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He needs to be taking us somewhere. What does he want with a second term? Tell us. Draw a picture. Throw a cap over a wall. I remember Obama sitting onstage in Washington in the winter of 2008, collecting the endorsements of Ted Kennedy and Caroline and Patrick. Surely he knew what he was doing. He must have known, stirring in us this real hope, this giddy prospect of deliverance not just from George W. Bush and his war in Iraq but to something we'd known, loved, almost forgotten yet, somewhere down in us, dearly wanted back.
And yes, there it is, the most important, most vital reason for Obama to be more like Kennedy.
He promised he would.
Matthews is the author of Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero (Simon & Schuster) and the host of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews and NBC's The Chris Matthews Show