Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Matt Jerzyk wrote this: I just got off the phone with Congressman Kennedy and posted my interview with him about his Obama Endorsement on my blog: http://www.rifuture.org


Here it is:

Interview with Rep. Patrick Kennedy Regarding Obama

by: Matt Jerzyk

Mon Jan 28, 2008

I just got off the phone with Congressman Patrick Kennedy and wanted to share with you some of his thoughts on the presidential election and his endorsement of Barack Obama for president:

Question: What did it feel like to be in that crowd today?

It was electric, absolutely euphoric. You felt a part of something much bigger than yourself.

We are looking past the prism of narrow minded special interests and looking for a greater vision of this nation and the world. The Obama campaign is an inspiring thing to be around.

When you work in Washington and the work is dominated by individual issues competing with one another – to have this much bigger idea of unifying everybody –this idea of inclusiveness – is just terrific and it resonates with everybody. Everybody wants to believe again and everybody wants a better country. We have been dominated by a politics that doesn’t ask the American people to participate; the only people that run the country are “the professionals.”

That an ordinary person in America should have a say in the process is at the heart of what this is all about. Obama is the perfect antidote of 8 years of cynicism and an effort by the Bush administration to drive people away from the political process.
Question: Did you talk with Sen. Chris Dodd before making the endorsement?
Chris and I have spoken. Chris talked a great deal about the new patriotism in his campaign. It was a patriotism of national service and it was a cornerstone of his campaign and something I was very attracted to. He spoke about how he was called to service by President Kennedy and about how he - once again - wanted to bring Americans together around service – not just in military service, but serving as mentors, teachers, in the community. He hit the tone that’s necessary to bridge the divide in this country. In addition, I felt like Chris had the ability to repair our image in the world. We need the world to see us as a friend. Barack has the same strength with his ability to repair our international image and improve our standing in the world.
Question: Will you be getting involved in the grassroots campaign in Rhode Island to support Barack Obama and, if so, how?
Absolutely. We want to work with all of Barack’s supporters in RI to get the vote out.

The Clintons have spent a lot of time in RI and we’re up against a formidable challenge with the number of supporters who have endorsed Hillary. But there is a great network of enthusiastic supporters on campuses around the state and people who want to get involved in the Obama campaign.

This is a terrific opportunity to get the grassroots going and give people a chance to show that this democratic process can be changed by their participation

No one could have thought that this race is as wide open as it is right now and Rhode Island is going to matter. Rhode Island is going to count and the people out there working hard are going to count.

…My office will be working closely with Barack Obama supporters in Rhode Island to do whatever we can to get out the vote on election day.
Let me just add that I told Congressman Kennedy that I can only imagine the amount of political pressure that the Clinton machine was putting on him and his family and that I commend his courage and his vision in endorsing Obama. It certainly wasn't the most politically expedient thing to do. But it was the right thing to do.

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