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A Salute to Senator Kennedy
Monday, March 9th, 2009 at 8:25 pm

Days after the President and Sen. Ted Kennedy discussed one of the most pressing issues of the day and one of the Senator's greatest passions throughout his career at the White House Forum on Health Reform, the President showed up for a slightly more light-hearted affair.

Obama leads birthday salute to Ted Kennedy
Andrew Miga, Associated Press - March 9, 2009

President Barack Obama led a Kennedy Center crowd in a performance of "Happy Birthday," capping a star-studded musical birthday tribute to ailing Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.

The Massachusetts Democrat was honored at the Kennedy Center at an event Sunday night hosted by comedian Bill Cosby. Actresses Lauren Bacall and Bernadette Peters, singer James Taylor and conductor John Williams were among those who performed.

Toward the end of the gala, Cosby introduced Obama to loud applause from the performers and the audience. The president strode to the center of the stage and then conducted the performers in the birthday tune. Kennedy stood and delivered a thumbs-up from his balcony, where he was accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama.

The president later met Kennedy in his box as the performers sang "The Best Is Yet to Come."

Caroline Kennedy presented her uncle with her family's Profile in Courage Award, paying tribute to his efforts to reform the U.S. health care system. When reform becomes a reality, Caroline Kennedy said: "We will all have you to thank. ... We love you, Uncle Teddy."

The President at the Tribute to Sen. Kennedy

(President Barack Obama and a stage full of entertainment luminaries sign "happy birthday" to Sen. Ted Kennedy on Sunday, March 3, 2009, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., as Kennedy listened from the balcony. White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

Ms. Obama at the Tribute to Sen. Kennedy

(From the Kennedy Center Presidential Box, First Lady Michelle Obama applauds as Sen. Ted Kennedy and his wife salute  President Barack Obama and host of entertainment stars who have just sung "Happy Birthday" to Kennedy on Monday night, March 3, 2009, in Washington, D.C.  White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)


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