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Leahy Endorses Obama

By Paul Kane
Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), a 33-year veteran of the Senate who chairs the Judiciary Committee, endorsed the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama as the Illinois senator tries to demonstrate his support among his party's elder statesmen in advance of the Feb. 5 Super Tuesday.

Leahy -- who was first elected to the Senate in 1974 when Obama was in the eighth grade at the Punahou School in Honolulu -- became the seventh senator to endorse the 46-year-old Obama over Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), who has the backing of 10 of her colleagues in the chamber.

"We need a president who can reintroduce America to the world, and reintroduce America to ourselves," Leahy, 67, said in a conference call with reporters.

The Leahy endorsement came a week after Sen. John Kerry (Mass.), the Democratic presidential nominee in 2004, endorsed Obama. Until late December, Obama had just one endorsement from the Senate, that of his home-state colleague, Richard J. Durbin.

David Plouffe, Obama's campaign manager, told reporters that Leahy's backing would be a sign of approval to voters in the 22 states who will cast their votes and caucus on Feb. 5, showing that the campaign can appeal to voters beyond just the Generation Y vote that has provided the energy of the Obama campaign. "As the campaign moves more nationally, it's important that voices like Senator Leahy's can be heard," Plouffe said.

Leahy, Plouffe said, "had the judgment, like Senator Obama did, to oppose the Iraq war from the start." Clinton and former senator John Edwards (N.C.) both voted for the war resolution in 2002.

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 17, 2008; 11:58 AM ET
 
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Comments

CLINTON THINKS WE HAVE THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT BECAUSE LYNDON JOHNSON SIGNED IT.

SO WHY WAS SHE CAMPAIGNING FOR BARRY GOLDWATER(AGAINST JOHNSON) WHO VOTED NO ON THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT???

BY THE WAY CHECK OUT BILL CLINTON RACIST POSTCARD HE SENT TO HIS GRANDMA IN 1966 DURING THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT.

CIVIL RIGHTS ARE AS IMPORTANT FOR HISPANICS AS IT IS FOR BLACKS AND FOR ANY OTHER MINORITY.

http://serr8d.blogspot.com/2007/10/bill-clinton-racist-postcard-buy-it-now.html

Posted by: laplumelefirmament | January 18, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I am endorsing Obama

Posted by: FebM | January 17, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Obama has identified himself clearly with Reagan. Are Leahy & Kerry now Republicans like Obama?

Posted by: ztormtra | January 17, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Off the top of my head, these are the Senators who already endorsed Hillary Clinton:

Barbara Mikulski (MD)
Maria Cantwell (WA)
Debbie Stabenow (MI)
Robert Menendez (NJ)
Sheldon Whitehouse (RI)
Dianne Feinstein (CA)
Evan Bayh (IN)
former Sen. Bob Kerrey (NE)
former Sen. and now Gov. Corzine (NJ)

That is a remarkable group of leaders, although I am embarrased that I cannot remember the other three or four who endorsed Hillary.

As for Obama? Durbin, Kerry, and Leahy?
Liberal, more liberal, and most liberal.

Posted by: realist | January 17, 2008 01:53 PM
--------------------------------

If former Senators count, then you have to include Bradley and Daschle for Obama.

P.S. I didn't know that liberal was a word of opprobrium in the Democratic Party. Moreover, I thought that HRC was supposed to be more "progressive" in Obama in her views on health care and economic policy.

Now I'm really confused.

Posted by: mnjam | January 17, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Senators running for President usually receive the endorsement from Senators of the same party from their home state or neighboring state.

So, it is not surprising that Dubrin endorsed Obama and that Clinton has been endorsed by Schumer and NJ Senators Menendez and Lautenberg.

It is unusual that Leahy of Vermont, a neighbor of NY, would endorse Obama.

Posted by: mnjam | January 17, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Endorsements are good motivators. What matters, though...in the end, is the voice of each and every one of us.

Go Obama...help us feel American pride again!

Posted by: info | January 17, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

G'Obama Go!

Obama '08

Posted by: montini | January 17, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

THEY USE SCARE TACTICS IN IOWA AGAINST STUDENTS...

THEY USE RACE CARD AGAINST BLACKS IN SOUTH CAROLINA...

THEY USE SMEAR TACTICS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE ABOUT DRUGS AND ABORTION...

THEY USE LAWSUITS IN NEVADA AGAINST HISPANICS...

THEY WILL DO ANYTHING FOR POWER!!!!WELCOME TO THE CLINTONS WORLD!!!

Posted by: laplumelefirmament | January 17, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Well, this is good news. Leahy bucks the DNC old guard.

And Robert Johnson has apologized to the Obama family today, as he should. Things are looking up generally.

Posted by: springwoods50 | January 17, 2008 01:57 PM

Wow, finally, the BET pimp mans up and apologizes; makes me swoon!!

Posted by: meldupree | January 17, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

CLINTON THINKS WE HAVE THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT BECAUSE LYNDON JOHNSON SIGNED IT.

SO WHY WAS SHE CAMPAIGNING FOR BARRY GOLDWATER(AGAINST JOHNSON) WHO VOTED NO ON THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT???

BY THE WAY CHECK OUT BILL CLINTON RACIST POSTCARD HE SENT TO HIS GRANDMA IN 1966 DURING THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT.

http://serr8d.blogspot.com/2007/10/bill-clinton-racist-postcard-buy-it-now.html

Posted by: laplumelefirmament | January 17, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Can you imagine the trip?

Clinton compared him to MLK meaning that Obama should go back where he belongs namely the street and the ghetto. Johnson compared him to Sidney Poitier, meaning he's too white. Can you picture that just ONE SECOND?

OBAMA IS BOTH BLACK AND WHITE.

I think it was all planned by the Clintons. They are EVIL and they are trying to create confusion in the minds of American people to win this election. THAT IS JUST TOO SCARY.

Posted by: laplumelefirmament | January 17, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

THERE WILL NEVER BE A CLINTON/OBAMA TICKET

GET OVER IT. SHE HATES HIM AND THE FRACTURE SHE JUST CREATED IS TOO WIDE NOW

Posted by: laplumelefirmament | January 17, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

My Senator, Evan Bayh, came out early for Clinton right after dropping out of the race himself. He is another pro-war Democrat. He is definately positioning himself as a VP candidate with Hillary. Hopefully a miscalculation in that she so richly deserves to lose this election. Her answer justifying her Iraq vote are atrocious. I saw Jack Welch after being told what Obama had stated in a speech before the Iraq war vote" I had no idea he was so right and prescient." When the country needed a leader to slow a rush to war Hillary voted to give Bush a blank check and then claim she voted that way to avoid war. Its just too cute, slick or triangulatory to be taken seriously. Oh and Thirty five years of political experience after only six years in office is just silly. Go Obama!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: robertdeppert | January 17, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Who out there does support "Billary"? I am a liberal Democrat, and so fed up with the way these two "Bill and Hillary" have run their campaign, that if Obama doesn't win the nomination - I'm voting Republican.

I just can't imagine "Billary" in the White House together again.

Just the idea of it is appalling to me. The female half of "Billary" comes across as willing to do anything for power, and perfectly willing to spend the entire campaign snapping at Obama. And then the press repeats and does a story on every one of her criticisms of Obama. And the male half of "Billary" - can you just imagine him in the White House again?

Posted by: filtechwest | January 17, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

mgcrhcp:

Don't forget Chuckie Schumer -- of course, if we are just comparing Senator endorsements, John McCain blows BOTH Hillary and Obama out of the water with a total of 12 -- it should be an interesting race this year:

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.)
Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.)
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.)
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)
Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.)
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.)
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.)
Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.)
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine)
Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.)
Sen. John Warner (R-Va.)

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I just double-checked -- Hillary's lead has indeed shrunk 10:7 in Senate endorsements -- she still has a 79:43 lead (almost 2:1) in total Cngressional endorsements:

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.)
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)
Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii)
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.)
Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.)
Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.)
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich)
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)
Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.)
Rep. Michael Arcuri (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.)
Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.)
Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Marion Berry (D-Ark.)
Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa)
Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.)
Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.)
Del. Donna Christensen (D-V.I.)
Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.)
Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas)
Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.)
Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.)
Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.)
Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-Texas)
Rep. John Hall (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.)
Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Darlene Hooley (D-Ore.)
Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.)
Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas)
Rep. James Langevin (D-R.I.)
Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.)
Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.)
Rep. Nita M. Lowey (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.)
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.)
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.)
Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass.)
Rep. Michael McNulty (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.)
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.)
Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.)
Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.)
Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.)
Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.)
Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.)
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.)
Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.)
Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.)
Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.)
Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.)
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.)
Rep. Albio Sires (D-N.J.)
Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Vic Snyder (D-Ark.)
Rep. Hilda Solis (D-Calif.)
Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.)
Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.)
Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones (D-Ohio)
Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.)
Rep. Diane Watson (D-Calif.)
Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.)

http://thehill.com/endorsements-2008.html

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Mikulski (MD)
Cantwell (WA)
Stabenow (MI)
Menendez (NJ)
Whitehouse (RI)
Feinstein (CA)
Bayh (IN)
Kerrey (NE)
Corzine (NJ)
who endorsed Hillary.

As for Obama? Durbin, Kerry, and Leahy?
Liberal, more liberal, and most liberal.

FEINSTEIN KEEREY and MIKULSKI not most liberal??

