Why Kennedys Tapped Obama

Massachusetts senator points to Barack's 'inevitability'
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2008 11:46 AM CST
Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., left, talks with Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. as fellow presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., shakes hands upon their arrival...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Why did three members of the Kennedy clan anoint Barack Obama as the heir to Camelot and Democratic standard-bearer? In interviews with Time, Ted and Caroline Kennedy both point to the Illinois senator as uniquely capable of overcoming factionalism and uniting the country. As for the timing—before Super Tuesday—Ted Kennedy said, "It was sort of a growing process about the inevitability of Barack Obama."

"Each of these candidates have virtually similar positions on the great issues," he said. "So the issue and the question is, who is going to be able to achieve this and get this done?" And the timing was propitious: Caroline's New York Times op-ed overshadowed the paper's backing of Hillary Clinton, and Ted rode the wave of Obama's South Carolina victory.