January 27, 2008  ·  Lessig

Caroline Kennedy, A President Like My Father. Finally hitting the theme that should be everything this campaign is about:

Most of us would prefer to base our voting decision on policy differences. However, the candidates’ goals are similar. … So qualities of leadership, character and judgment play a larger role than usual. …

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 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.

  • http://www.ime.usp.br/~is/ Imre Simon

    As one who remembers the JFK years I applaud Caroline’s emotional but absolutely precise endorsement. I am really glad that she wrote it.

    As a non-american without a vote but with a vivid interest in the american election, because as Obama’s grandma said, he is running for president of the world, I only hope that you guys won’t mess it up this time!

  • http://www.ime.usp.br/~is/ Imre Simon

    As one who remembers the JFK years I applaud Caroline’s emotional but absolutely precise endorsement. I am really glad that she wrote it.

    As a non-american without a vote but with a vivid interest in the american election, because as Obama’s grandma said, he is running for president of the world, I only hope that you guys won’t mess it up this time!

  • joe

    It’s fitting that Caroline Kennedy would compare Obama to JFK. (To be fair, she’s not the only one.) Both were relative political neophytes that used their youth to energize the body politic, which helped carry JFK to the White House. Truly inspirational campaigning.

    Then, JFK became President. And what is his lasting legacy? The Cuban Missile Crisis. Our fresh-faced fellow allowed himself to be man-handled by anti-communist fearmongers, and therefore almost brought the world to an end. But, to appropriate Joe Biden, JFK certainly was articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy, wasn’t he? He, like, wanted us to fly to the moon!

    Let’s hope Obama would fair better.

    –Possibly the Only 20-something in the Universe That is Wary of Obama

  • mike charlton

    I’m not at all comfortable that the last commentator has correctly stated history on the Cuban Missile Crisis. It is true that the Kennedy Administration had its share of warmongers, “Bomb ‘em back to the Stone Age” Curtis Lemay, the principle one. Most historians think that Kennedy’s strategy actually proved to be the starting point of what became a “detente” strategy, a recognition that mutual destruction was a self destructive force in so many ways. Kennedy left us with Vietnam and a lot of unfulfilled hope but he was able to articulate that message well. Obama is actually better at it; it would be fun to finally get past race as a defining issue in this country.

  • Mark Schmidt

    I enjoyed the Kennedy essay as much as everyone, but now let’s get past the comparisons to JFK and MLK. Are they really necessary? Let’s listen to the Senator from Illinois who stands tall on his own two feet, not on the shoulders of others.

    Great Blog Lawrence, thanks.

  • mike charlton

    I don’t think there’s going to be much of a problem getting past Kennedy. But the Kennedy mystique still carries a great deal of power and weight. Witness the “buzz” surrounding the Caroline Kennedy endorsement or the effort made to court her uncle, Ted Kennedy. to that extent, the comparisons are really necessary, even if tedious. These endorsements mean something in the Democratic primary. That said, it will still be up to Obama to “carry his own water”, a task he seems more than capable of accomplishing. As I noted yesterday, it’s really nice to be able to have finally been around long enough to see this.

  • Terry

    “Most historians think that Kennedy’s strategy actually proved to be the starting point of what became a “detente” strategy, a recognition that mutual destruction was a self destructive force in so many ways.”

    Excuse me, but when Kennedy took office, there WAS NO ARMS RACE. Why? Because we already won.
    The missile gap was in our favor. Kennedy LIED ABOUT IT. After the Cuban missile crisis, caused by Kennedy, the arms race was on.
    Kennedy was a disaster. Read the “Kennedy IMprosment” by Garry Wills.
    I expected better from this bog, really.

  • http://blogs.zdnet.com/Murphy Paul Murphy

    Does Caroline not know who got the U.S. into Vietnam?

  • http://vclosets.com closets

    After 7 years with an “Idealist” administration (albeit conservative) I am ready for a realist administration. The change I am hoping for is a return to rational moderate government, not another extreme swing of the political pendulum to the left. The JFK administration is a fitting comparison of what may occur with a relatively inexperienced leader of an idealist administration. Why do we Americans have such short term memories?