Obama is a new Kennedy for a new generation

Have you heard the story of the Democratic-senator-elected-president, despite the likelihood of prejudice against his unique religious background? He wore a sparkling smile across his face, spoke passionately about social change and followed a Republican president of eight years.

Should Barack Obama be elected President, his similarities to JFK’s 1960 defeat of Richard Nixon will be more than coincidental. He’s even gained the endorsement of Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy.

As written in Time magazine on Jan. 28, Kennedy endorsed presidential hopeful Barack Obama by pronouncing: “There was another time, when another young candidate was running for President and challenging America to cross a New Frontier,” Kennedy thundered. “He faced public criticism from the preceding Democratic President, who was widely respected in the party. Harry Truman said we needed ‘someone with greater experience,’ and added, ‘May I urge you to be patient.’ And John Kennedy replied, ‘The world is changing. The old ways will not do. It is time for a new generation of leadership.'”

Obama’s public achievements and social image have drawn comparisons to Kennedy. Obama sports degrees from Ivy League Columbia and Harvard and has authored a New York Times Bestseller. Both presidential hopefuls campaigned while active in the Senate.

Obama’s social and religious diversity mirrors Kennedy’s Roman Catholic roots, his messages of equality mirroring sentiment Kennedy supported in signing the Civil Rights Act in 1964, which effectively abolished segregation in public schools.

As Presidential primaries shift to Ohio and then to Kentucky, Obama’s likenesses to JFK are seemingly as prominent as the youthful charisma and voice of hope they share.

Should Obama win the Presidency, the uniqueness he shares with Kennedy should prove to be a valuable asset in restoring the presidential image in the court of public opinion.

On March 20, Gallup polls indicated Bush’s approval rating came in at 31 percent, a stark contrast to Kennedy’s all-time low of 56 percent.