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.

Published August 26, 2008 9:44PM (EDT)

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.

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."

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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