Dear Barack…Signed, Ted

If this doesn’t move you, you have no soul.

Ted Kennedy’s last letter to the President:

May 12, 2009

Dear Mr. President,

I wanted to write a few final words to you to express my gratitude for your repeated personal kindnesses to me – and one last time, to salute your leadership in giving our country back its future and its truth.

On a personal level, you and Michelle reached out to Vicki, to our family and me in so many different ways. You helped to make these difficult months a happy time in my life.

You also made it a time of hope for me and for our country.

When I thought of all the years, all the battles, and all the memories of my long public life, I felt confident in these closing days that while I will not be there when it happens, you will be the President who at long last signs into law the health care reform that is the great unfinished business of our society. For me, this cause stretched across decades; it has been disappointed, but never finally defeated. It was the cause of my life. And in the past year, the prospect of victory sustained me-and the work of achieving it summoned my energy and determination.

There will be struggles – there always have been – and they are already underway again. But as we moved forward in these months, I learned that you will not yield to calls to retreat – that you will stay with the cause until it is won. I saw your conviction that the time is now and witnessed your unwavering commitment and understanding that health care is a decisive issue for our future prosperity. But you have also reminded all of us that it concerns more than material things; that what we face is above all a moral issue; that at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country.

And so because of your vision and resolve, I came to believe that soon, very soon, affordable health coverage will be available to all, in an America where the state of a family’s health will never again depend on the amount of a family’s wealth. And while I will not see the victory, I was able to look forward and know that we will – yes, we will – fulfill the promise of health care in America as a right and not a privilege.

In closing, let me say again how proud I was to be part of your campaign- and proud as well to play a part in the early months of a new era of high purpose and achievement. I entered public life with a young President who inspired a generation and the world. It gives me great hope that as I leave, another young President inspires another generation and once more on America’s behalf inspires the entire world.

So, I wrote this to thank you one last time as a friend- and to stand with you one last time for change and the America we can become.

At the Denver Convention where you were nominated, I said the dream lives on.

And I finished this letter with unshakable faith that the dream will be fulfilled for this generation, and preserved and enlarged for generations to come.

With deep respect and abiding affection,


21 Responses

  1. […] I wanted to write a few final words to you to express my gratitude for your repeated personal kindnesses to me – and one last time, to salute your leadership in giving our country back its future and its truth… Read more of this moving letter […]

  2. A stirring letter. He was a great man.

  3. You’ve really got to hand it to the man.

    Even the biggest Kennedy haters out there have to admit that, while being a US Senator for life has some real privileges, Teddy could have lived a much easier life doing nothing but enjoying his family’s riches.

    After realizing he would never be President, he could have spent the rest of his life partying with supermodels in one of several family compounds. Instead, he did everything he could for the common man long after that fell out of fashion. He struggled for the cause right up until -and even after– his death.

    Without strapping a bomb to yourself, you just can’t top that for commitment to a cause.

  4. Thanks for posting this letter. Great blog you have. I’ll be sure to check out your pages and archives.

  5. Great senator, stateman and a true politician. Great thoughts before leaving the stage of earth. Peace be onto your ashes.

  6. Very inspiring letter. Thanks for uplifiting my day.

    • @ Andrew

      I really ain’t the sort…but reading it made me a little verklempt. A coupla tears and a sniffle.
      Maybe it’s letters concerning well-lived lives and regrettable deaths. Same thing happened when the Colonel read that letter from Abraham Lincoln in the opening reel of Saving Private Ryan.
      Something about honour. Gets me every time.

  7. Just like the man, I find myself ambivalent about this letter he great. Nice words, to be sure. But if truth conquers nothing then I fear his final letter will conquer even less. Sorry, it just doesn’t move me.

  8. Touching! Very. Thank you for posting that!

  9. Gosh. If only every misogynistic murderer could have there letters to the President published! This could be such a great country! If only his compassion for people had extended to Mary Jo!

    If only he had made, I don’t know, living clean and sober his mission in life we wouldn’t have had to hear about “waitress sandwiches” and the final hours of a woman suffocated to death in his car. Then I might be able to take anything he writes or says seriously.

    I am always shocked by the number of people who claim to be about equality for women who idolize politicians who clearly have *NO* respect for women.

    • @ Jenne (a twisted right wing single issue bitch)
      Misogynistic murderer?
      Go fuck yourself, you vicious whore.
      Car accidents happen. People die. It sucks.
      For you to dismiss the life and work of a man who devoted his time and energy to improving the lot of Americans of all races, genders and class over a single sad, regrettable, traumatic event that occurred 30 years ago reveals you as far more heartless, spiteful, vicious and desperate than that phantom you imagine in order to vent whatever repressed, frustrated crap resides in your soul.
      I’m SO sick of women like you myopically twisting every single thing into some sort of gender issue. Go put on your purple shirt and organize a Take Back the Night March…chant “No matter what we wear, no matter where we go” til you’re blue in the face.
      Ted Kennedy did more for women – equal pay, EEOC, discrimination statutes – than YOU, Andrea Dworkin and Catharine MacKinnon will ever do.
      You and Phyllis Schlafly can take a long hard gobble on my dick, you vicious twisting bitch.

  10. This narrative shows the best forms gratitude and respect a person could give to another person

    -Meka B.

  11. “Maybe it’s letters concerning well-lived lives and regrettable deaths.”

    I didn’t know Ted Kennedy lived a well-lived life.

  12. Great. From one legend to one who wants to see great change and hope.

  13. Now that I am through puking and holding back the tears for all you crying liberals. I hope that eventually I awake from this nightmare of living in a Socialist country. Oh wait I’m not in Russia, Cuba, North Korea or even China. Or maybe I am a butterfly dreaming I am a man!!!!!

    Let me puke again. Ted finally gets to meet face to face all the skeletons that were locked in his closet. Mostly put neatly away by the liberal I mean one sided socialist media over the years.

    For that I will drink a beer for him as he travels south for the winter. Does Hell ever freeze over?

  14. @ cousinavi

    That was a hilarious rant. I don’t agree with all of the sentiments, but it was a fun read.

  15. You and Phyllis Schlafly can take a long hard gobble on my dick, you vicious twisting bitch.

    Oy! There’s a picture.

    I hope that eventually I awake from this nightmare of living in a Socialist country.

    You get some fucking morons here, don’t you, Avi? Hey, Ted – Obama isn’t a Socialist. He’s barely a liberal. You and your ilk wouldn’t know what Socialism was if it bit you on the ass.

    This is why we need mandatory testing for intelligence and sanity as a prerequisite for voting.

  16. “misogynistic murderer” – some stupid, man-hating, cunt

    I don’t know if he was misogynist or not, but one thing is for sure. He’s no more a murderer than “man-hating” Laura Bush who “murdered” a popular jock, classmate and alleged ex-boyfriend in a driving accident herself.

    I doubt it was murder, but you can argue Laura B’s accident seemed a lot more like murder than Teddy’s.

    And SHE didn’t just write a letter to a President, she got to sleep in the White House for 8 years and get treated like she was somebody important, instead of just some bitch who was fucking a politician.

  17. Hey, take it easy on Ted.

    It’s not easy being a bulimic. It prevents calories from being absorbed into your body and impairs proper brain function.

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