CBS’s Smith: Kennedy Passed a ‘Treasured Covenant’ to Obama

At the top of Tuesday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith described Ted Kennedy’s endorsement of Barack Obama yesterday in biblical terms: "In the civic religion that is Democratic politics, the most treasured covenant was passed to the young Senator from Illinois."

Video (25 secs): Windows (1.55 MB), plus MP3 audio (177 kB)

Smith teased the segment by excitedly proclaiming that "Ted and Caroline set to hit the campaign trail after they announce the heir to Camelot." Smith went on to claim that "It feels like the '60s are back," to which co-host Julie Chen replied: "I think it's safe to say no matter what your party affiliation, you have to admit that no one gives a speech like a Kennedy."

Smith continued to speak of Kennedy royalty as the segment began, "First, the Kennedys launching a passionate campaign for Barack Obama. The chosen heir to their political dynasty." He went on to praise Ted Kennedy’s speech, "With a voice filled with vigor and that unmistakable cadence, Ted Kennedy reached back to the 1960s and said the same sense of possibility and hope that carried his brother to the White House had found a new standard bearer."

Smith later interviewed Ted Kennedy and asked about Obama becoming a "target," similar to John and Robert Kennedy.

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

7:00AM TEASER:

HARRY SMITH: The Kennedys are back in the presidential race. Ted and Caroline set to hit the campaign trail after they announce the heir to Camelot.

TED KENNEDY: It is time now for Barack Obama!

7:02AM TEASER:

HARRY SMITH: It feels like the '60s are back. This morning, Ted Kennedy joins us live to tell us why he and Caroline have made their choice for Barack Obama.

JULIE CHEN: I think it's safe to say no matter what your party affiliation, you have to admit that no one gives a speech like a Kennedy, Maggie.

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, Julie.

7:02AM SEGMENT:

HARRY SMITH: First, the Kennedys launching a passionate campaign for Barack Obama. The chosen heir to their political dynasty.

TED KENNEDY: I feel change in the air!

SMITH: With a voice filled with vigor and that unmistakable cadence, Ted Kennedy reached back to the 1960s and said the same sense of possibility and hope that carried his brother to the White House had found a new standard bearer.

KENNEDY: I love this country. I believe in the bright light of hope and possibility. I always have, even in the darkest hours. I know what America can achieve. I've seen it. I've lived it. And with Barack Obama we can do it again!

SMITH: And an inspired Caroline Kennedy said the promise of her father's dreams could still be fulfilled.

CAROLINE KENNEDY: Over the years I've been deeply moved by the people who've told me that they wish they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way they did when my father was president. This longing is even more profound today. Fortunately, there is one candidate who offers that same sense of hope and inspiration.

SMITH: With a gentle rebuke to Hillary Clinton, Senator Kennedy took aim at her often repeated argument to why Obama shouldn't be president.

TED KENNEDY: I know that he's ready to be president on day one!

SMITH: In the civic religion that is Democratic politics, the most treasured covenant was passed to the young Senator from Illinois.

KENNEDY: I ask you to join in this historic journey to have the courage to choose change. It's time again for a new generation of leadership. It is time now for Barack Obama!

SMITH: Ted Kennedy is expected to hit the campaign trail for Obama later this week in California and the Southwest. Caroline Kennedy plans to campaign for him as well. We're going to be talking to Ted Kennedy live in just a little bit.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC