By BRANDI WATTERS
ANDERSON — Forty years ago, his father won the state of Indiana in the state’s last primary election that made a difference. On Monday, Max Kennedy, son of Robert Kennedy, visited Anderson to show support for Sen. Barack Obama.
His visit was short, lasting only about 10 minutes. Kennedy breezed into the Obama headquarters on Eighth Street in Anderson and addressed a small group of about 10 campaign volunteers.
While he spoke briefly, the impact of his speech was lasting for some volunteers.
“So cool, so cool,” Anderson resident Kara Critchlow, 23, said after his brief speech. It was her first time volunteering at the campaign headquarters and Kennedy gave her plenty of motivation to canvass in Monday evening’s wet weather.
He began by reminding the volunteers of Sen. Ted Kennedy’s endorsement of Obama. “I’ve been working for Sen. Obama since about an hour and a half after Sen. Kennedy made the announcement. When Teddy did that, every one of his advisers told him he couldn’t do it. They said this guy is behind 23 points in 21 states and you’ve been with the Clintons for 15 years. Sen. Kennedy said ‘This is it. This country is in, essentially, a crisis and this is the only person who can change it. Whatever I’ve done in my entire career doesn’t matter, compared to standing up right now for this man.’”
Max Kennedy then referenced his own campaign career. “I’ve worked in the field since I was 3 1/2 years old. There’s three parts of every campaign — issues, fundraising and the field.
“I’ve never seen a campaign of field organizers that work as hard as you do,” he said to the gathering of volunteers. “Hillary Clinton has the finest field guys and women that the Democratic Party has. They are just baffled by why we are beating them. They cannot believe it.”
Kennedy’s visit was open to the public but was meant to inspire the volunteers canvassing for Obama.
“I can tell you, for sure, this election will be within five points. We’re going to win it.”
“If you do this, knock on those doors, drag every one and two to the polls, you make the calls, you make sure they get there, you pull the literature, you pull the sheets — you are literally going to change the United States,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy closed his speech by reminding volunteers that the election is history in the making. “When you are my age and you have children, this time is going to be looked at by historians for the rest of our lives and your children and grandchildren will say, ‘what did you do, Mom?’, ‘what did you do, Dad?’. You’ll say ‘I was there ... I walked the streets. I knocked on doors. I stood with Barack Obama and I watched him change the country.”
Parker East, 23, is originally from Florida and is traveling with the Obama campaign as a volunteer. He was moved by the speech. “Especially at the end about talking to our children,” he said. “It really almost moved me to tears.”
Scott Forbes, 46, of Anderson, was star-struck by the appearance. “I think it’s only occurring to me now that I’m actually seeing Robert Kennedy’s genes in the flesh. That’s very exciting. I shook his hand so I’m touching part of history.”
By BRANDI WATTERS