President Obama has paid tribute to President Kennedy at the Medal of Freedom ceremony today as he presented awards to former President Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, country singer Loretta Lynn and newspaper editor Ben Bradlee.
In his opening remarks, Obama highlighted the slain President’s sister-in-law Ethel Kennedy, calling her ‘one of my favorite people’ in a room full of dignitaries. He went on to also give President Kennedy’s grandson Jack a shout out by praising his basketball skills.
Aside from the fact that the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination comes this Friday, the Democrat was mentioned because he was the one to establish the Medal of Freedom initiative which is the highest civilian honor in the country.
His death on November 22, 1963 came two weeks before the first group of winners were due to receive their medals.
President Bill Clinton is far from the first former Commander in Chief to receive the award- in fact all but four Republicans: Presidents Nixon, Ford and both Bushes- have been granted the award by their predecessors.