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Ted Kennedy stumped for Obama during York County visit in 2008

U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy arrived in York, Pa., on April 20, 2008, to meet local Democrats. He died early today. (See additional photos, video of that visit below.) Background posts: Bobby Kennedy spoke to Foremen’s Club in York about labor racketeering and York, Pa.’s Loretta Claiborne about friend Eunice Shriver: ‘She could have gone anywhere, but she wanted to help humanity’ and JFK’s visit to York County a long-remembered event.

Ted Kennedy came to York on a rainy Sunday in April 2008 during the height of the race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.
He visited Obama headquarters, his choice of the pair. He later walked across West Market Street to the York County Democratic Party’s campaign office.
“Not only the eyes of Pennsylvania, but the eyes of the country, of the world, are going to be on what you do in Pennsylvania,” Kennedy told a gathering at Obama’s headquarters.
Here is the York Daily Record/Sunday News story on that visit (04/21/08):

U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., arrived in York, Pa., with a message on Sunday — one that explained his own presence in a cramped office back room off West Market Street.
“Not only the eyes of Pennsylvania, but the eyes of the country, of the world, are going to be on what you do in Pennsylvania,” Kennedy told a group of about 70 people.
At a little after 2 p.m., he stopped by the local Barack Obama headquarters. Kennedy has been an open supporter of Obama’s presidential candidacy.
The group waiting to see him included both Obama campaign volunteers, and others who were simply curious to see Kennedy after hearing or reading of his impending visit.
Upon entering the room, Kennedy announced two pieces of what he described as “good news.” In nine months, he said, President Bush will be out of office, and Barack Obama will be president.
But he made it clear that the latter part of his prediction depends on the actions of campaign volunteers before Tuesday’s primary. He urged them to do whatever they can in the way of canvassing, and to be sure to go out and vote Tuesday.
“The campaign is really all up to you,” Kennedy said. “The hours are moving on.”

Ted Kennedy speaks to a gathering at Obama headquarters in York.
Afterward, Kennedy stopped by York County Democratic Headquarters, across the street, where local Democrats had already scheduled an open house and barbecue Sunday afternoon. About 50 people were present when he arrived.
Kennedy didn’t speak out specifically for Obama at Democratic headquarters, but just thanked local volunteers for their efforts on behalf of the party. He said campaign volunteers made his own Senate career possible, and jokingly referred to its longevity.
“When I first came to the Senate, I said we need a young person with new ideas,” Kennedy said. “Now when I run, I say we need years and experience. Whatever works.”
Hillary Clinton campaign spokeswoman Dana Edelstein said that local Clinton supporters also were to kick off a big canvassing drive Sunday, involving hundreds of volunteers.
“They’ll be knocking on hundreds of doors and making hundreds of phone calls and really making a robust effort to get out the vote,” Edelstein said. “We still have a lot of work to do.”
York County Democratic Party Chairman Mike Johnson estimated that about 150 people stopped into Democratic Headquarters in the three-hour span of the open house.
Johnson said the visitors included both Clinton and Obama supporters.
There was no debating, much less open feuding, among the two camps, Johnson said.
“The message we had is we’re all working for one purpose, and that’s to avoid a third term of the Bush administration,” Johnson said.

York Daily Record photos/video by Paul Kuehnel