Sorensen, former JFK speechwriter, speaks

For the second day in a row, there was a passing of the torch from the Kennedys to Barack Obama, as Sorensen directly tied the presumptive nominee to his former boss.


Alex Koppelman
August 27, 2008 1:44AM (UTC)

DENVER -- On Monday night, Sen. Ted Kennedy spoke here at the Democratic convention, a moment meant in part as a sort of handing down of the Kennedy mantle to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. On Tuesday afternoon, Ted Sorensen, once a key advisor to and speechwriter for John F. Kennedy, continued the theme.

"Once in a lifetime, said the poet, hope and history meet in one extraordinary man and movement -- I thank the good Lord that I've lived long enough to meet and help such men twice in my lifetime, John Kennedy and Barack Obama," Sorensen told the assembled delegates.

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Sorensen isn't the young man he was in Camelot days, and his speech was at times halting, but the man partially responsible for Kennedy's inaugural address still has a gift with words. "Our eight-year national nightmare of mendacity, mediocrity and economic misery -- with millions of Americans losing their jobs, their savings, their homes and their hopes -- will soon end with the election of Barack Obama," Sorensen said. "This year, my friends, the Fates will try us; erase all trace of fear and bias; we have the man we need at last to embrace the future, not the past, and to dispel eight years of pain and shame."


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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