On the 100th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s birth, President Barack Obama will be awarded the prestigious Proles in Courage award, which honors those who show grace and courage in American politics.
Written in an email sent out by Kennedy’s grandson, Jack Schlossberg:
My grandfather, President John F. Kennedy, believed that at its best, politics is a noble profession. He upheld that promise himself, and recognized others who did the same in their time.
On behalf of the Profile in Courage Award Committee, I’m honored to tell you that this year, as we celebrate the centennial of President Kennedy’s birth, we have chosen a man who has elevated the standard of political courage in a new century: President Barack H. Obama.
Faced with unrelenting political opposition, President Obama has embodied the definition of courage that my grandfather cites in the opening lines of Profiles in Courage: “Grace under pressure.” Throughout his two terms in office, he represented all Americans with decency, integrity, and an unshakable commitment to the greater good.
There is no other person more deserving of this award than President Obama, whose family oriented and good-natured demeanor is sharply missed.
The email went on to say that “President Obama put policy above politics” through his work with healthcare reform, normalizing Cuban-American relations, and his fight against climate change.
The awards have been given out every year since 1989, and past recipients include Russ Feingold, Gerald Ford, George W. Bush, John Lewis, Gabrielle Giffiords, Ted Kennedy and the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives and safety on 9/11.
Simply put, this award is given to those who put personal feelings, politics and their safety aside to do what is right in our national discourse
President Obama will receive his award on May 7 and give a speech. According to the committee chairman that doles out the award, Al Hunt, President Obama was not given it because of any one specific action taken while in office (as most people are given). Instead the committee wanted to “do something different this year,” and that the committee was in “total agreement” about President Obama getting the award.
Congratulations, Mr. President. After right years of unparalleled obstruction and racism, I can think of no one more deserving. He held his head high with grace and dignity, and never besmirched or questioned the character of those he disagreed with. How the times have changed so quickly.
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