The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


John Kerry Endorses Obama

Sen. Kerry and Sen. Obama confer during senate testimony. (The Washington Post).

By Shailagh Murray
Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic nominee in 2004, will endorse Sen. Barack Obama this morning in Charleston, S.C.

The nod is a setback for John Edwards, Kerry's vice-presidential pick in 2004, who is trying to keep his campaign alive after two early losses. But relations between the two running mates have long been frosty, and Edwards and his wife Elizabeth Edwards have taken to publicly criticizing the 2004 campaign, in particular for ignoring Southern states.

For Obama, the Kerry endorsement provides a boost of establishment credibility after the Illinois senator's New Hampshire primary loss. It brings to the surface a sentiment that many veteran Democrats have held for some months, that Obama would be a stronger general election candidate than Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, because of his appeal to independents and Republicans and his lack of political baggage. Other high-profile endorsements are expected in the coming days, including a key Western female governor, Janet Napolitano of Arizona, sources close to the Obama campaign said.

Also this morning, the campaign announced that it had picked up support from Rep. George Miller, a prominent California liberal Democrat and House chairman, who is one of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's closest allies.

Posted at 10:59 AM ET on Jan 10, 2008
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

I don't particularly like for our senators and representatives deciding who we should vote for.

I will stick with Hillary who has a much more complete plan.

I heard her on C-span last night and she knows the issues.

I really haven't heard what Obama will do in his plan. Nothing if he doesn't have a participating house of reps and senate.

Posted by: LL314 | January 12, 2008 3:51 PM

The old guard of the Democratic party has begun to wake up. If the Party returns the Clintons to the White House it will lose the opportunity to build a stronger base that is optimistic about America. Nepotism and cronyism is a Republican value that put George W. Bush in the White House surrounded by Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld. The Bush family cronies such a Albert Gonzales took our country to a new low.

If we continue this dynasty of Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton we can look forward to a Bush again down the road. These are powerful families but there are lots of other young, bright, competent leaders standing in the wings wondering if they will ever be able to get the stage.

The two-party system in American politics has become a two-family system. The threat of a third party that is not Bush or Clinton controlled should be seriously considered if the old guard in each party is unable to listen to the Washington outsiders.

At least some of the old guard is willing to consider change. John Kerry may be one of the first to put the Democratic Party on a path that is good for America. Unity '08 is standing in the wings.

Posted by: arizona7 | January 12, 2008 11:47 AM

Kerry was for Edwards before he was against him!

Does anyone think that the Kerry endorsement will have any positive effect on Obama's campaign outside of Massachusetts? Is it really going to affect your vote?

Let's hope, if for nothing else, for the sake of continuing the political discussion, that Edwards is successful in South Carolina. Clinton and Obama have been copying him on the issues up to this point. Without him, it will become both boring and will lack substance.

Posted by: pkosempe | January 11, 2008 3:09 PM

John Kerry is a millonaires son his wife is a millonair how does he know what is good for the U.S .He failed in the election against George Bush the worst President ever,with friends like him Obama dosent need enemies yours Sean Quinn Hannover

Posted by: ssssquinn | January 11, 2008 2:10 PM

Kerry's endorsement, at best, gives no benefit. Obama has already far surpassed anything that Kerry ever did during his campaign so no one cares what an "old loser", as mousepainter put it, says. Even his donor list is inconsequential. Does anyone really believe that Kerry's donors needed prodding from an irrelevant politician to get involved in this extraordinary election? Everyone has moved on, and this is just Kerry's feeble attempt to stay relevant.

Posted by: kingsnarfer | January 10, 2008 7:51 PM

The nod is a setback for John Edwards,

Ms. Murray, are you a reporter or a pundit? I ask because you seem to include a lot of opinion in your reporting.

You may think it's a setback but I don't think Kerry's endorsement has much of an effect one way or the other especially in SC. Edwards beat Kerry in SC so I don't think having Kerry announce in SC that he supports Obama is much of a setback. If anything it might harm Obama.

Posted by: pmorlan1 | January 10, 2008 5:36 PM

Barack HUSSEIN Obama will not be sworn in as President on January 20, 2009.

Posted by: JakeD | January 10, 2008 5:25 PM

Once again Obama states change but yet he is backed by the same old status quo. Having John Kerry who was 1 of the worse Democratic candidates for president is not something that would be consider important. Again Obama is all hot air. His record and his position on many issues will only spiral this country further into a recession. Obama will hand the GOP the election in 2008.

