I watched the service for Ted Kennedy Saturday and must say I was very, very impressed. The scope of mourners was itself impressive, but the political spectrum of attendees was nothing short of amazing. When a man or woman is laid to rest, the mourners tell a tale of that persons life as compelling as the eulogy. Ted Kennedy was a great politician, if not a flawed man. But that comes with being human- flaws. Rest in peace, Ted, our champion.
As Barack Obama took to the microphone, I sat by silently to hear what Americas first Black President had to say about a man who did more for Black people than many African American leaders have. Obama did not disappoint. But here is the thing. His eulogy of Ted Kennedy was extremely impressive. It was in a way as much about Barack as it was about Ted.
It is an understatement to say that Barack Obama is an impressive man. We need to understand that we didn't elect a Black president as much as we elected an impressive human being. Let's face it. In America, it isn't enough to be Black and intelligent. It isn't enough to be Black and charismatic. No, you have to be all those things and more. Obama is quite possible the greatest politician of our time, surpassing Bill Clinton and others. That does not mean I like all of his policies. I don't. In fact, I have real issues with a lot of what he has done so far as president. But that in no way takes away from the greatness of the man as politician.
My point in saying all of this is that Barack can learn much from Ted Kennedy about standing up for what is right. He can do much more for this country if he leads with his principles instead of his politics. What are you willing to sacrifice for greatness is the question Obama has not yet answered. Many have given their lives in the cause of human rights. Ted Kennedy stood up for Black people even during the difficult and lonely days of the Reagan years. Can Barack be a similar champion? Well, we just said good bye to a man who can serve as a model of political principle and sacrifice. Ted and Barack; The King is dead, long live the King!