This post is to emotionally stated to make sense?

Hillary has promised so many corporate handouts that there is NO way to end the gridlock in D.C. with her at the helm..

T

Posted by: mgcrhcp | January 17, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Legislators like Leahy are wise enough to understand that Barack Obama is the authentic change agent who will bring about an honest to goodness paradigm shift (versus incremental change), and are courageous enough to take a stand against the entrenched Washington Democratic "establishment".

This kind of endorsement is a BIG win for the American people. Try to envision the ability to break the gridlock in Washington that has gone on for so long to the detriment of all of us (Democrats, Republicans, Independents, etc).

Washington would actually be able to meet challenges head on and resolve them on behalf of the American people. Now there's a concept!

Posted by: sscott | January 17, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Good news indeed. Keep 'em coming! GO OBAMA!

Posted by: ASinMoCo | January 17, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Senator Leahy is a well-respected hard-working Congressman, and his endorsment of Barak Obama is perhaps the sign that things are, at long last, starting to move for the best in the Democrtaic party.

Posted by: bekabo | January 17, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Senior established Democratic Party leaders and young American citizens recognize that Senator Obama is a once-in-a-generation leader capable of both inspiring us old and new Americans and of judiciously leading our beloved country in this perilous new century. Hooray for Senator Leahy for turning the page for the country he has served so long for so well.

Posted by: shirleylim | January 17, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Obama Senate endorsements:

Patrick Leahy
Ben Nelson
Claire McCaskill
John Kerry
Dick Durbin
Kent Conrad
Tim Johnson
Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano should also be mentioned.

There might be more. The significance is that all but one have been in just the past several days. Hillary's endorsements are mostly old when she was considered "inevitable". My how things have changed.

Posted by: zb95 | January 17, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

RyanMcC1 and zb95:

http://TheHill.com is keeping track, but maybe they are out of date -- I will admit I haven't checked the tally lately -- it was indeed over 2:1 when I last saw it. Maybe it has indeed changed to 10:7.

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: egengle | January 17, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

And Robert Johnson has apologized to the Obama family today, as he should. Things are looking up generally.

Posted by: springwoods50 | January 17, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: egengle | January 17, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Off the top of my head, these are the Senators who already endorsed Hillary Clinton:

Barbara Mikulski (MD)
Maria Cantwell (WA)
Debbie Stabenow (MI)
Robert Menendez (NJ)
Sheldon Whitehouse (RI)
Dianne Feinstein (CA)
Evan Bayh (IN)
former Sen. Bob Kerrey (NE)
former Sen. and now Gov. Corzine (NJ)

That is a remarkable group of leaders, although I am embarrased that I cannot remember the other three or four who endorsed Hillary.

As for Obama? Durbin, Kerry, and Leahy?
Liberal, more liberal, and most liberal.

Posted by: realist | January 17, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Hillary's Senate endorsements came early on when she was considered the "inevitable" candidate. She has had none recently. Obama has had 5 or 6 in the last several days. The tide is definitely turning. I think many in Democratic leadership are warming to Obama's message but also they are realizing that the Clintons are becoming a liability. Many believe that Hillary will lose the general election and will also have negative coattails for many Democrats running for reelection. The Clinton era may be finally coming to end. Thank God.

Posted by: zb95 | January 17, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

JakeD:
Read Mr. Kane's article and you'll come to a different conclusion:
"Leahy... became the seventh senator to endorse the 46-year-old senator over Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), who has the backing of 10 of her colleagues in the chamber."

Now, does anyone know where I can find a list of each candidate's Senate endorsers?


Posted by: RyanMcC1 | January 17, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Yay, Leahy! The good Vermont senator has long been a strong voice of liberalism in a political environment that went reactionary a quarter-century ago. I've been quite happy with this season's Democratic candidates, but Leahy was alway the one who I wished was running. This is the next best thing.

Posted by: terry1960 | January 17, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

GraceMN:

I believe that Hillary has at least twice as many Senate endorsements as Obama.

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Senator Patrick Leahy has recognized what many others are coming to realize - we need to break away from the institutional machines that have dominated the ruling classes of Washington for the past several decades...Obama offers an alternative to business as usual from the Democratics. Now we need a Republican candidate to step forward and offer an alternative to Obama.

Posted by: gandalfthegrey | January 17, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Good for Senator Leahy! Now, where's Bernie Sanders, Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl. They should also step up and endorse Senator Obama. Also, Jon Tester and Bob Casey.

Posted by: GraceMN | January 17, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I have change my support. GO OBAMA!!

Posted by: bigben1986 | January 17, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Hooray for Leahy!

Posted by: FirstMouse | January 17, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

What's that sound? Oh, it's momentum.

Posted by: matthewteaman | January 17, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

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