Senator Kennedy spoke powerful and prophetic words as he concluded his remarks in a standing room only coliseum last night. He prepared the way for a new generation of party leadership with character, fresh vision and renewed hope.
"The work begins anew, hope rises again, and the dream lives on!" Senator Kennedy's words connected in a direct line from the promises of the New Deal to the party's multi-decade struggle for a better life for all Americans. His words reached back to the promise of Jack Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson who both strove those many decades ago to fight poverty, and do the often arduous work of improving opportunities for all Americans. He called upon the new generation of democratic leadership to make the promise of a fair deal, available to every American child.
What better embodiment of that American dream than the keynote speaker Mrs. Michelle Obama. She grew up the daughter of a working class family who slept in the same room as her big brother on the South-side of Chicago. After a heart felt introduction by her big brother, Michelle told us about her childhood, her mother and father. She spoke of her father's hard work and dreams for his children. She spoke about her introduction to a young man with an unusual name and an excellent legal education. She discovered he was a person like herself, also drawn to community work.
They had both chosen not big expense accounts and prestigious commercial law, but community work. They chose community. You could not help but be moved by the character of a young woman, who with more than ample opportunity to rise above her family and her neighborhood, who instead turned her face toward a commitment to community. Michelle came to love a young lawyer who like her, sought out an opportunity to serve a working class neighborhood.
Michelle and Barak brought character, education and heart to their working life. They chose work not in a glamorous steel tower, but in the nitty gritty, of the neighborhood. No one could have expected her to return to her neighborhood, roll up her sleeves and give her life and her heart to Southside Chicago.
I hope America deserves a woman the caliber of Michelle Obama. I know America will benefit from her grace and character.