Thursday, September 10, 2009

Obama At The Crossroads

Seriously! Tonight on my Air America radio show, a frank discussion with Brent Budowsky, a true Washington insider who worked as an aide to Senators Lloyd Bensten and Bill Alexander, and as chief deputy majority whip of the House, who still has the ears of many of the power players. We can all read his words of wisdom at the Pundits blog at

Brent will be with me in the second hour of tonight's show.

We'll kick it off with a visit from comedian John Fugelsang who blew us off last week because it was his birthday. In addition to talking about what's going on in our world (Obama's speech last night, perhaps?), John will tell us about a fundraiser for 9/11 first responders he's headlining Saturday night at Coopers Union in NYC.

And we'll follow that up with a visit from Christy Harvey of the Center for American Progress with some stories that might have slipped under the radar...

Last night on the show, I read the letter that Ted Kennedy wrote to President Obama shortly after learning his cancer was terminal. I've had a few requests for it, so here it is. I hope that our President is taking these words very seriously...

May 12, 2009

Dear Mr. President,

I wanted to write a few final words to you to express my gratitude for your repeated personal kindnesses to me - and one last time, to salute your leadership in giving our country back its future and its truth.

On a personal level, you and Michelle reached out to Vicki, to our family and me in so many different ways. You helped to make these difficult months a happy time in my life.

You also made it a time of hope for me and for our country.

When I thought of all the years, all the battles, and all the memories of my long public life, I felt confident in these closing days that while I will not be there when it happens, you will be the president who at long last signs into law the health care reform that is the great unfinished business of our society. For me, this cause stretched across decades; it has been disappointed, but never finally defeated. It was the cause of my life. And in the past year, the prospect of victory sustained me - and the work of achieving it summoned my energy and determination.

There will be struggles - there always have been - and they are already under way again. But as we moved forward in these months, I learned that you will not yield to calls to retreat - that you will stay with the cause until it is won. I saw your conviction that the time is now and witnessed your unwavering commitment and understanding that health care is a decisive issue for our future prosperity. But you have also reminded all of us that it concerns more than material things; that what we face is above all a moral issue; that at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country.

And so because of your vision and resolve, I came to believe that soon, very soon, affordable health coverage will be available to all, in an America where the state of a family's health will never again depend on the amount of a family's wealth. And while I will not see the victory, I was able to look forward and know that we will - yes, we will - fulfill the promise of health care in America as a right and not a privilege.

In closing, let me say again how proud I was to be part of your campaign - and proud as well to play a part in the early months of a new era of high purpose and achievement. I entered public life with a young president who inspired a generation and the world. It gives me great hope that as I leave, another young president inspires another generation and once more on America's behalf inspires the entire world.

So, I wrote this to thank you one last time as a friend - and to stand with you one last time for change and the America we can become.

At the Denver Convention where you were nominated, I said the dream lives on.

And I finished this letter with unshakable faith that the dream will be fulfilled for this generation, and preserved and enlarged for generations to come.

With deep respect and abiding affection,


(italics are mine... please heed these words, Mr. President!)

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