Tales from the Trail

After death, Kennedy’s words still ring in healthcare debate

Two weeks after his death, Senator Edward Kennedy’s words on healthcare rang out before a joint session of Congress when President Barack Obama quoted from a letter that he received from the liberal Democrat posthumously. USA-HEALTHCARE/OBAMA

Obama in seeking to turn public opinion his way in a primetime speech to Congress referred to Kennedy’s letter before an audience that included the late senator’s widow, Vicki, and two sons. The White House released it publicly after the president’s address.

The letter was written in May shortly after Kennedy was told that the brain cancer he was battling was terminal. The senator called healthcare reform “the cause of my life” and said he was optimistic that it would be achieved. USA-HEALTHCARE/OBAMA

“When I thought of all the years, all the battles, and all the memories of my long public life, I felt confident in these closing days that while I will not be there when it happens, you will be the President who at long last signs into law the health care reform that is the great unfinished business of our society,” Kennedy wrote to Obama.

The senator also made a comparison to when his brother, John F. Kennedy, was president.

Live blog of the Obama healthcare speech


President Barack Obama is making a speech to Congress on healthcare at 8 p.m. tonight and we will live blog it here.

from Ask...:

Judging “The Speech” — what did you think?

Barack Obama became the first black president of the United States on Tuesday. In his much-anticipated inaugural speech, he said the “economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age.”

But the new president also said the United States remained “the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth,” and that “we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.”

What did you think of the speech? Did it meet the hype? Were you moved, or dismayed?

Biden hails Michelle Obama’s speech as pivotal

As far as vice presidential candidate Joe Biden is concerned, Michelle Obama has given what will prove to be the most pivotal speech at the four-day Democratic Convention.


And Biden predicted on Tuesday that her prime-time address at the opening of the convention on Monday will help propel her husband, Barack Obama, to the White House.

“Wasn’t that the most incredible speech you ever heard,” Biden, who addresses the convention on Wednesday, a day before Barack Obama steps to the podium, told a breakfast meeting of convention delegates from Biden’s home state of Delaware.