(September 1, 2008) Senator Barack Obama today created a high level advisory panel on Irish issues, comprised of seven great American leaders who have built close ties with America’s historic partner and friend: Senator George Mitchell, Senator Chris Dodd, Senator Ted Kennedy, Senator Pat Leahy, Governor Martin O’Malley, Rep. Joe Crowley and Rep. Richard Neal. The advisory panel will complement outreach work already being led in this important community by Carol Wheeler, and the creation of the panel comes a week after Irish American Senator Joe Biden became the Democratic nominee for Vice President.
Ireland has been a trusted friend and cherished partner of the United States for many generations. When the Irish have landed on American shores, they have enriched the American spirit and helped fuel the U.S. economy. In recent years, Ireland has built an outstanding education system and transformed itself into an economically vibrant country that has inspired other nations. Northern Ireland’s example has also convinced millions of people living in violence and terror that peace is still possible -- through patience, political compromise, and tireless diplomacy.
Senator Obama has created this panel because as president he intends to do all the United States can do to help deepen the peace that so many have worked so hard to establish, and to strengthen U.S.-Irish cultural, educational, and trade ties, which are central to the identities of the United States and Ireland. “I am delighted to be able to call upon a ‘Dream Team’ of leaders who cherish the U.S.-Irish bond as I do,” said Senator Obama. “I look forward to putting in place policies that will fortify this indispensable relationship.”
- Issued by the Obama Campaign on September 1, 2008.