Need the lowdown on the Democratic National Convention? Crikey has pulled together some of the best commentary and profiles of the principal speakers at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.
DAY ONE — Monday 25 August 2008 — “One Nation”
The power of the Kennedy name. Caroline Kennedy is well aware of the import that her name and voice carry, which is why she has used both sparingly over the years — and always on her own terms. It was she who decided that her unexpected endorsement of Obama in the middle of a close primary would take the form of an op-ed piece in the New York Times, and she who decided when she would do it. “While there were conversations between her and the senator, the timing was totally hers — she was not coaxed,” said Axelrod. Democratic partisans were delighted that she was getting involved in a non-family member’s campaign more than she ever had in the past. But don’t expect to see her as a talking head on cable TV. Since endorsing Obama, Kennedy appears to have given only one interview, and that was conducted with Sen. Edward Kennedy, her uncle, as part of the endorsement rollout in February. — The Washington Post
The CV Kennedy graduated from Harvard University and earned a law degree at Columbia University. She has helped write or edit seven books, including two on legal topics with a law school classmate, and several anthologies of her mother’s favorite literature. Her husband, Edwin Schlossberg, is an artist and designer whose firm has created interactive exhibit space for Time Warner, the Brooklyn Museum and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. They have three children: Rose, 20; Tatiana, 18; and Jack, 15. Since the death of her mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, in 1994, and the plane crash in 1999 that killed her younger brother, John, Kennedy has become a civic leader in New York. She is the honorary chairwoman of the American Ballet Theatre, following in her mother’s footsteps. Kennedy loaned her name to an exhibit of her mother’s fabled wardrobe at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She also hosts the annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, a nationally televised gala honoring achievement in the performing arts. — USA Today
Stepping into the spotlight In 1960, on the night John F. Kennedy returned from the Democratic National Convention as the party’s nominee for President, his two-year-old daughter Caroline toddled out of the family’s Hyannis Port home to greet her father. Immediately a fusillade of photographers’ camera bulbs went off, and the frightened Caroline turned away. “Don’t be afraid,” J.F.K. told her. “They won’t hurt you.” In the 39 years since, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg has rarely run willingly into the glare of public attention. Instead she has allowed her cousins to inherit the Kennedy legacy of political ambition and her younger brother to assume the role of family icon. Meanwhile, she has tended to her three children, walked anonymously through New York City’s streets and granted few extended interviews, except during publicity rushes for her two books. “She is first and foremost a wife and mother,” says Paul Kirk Jr., chairman of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and a family confidant. “That’s a key priority for her. She saw how important it was to her as a child.” And yet if her life has been more guarded than her brother’s was, it is far from cloistered. Her mother was more glamorous and socially adroit, but Caroline shares Jackie’s cultivated charm and has steadily expanded her own profile as a patron of culture and the arts. — Time Magazine
Caroline for Veep What Obama needs is a vice presidential candidate who is NOT a professional politician, but someone who is well-known and beloved by people across the political spectrum; someone who, like Obama, spoke out against the war; someone who has a good and generous heart, who will be cheered by the rest of the world; someone whom we’ve known and loved and admired all our lives and who has dedicated her life to public service and to the greater good for all. That person, Caroline, is you. I cannot think of a more winning ticket than one that reads: “OBAMA-KENNEDY.” — An open letter from Michael Moore