Posted by: junebug9257 | January 10, 2008 5:04 PM

Thank you, gennifertaylor; I hope you join me in pledging to NOT vote for Hillary Clinton if she gets the nomination.

Posted by: JakeD | January 10, 2008 3:50 PM

Woopy Doody

Kerry who has done nothing to end the war endorses Obama who voted for the war funding without oversight and the continuation of the war.

Two faced politicians with fast words.

Posted by: hhkeller | January 10, 2008 3:48 PM

Everyone is getting behind Obama because he represents an American spirit we haven't seen in a long time - leaders with integrity. Obama has other well-known backers such as Clooney, Jessica Biel, Kate Walsh and Scarlett Johansson. On the other hand, the Clintons' sour-grapes reaction after the Iowa caucus was disappointing (their negative attacks on Edwards and Obama were misleading at best. Not according to me, but according to fact-checkers who are following the campaign.) Initially I was a Clinton supporter but quickly saw that she was less than honest.

I can no longer get behind someone who puts politics first and leadership second (including saying anything to sway people against your opponents). People from all backgrounds love Obama because he's more of a leader than a politician and has resisted returning the negativity.

Thanks John Kerry!

Posted by: gennifertaylor | January 10, 2008 3:02 PM

VoterfromIL, what sort of experience do you need? Consider two of our Presidents from over a century ago: one man came to the office having been the youngest representative in congress, later a US senator, a US attorney, and then volunteered during a war and became a brigadier general. The other man was a small-business owner, a lawyer, US representative, and a failed US senate candidate. The first man was Franklin Pierce, widely agreed upon as one of our worst presidents. The second was Abe Lincoln.

Eloquence doesn't buy anything, but the experience the candidates have is being framed in ways that don't exactly show who they really are.

Posted by: enkidu1 | January 10, 2008 2:52 PM

Loser v. Loser

Posted by: lechatquipeche | January 10, 2008 2:50 PM

Anyone who thought that Kerry might endorse Edwards just hasn't been paying attention. This is no surprise. Edwards wanted to compete in Southern states in 2004, where there were democratic governors, and Kerry refused. Edwards wanted to wait until all the votes were counted in Ohio, but Kerry refused. Edwards is a fighter-Kerry is not.

Posted by: amymorton | January 10, 2008 2:04 PM

8 years of Nepotism is enough.

Posted by: PulSamsara | January 10, 2008 1:23 PM

Barack Obama for President of the UNITED States of America.

Posted by: PulSamsara | January 10, 2008 1:22 PM

I don't know what diverse background he has.

He has no experience. Eloquence does not buy anything.

Posted by: VoterfromIL | January 10, 2008 1:18 PM

Equating Obama's inexperience with Bush's incompetence (previous blog) is equivalent to equating a child prodigy with a cognitively challenged adult. Obama's intellect allows him to avoid the reflexive stupidity that has characterized this administration. His understanding of the world, through his diverse background and personal experience, allows him to avoid the cartoon simplifications of nations and peoples that characterizes this administration. It is time to change from the Nickelodian channel to something a little more cerebral - Barak Obama is the right choice.

In a nation where presidents are decided by the thin thread of a dangling chad, where the coastal states are blue and the middle is red, Obama's broad appeal to independents and his ability to involve people who have been disillusioned by the political process, bodes very well for his presidential candidacy.

Posted by: rnazikian | January 10, 2008 1:13 PM

By what stretch of an obviously vivid imagination is this a "setback for John Edwards"? Who in their right mind thought there was any way John Kerry would endorse Edwards? And if nobody thought that would happen, then this endorsement is not a setback; it is the realization of a given. One of the reasons this country is in so much trouble is that the folks who call themselves journalists, who dominate the information flow on matters such as this, do not know what reporting is any more. It's all about entertainment value. Kerry's endorsement must be a blow to someone; let's pick Edwards, it's the easiest. Crimeny!

Posted by: 33rdStreet | January 10, 2008 1:10 PM

So, Obama is all about change? Sure looks a little too darn slick to me. And I don't see how an old loser backing you helps you out, unless you are making deals with the existing system. The only thing different about this politician is the color of his skin. 8 years of an inexperienced presidency is enough, thanks but no thanks.

Posted by: mousepainter | January 10, 2008 12:37 PM


Posted by: JakeD | January 10, 2008 11:18 AM

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