Ted Kennedy endorsed Barack Obama earlier today (video above). The full texts of Kennedy’s speech, along with speeches by Caroline Kennedy and Barack Obama are available here. During the speech Kennedy said:
Let there be no doubt: We are all committed to seeing a Democratic President in 2008.
But I believe there is one candidate who has extraordinary gifts of leadership and character, matched to the extraordinary demands of this moment in history.
He understands what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called the “fierce urgency of now.”
He will be a president who refuses to be trapped in the patterns of the past. He is a leader who sees the world clearly without being cynical. He is a fighter who cares passionately about the causes he believes in, without demonizing those who hold a different view.
He is tough-minded, but he also has an uncommon capacity to appeal to “the better angels of our nature.”
I am proud to stand here today and offer my help, my voice, my energy and my commitment to make Barack Obama the next President of the United States.
Kennedy responded to some of the recent attacks on Obama. On Iraq he stated:
We know the true record of Barack Obama. There is the courage he showed when so many others were silent or simply went along. From the beginning, he opposed the war in Iraq.
And let no one deny that truth.
This is extended to the other recent distortions of Obama’s positions by the Clinton campaign as Kennedy said, “With Barack Obama, we will turn the page on the old politics of misrepresentation and distortion.” Kennedy took on another Clinton talking point in saying, “I know that he’s ready to be President on day one.”