Obama was speaking Wednesday night at a fundraiser for an institute named for the Massachusetts Democrat.
Tables cost $1 million each.
Kennedy established the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate before dying of brain cancer in August. The institute will be based at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. It aims to educate the public about the institution Kennedy served for nearly 47 of his 77 years of life.
Other invited guests included the late senator's niece Caroline Kennedy, movie producer J.J. Abrams, former race car driver and BBC commentator James Hunt, and ABC News anchor Charles Gibson.