Posts Tagged ‘Vicki

30
Mar
15

The President’s Address at the Opening of the Edward Kennedy Institute

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THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you so much. To Vicki, Ted, Patrick, Curran, Caroline, Ambassador Smith, members of the Kennedy family — thank you so much for inviting me to speak today. Your Eminence, Cardinal O’Malley; Vice President Biden; Governor Baker; Mayor Walsh; members of Congress, past and present; and pretty much every elected official in Massachusetts — (laughter) — it is an honor to mark this occasion with you.

Boston, know that Michelle and I have joined our prayers with yours these past few days for a hero — former Army Ranger and Boston Police Officer John Moynihan, who was shot in the line of duty on Friday night. (Applause.) I mention him because, last year, at the White House, the Vice President and I had the chance to honor Officer Moynihan as one of America’s “Top Cops” for his bravery in the line of duty, for risking his life to save a fellow officer. And thanks to the heroes at Boston Medical Center, I’m told Officer Moynihan is awake, and talking, and we wish him a full and speedy recovery. (Applause.)

I also want to single out someone who very much wanted to be here, just as he was every day for nearly 25 years as he represented this commonwealth alongside Ted in the Senate — and that’s Secretary of State John Kerry. (Applause.) As many of you know, John is in Europe with our allies and partners, leading the negotiations with Iran and the world community, and standing up for a principle that Ted and his brother, President Kennedy, believed in so strongly: “Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.” (Applause.)

And, finally, in his first years in the Senate, Ted dispatched a young aide to assemble a team of talent without rival. The sell was simple: Come and help Ted Kennedy make history. So I want to give a special shout-out to his extraordinarily loyal staff — (applause) — 50 years later a family more than one thousand strong. This is your day, as well. We’re proud of you. (Applause.) Of course, many of you now work with me. (Laughter.) So enjoy today, because we got to get back to work. (Laughter.)

Distinguished guests, fellow citizens — in 1958, Ted Kennedy was a young man working to reelect his brother, Jack, to the United States Senate. On election night, the two toasted one another: “Here’s to 1960, Mr. President,” Ted said, “If you can make it.” With his quick Irish wit, Jack returned the toast: “Here’s to 1962, Senator Kennedy, if you can make it.” (Laughter.) They both made it. And today, they’re together again in eternal rest at Arlington.

But their legacies are as alive as ever together right here in Boston. The John F. Kennedy Library next door is a symbol of our American idealism; the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate as a living example of the hard, frustrating, never-ending, but critical work required to make that idealism real.

What more fitting tribute, what better testament to the life of Ted Kennedy, than this place that he left for a new generation of Americans — a monument not to himself but to what we, the people, have the power to do together.

Any of us who have had the privilege to serve in the Senate know that it’s impossible not to share Ted’s awe for the history swirling around you — an awe instilled in him by his brother, Jack. Ted waited more than a year to deliver his first speech on the Senate floor. That’s no longer the custom. (Laughter.) It’s good to see Trent and Tom Daschle here, because they remember what customs were like back then. (Laughter.)

And Ted gave a speech only because he felt there was a topic — the Civil Rights Act — that demanded it. Nevertheless, he spoke with humility, aware, as he put it, that “a freshman Senator should be seen, not heard; should learn, and not teach.”

Some of us, I admit, have not always heeded that lesson. (Laughter.) But fortunately, we had Ted to show us the ropes anyway. And no one made the Senate come alive like Ted Kennedy. It was one of the great pleasures of my life to hear Ted Kennedy deliver one of his stem winders on the Floor. Rarely was he more animated than when he’d lead you through the living museums that were his offices. He could — and he would — tell you everything that there was to know about all of it. (Laughter.)

And then there were more somber moments. I still remember the first time I pulled open the drawer of my desk. Each senator is assigned a desk, and there’s a tradition of carving the names of those who had used it before. And those names in my desk included Taft and Baker, Simon, Wellstone, and Robert F. Kennedy.

