Clinton offers condolences on death of Michael Kennedy
January 1, 1998
Web posted at: 11:15 a.m. EST (1615 GMT)
HILTON HEAD, South Carolina (CNN) -- President Clinton
interrupted a New Year's celebration early Thursday to
telephone the Kennedy family and express condolences on the
death of Michael Kennedy in a Colorado skiing accident.
White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said Clinton was visibly
shocked when told of the death.
The president is taking part in the annual Renaissance
Weekend retreat held in Hilton Head.
The event, featuring scores of seminars on wide-ranging
topics and an opportunity for holiday relaxation, is held on
New Year's Eve each year. The Clintons have attended for 14
At about 12:15 a.m. EST, after the New Year had been rung in
at a party in the ballroom of the Hyatt Hotel, Clinton
excused himself spoke by telephone to one or more members of
the Kennedy family gathered in Aspen, Colorado, where
Wednesday's accident occurred.
"He called them to express the first lady's and his personal
condolences on the death of Michael Kennedy. He said that the
first lady's and his thoughts and prayers were with ... the
entire Kennedy family as they endured yet another personal
tragedy," Lockhart said.
He said it was unclear whom Clinton talked to in the Kennedy
family. Kennedy was the son of Ethel and Robert Kennedy, a
New York senator who was assassinated in 1968 while running
for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Vice President Al Gore, who was vacationing in Colorado, made
his own condolence call on Wednesday night.