a day went by when someone didn’t come up to us and say, "your father changed my life. I went into public service because he asked me. I take great pride in knowing that one of those that he inspired to enter public service is the next vice president of the United States, Joe Lieberman." — Endorsement Speech for Al Gore at the 2000 Democratic Convention
"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." — Endorsement of Barack Obama in The New York Times, January 27, 2008
"I was lucky enough to grow up in a world where adults taught by example. They dreamed impossible dreams, yet they fought hard each day to make those dreams come true. They taught us the importance of faith and family and how those values must be woven together into lives of purpose and meaning. That is what my husband Ed and I want for our three children. That is what Al and Tipper Gore want for their children." — About Gore in 2000
"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." — About Obama in 2008
Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg's speech in support of Al Gore was aired in prime time and is remembered, if at all, because she revealed in it that Al Gore's parents had played matchmakers to her parents. In a way, JFK played matchmaker to Obama's parents, since as senator he drafted the legislation that brought Kenyan exchange students to the U.S., including Obama Sr., who met Barack's mother at the University of Hawaii. Caroline's father would no doubt be surprised that his organic heir and continuator is Obama Jr. (or leastwise his second organic heir and continuator).