The Senate was a place where you instinctively pulled yourself up a little bit straighter; where you tried to act a little bit better. “Being a senator changes a person,” Ted wrote in his memoirs. As Vicki said, it may take a year, or two years, or three years, but it always happens; it fills you with a heightened sense of purpose.

That’s the magic of the Senate. That’s the essence of what it can be. And who but Ted Kennedy, and his family, would create a full-scale replica of the Senate chamber, and open it to everyone?

We live in a time of such great cynicism about all our institutions. And we are cynical about government and about Washington, most of all. It’s hard for our children to see, in the noisy and too often trivial pursuits of today’s politics, the possibilities of our democracy — our capacity, together, to do big things.

And this place can help change that. It can help light the fire of imagination, plant the seed of noble ambition in the minds of future generations. Imagine a gaggle of school kids clutching tablets, turning classrooms into cloakrooms and hallways into hearing rooms, assigned an issue of the day and the responsibility to solve it.

Imagine their moral universe expanding as they hear about the momentous battles waged in that chamber and how they echo throughout today’s society. Great questions of war and peace, the tangled bargains between North and South, federal and state; the original sins of slavery and prejudice; and the unfinished battles for civil rights and opportunity and equality.

Imagine the shift in their sense of what’s possible. The first time they see a video of senators who look like they do — men and women, blacks and whites, Latinos, Asian-Americans; those born to great wealth but also those born of incredibly modest means.

Continue reading ‘The President’s Address at the Opening of the Edward Kennedy Institute’

22
Dec
10

2010 …. march to april …. picture perfect

January to February video here

24
Mar
10

never forgotten

Vicki Kennedy, wife of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, gives President Barack Obama a “TEDSTRONG” bracelet, which shows support for cancer advocacy, in the Blue Room of the White House prior to the signing ceremony for the health insurance reform bill, March 23, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

24
Mar
10

promise keeper

24
Mar
10

a beautiful day

The signing of the health insurance reform bill in the East Room at the White House

….with Kathleen Sebelius and Nancy Pelosi

….with Vicki Kennedy

…with Rep Patrick Kennedy

….with Rep John Lewis

….with Rep Dennis Kucinich

Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid

Later at the at the Interior Department….



President Barack Obama returns to the Oval Office at the White House after holding a rally celebrating the passage and signing into law of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act health insurance reform bill at the Interior Department in Washington, March 23, 2010.

23
Mar
10

Marcelas Owens’ big day

It was a very, very, very long day……

Seattle 5th grader Marcelas Owens stood on stage with President Obama when he signed the historic health reform legislation into law as his grandmother Gina Owens. Marcelas had received an invitation to attend the bill signing directly from the White House according to Joshua Welter, spokesperson for the Owens family with Washington Community Action Network – a community organization that Marcelas and his mother Tifanny volunteered for supporting health care reform.

Tifanny Owens died of pulmonary hypertension in 2007 due to lack of health insurance and Marcelas and his Grandmother Gina have been telling her story ever since. Marcelas has given a face to the health reform campaign and it is believed his personal story has crystallized the issue for many.

President Barack Obama said “Today I am signing this reform bill into law on behalf of my mother who argued with insurance companies even as she battled cancer in her final days…I’m signing it for 11 year old Marcelas Owens who is also here. Marcelas lost his mom to an illness, and she didn’t have insurance and couldn’t afford the care that she needed. So in her memory he has told her story
across American so that no other children would have to go through what his family has experienced.”

“It’s exciting to think that I might have played some small role in helping the health care bill pass,” said Marcelas, who, in the past few weeks, has become a nationally recognized spokesperson for health care reform in honor of his mother, Tifanny. “It’s tough not having my mom around, but she’s been with me in spirit every time I talk. I hope I’ve made her proud.”

Source

24
Dec
09

change

In loving memory…..

President Obama speaks at the White House after the Senate passed its version of health care reform legislation, December 24, 2009.

Victoria Kennedy, widow of Sen. Ted Kennedy, hugs Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 24,2009, as Sen. Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn, looks on at center, after the Senate passed the health care reform bill.




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