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Tim OBrien
Robert F. Kennedy
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I am fascinated with the Kennedy family. Perhaps it's because I was born into the void of JFK's assassination and then lived through the sorrow of Robert's. I find RFK to be the most interesting and complex Kennedy. The transformation from the tough US Attorney General to the lost soul after JFK's death and then the re-emergence of as a beacon of hope for an end the the war in Vietnam and perhaps ending real problems in this country, is a story that speaks to me. How does one rewire their brain and 'reboot' a life to follow a new path and act on one's deep held dreams? This speech from the Citizen's Union on December 14th, 1967 has always given me goosebumps. It's quick and to the point and amidst the eating of food and the clinking of plates, Robert turns this crowd's attention to what this country should see. As he speaks of the young 'negro', I am thinking of a 7 year old Barack Obama, who just captured the Democratic nomination almost 40 years to the day after Robert F. Kennedy's assassination the night he won the California primary. RFK died on June 6th, 1968. Obama, as fate would have it, will also accept his party's nomination on another fateful day - the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial. This coincidence of the calendar underscores the way in which Obama's candidacy symbolizes a step toward resolution of the shattered dreams of mid-1960s. I wish more politicians were as honest and focused on telling America what it needs to hear rather that what it wants to hear. Here is to Robert F. Kennedy.
powered by ODEO This next clip is from a 42 year old Robert Kennedy to an audience of 20,000 at the Univercity of Kansas.
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