On Thursday evening at the Democratic National Convention, Caroline Kennedy paid President Obama the highest honor: she compared him to her father, John F. Kennedy.
Kennedy has been a long-time Obama supporter. Her admiration for the president reaches back to her 2008 essay for The New York Times titled, "A President Like My Father," in which Kennedy said she believed Obama could bring the same hope to the nation that her father did.
"Over the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. This sense is even more profound today. That is why I am supporting a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama," Kennedy wrote in the opening paragraph of her essay.
It seems that feeling has not wavered in Kennedy over the past four years.
On Thursday Kennedy said, “Over the past four years, we have had a president who has committed himself and his administration to the values that made America great — economic fairness, equal opportunity, and the belief that if each of us gives back to this country we love, all of us work together, there is no challenge we cannot overcome. Those are the ideals my father and my uncles fought for. Those are the ideals I believe in. And this election is about whether we will advance those ideals or let them be swept away.” She added, “He doesn’t just do what’s easy. He does what’s hard. He does what’s right.”
Her speech was met with both praise and dismay. Of her speech, the Huffington Post said, "As an orator, Ms. Kennedy is nowhere in the league of her father or uncles."
For Bill O'Reilly, the content of the speech was nothing short of astonishing. On his show he said, “I have to tell you, I am stunned. I am stunned right now at what she just said as a Catholic woman and then she went on to object to 40 states implementing restrictions on abortion like a 24-hour waiting period.” He added that it “made my head snap back”
The LA Times noted that it may not be the speech that was important, but rather the imagery of connecting Obama to one of America's most beloved political figures, calling it an "important moment for Obama."