Obama Wonders: What If We Were ‘More Like Ted Kennedy?’

President Obama wondered “what if we carried ourselves more like Ted Kennedy?” And touted Kennedy’s tenure in the Senate as a model in a speech at the dedication of Boston’s Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate on Monday.

“What if we carried ourselves more like Ted Kennedy? What if we worked to follow his example a little bit harder?” Obama asked.

He continued, “to his harshest critics, who saw him as nothing more than a partisan lightning rod that may sound foolish, but there are Republicans here today for a reason. They know who Ted Kennedy was. It’s not because they shared Ted’s ideology or his positions, but because they knew Ted as somebody who bridged the partisan divide over and over and over again with genuine effort and affection, in an era when bipartisanship has become so very rare. They knew him as somebody who kept his word. They knew him as somebody who was willing to take a half a loaf, and endure the anger of his own supporters to get something done. They knew him as somebody who was not afraid, and fear so permeates our politics instead of hope. People fight to get in the Senate and then they’re afraid. We fight to get these positions and then don’t want to do anything with them, and Ted understood the only point of running for office was to get something done, not to posture, not sit there worried about the next election, or the polls, to take risks. He understood that differences of party or philosophy could not become barriers to cooperation or respect.”

(h/t Real Clear Politics)

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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