Four years after US Senator Ted Kennedy, suffering from brain cancer, made a dramatic speech at the Democratic National Convention to support Barack Obama, his widow will attend the upcoming convention in Charlotte, N.C., to trumpet the president’s record on health-care reform, which her late husband called the cause of his life.
Vicki Kennedy will speak at a health-care forum, as well as to other groups at the convention about health issues, to support the top domestic accomplishment of the president’s first term, according to Debra DeShong Reed, a spokeswoman for Kennedy. The convention will run from Sept. 4 to 6 and end with Obama’s acceptance speech at Bank of America Stadium.
“She’s a strong supporter of the president for many reasons, but most importantly for what he accomplished on health care reform,” Reed said. Her husband endorsed Obama early in the 2008 campaign.
Vicki Kennedy also will host a reception by the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, which Reed said will explain the institute’s mission and “Senator Kennedy’s vision for it as a center of learning and civic engagement.”
The 40,000-square foot, $71 million facility will be located on the campus of the University of Massachusetts Boston, with which it is partnered, and be adjacent to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.
According to its website, the institute will be “dedicated to educating the public about our government, invigorating public discourse, encouraging participatory democracy, and inspiring the next generation of citizens and leaders to engage in the public square.”
Vicki Kennedy’s appearance at the convention is certain to rekindle memories of her late husband’s speech on the first night of the 2008 gathering in Denver. After being introduced by his niece, Caroline Kennedy, the senator addressed the convention in words that recalled the inaugural speech of his brother, President John F. Kennedy.
”This November, the torch will be passed again to a new generation of Americans,” Kennedy said. “So, with Barack Obama and for you and for me, our country will be committed to his cause. The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on.”
Kennedy died at the family compound in Hyannis Port on Aug. 25, 2009.