Thursday, August 13, 2009

President Obama Awards Jack Kemp Medal of Freedom

Yesterday President Obama awarded Jack Kemp the Medal of Freedom.

The White House website contains the following statement about Kemp, explaining the award:

"A statesman and a sports icon, Jack French Kemp advocated for his beliefs with an unwavering integrity and intellectual honesty. On the football field, he earned the respect and admiration of his teammates for his judgment and leadership. As a public servant, he placed country before party, and ideas before ideology. Jack Kemp saw bridges where others saw divisions, and his legacy serves as a shining example for all who strive to challenge conventional wisdom, stay true to themselves, and better our Nation."

Moreover, at the ceremony itself, the President had this to say:

"Told he was too small to play college football, Jack Kemp became a pro quarterback. Cut by four teams, he led the Buffalo Bills to two championships. Football, he once said, gave him a good sense of perspective about politics: He'd "already been booed, cheered, cut, sold, [and traded]." (Laughter.) Makes me feel better. (Laughter.) A conservative thinker, a Republican leader, and a defender of civil rights, he was that rare patriot who put country over party, never forgetting what he learned on the gridiron -- that it takes each of us doing our part, and all of us working together, to achieve a common goal. It's a life from which we can all draw lessons, Democrat and Republican alike."

Unfortunately, Kemp was not alive to receive the award. One has to wonder why, in eight years, George W. Bush did not get around to awarding Kemp, the pro-life, hawkish supply-side tax cutter the medal.
Bravo to President Obama for making the award.