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Potomac Primary: Barry to Endorse Obama

By Marc Fisher
D.C. Council member Marion Barry will endorse Barack Obama for president this week. The former Washington mayor told me he has selected Obama because "he's a fresh start, a new direction. I listened to him Sunday morning on C-SPAN and it was like a breath of fresh air."

Barry, who remains popular in his Southeast Washington ward and in neighborhoods where longtime residents feel as if the city they grew up in is changing without them, said that he was an early supporter of Bill Clinton back in 1992 and that he was "close to endorsing Hillary this time." But as Barry has watched the campaign, he has concluded that Sen. Clinton represents older and less flexible forces in the Democratic Party.

Barry expects that Obama will win in Tuesday's D.C. primary, but cautioned that the contest will be closer than might be expected based on a purely racial reading of the electorate.

Continue reading at Raw Fisher »

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 7, 2008; 11:26 AM ET
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about the superdelegates ... there is huge uproar because it is already assumed that Obama will have the most delegates and the most votes. My question is, will it still be an uproar when Clinton has the most delegates and the popular vote? Who is pushing the superdelegate issue? I understand that by being in a virtual tie, that superdelegates could become key, but if Clinton is naturally ahead at that time, and the superdelegates pool her way, what's the difference in that? And, vice versa for Obama?

Posted by: soulfulexistence | February 12, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

In response to Harry.Farr, who thinks that Clinton's victories in the more Democratic-leaning states should lead Obama to abandon ship (a point that Clinton herself has also tried to make, unsuccessfully, since Super Tuesday), I would argue precisely the opposite. It's precisely Obama's ability not only to beat Clinton but to trounce her in the more conservative, traditionally Republican states that should be the guiding factor in predicting what's to come.

New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and California, all of which Clinton won on February 5, also all voted for the Democratic nominee in each of the four most recent general elections (1992, 1996, 2000 & 2004). So Clinton's victories in those states last week really tell us nothing about whether her presence atop the Dems' November ticket would change the final outcome. Whether Clinton or Obama is the nominee, those states are going to do what they always do... vote Democratic.

Obama, meanwhile, demonstrated unprecedented strength in conservative states, winning not just simple majorities but resounding victories: 14% in Alabama, 18 in Utah, 24 in North Dakota and an incredible 62 in Idaho. If Clinton can lose by a 62% difference in a primary in her own party, just imagine how badly she could lose to John McCain. Obama, though, by drawing record numbers of voters, including first-time voters, to the polls in those states, might just have a chance to repaint a handful of traditionally red states in blue. And that could make a huge difference come November.

Posted by: lamoradomrep | February 12, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Gee, thanks, Marion......are you sure you weren't paid by the Clintons for this endorsement?

Posted by: Seytom1 | February 9, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Barry endorsed Obama? I never saw that coming

Posted by: morning135 | February 9, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

WOW MArion BArry!
Whats he been up to?

Posted by: hhkeller | February 9, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

bava84, How can you talk scandal? Have you forgotten Whitewater, Impeachment, Travel, and the numerous women. The country suffered through the Clinton's Adminstration and lot's of money was spent during his impeachment. HRC was responsible for a lot of the dirt that was raised during their tenure in the Whitehouse. This country need a different vision. If you and all the pundits who be honest about Senator Obama, you know HRC has less experience in Government that Senator Obama. Leadership is a quality that is lacking from HRC and she will never bring anyone together.

Posted by: jas1906 | February 8, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Why are people surprised when african americans in large numbers support obama and large white voters vote for Sen. Clinton? It would be interesting for some political hack disect the votes that Sen Clinton AND Sen. obama received from the African American community and the White community. It follows the political wisdom that a large percentage of blacks will support obama AND a large percentage of whites support clinton. The question is the persentage of white supporting obama and the percentage of blacks supporting clinton--this will put away the crap about either of their campaigns being racist. It's a no brainer. I am a clinton suporter and am offended by political hack, Mr. Plouffe,who certainly raised the racial issue by implication) is his statement. In reading the postings it would seem to me that if obama wins the nom. clinton supporters might just sit out the national election AND the black community will also take a walk from the national election if clinton wins. This won't solve the problems this country has-- I say PUT THE BILE IN THE TRASH CAN AND BE SMART AND THOUGHTFUL IN THIS PROCESS. IF SOME OF YOU HARD NOSE JERKS DON'T CHILL EVERYBODY LOOSES AND THE MCCAINS OF THE WORLD WIN--THAT IS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE. CHILL OUT DAMN IT!!!!

Posted by: vergens2 | February 8, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

politicalobserver1; I would suggest you all replay the past debates rather than trying to distract Obama by asking for more. I've watched all of the debates so far and have learned nothing new from either candidate that would persuade me to change my vote. Like "dondiego4" stated, Clinton's request for "additional" debates is just a ploy to distract Obama from getting out there with the people. Why don't you guys go and do some more Town Halls, that seems to work well for you--shed a tear win a vote...

Posted by: Beingsensible | February 8, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

wolkp, I, I know that when people talk about issues like "a fresh direct" "a breath of fresh air", "a new direction" when endoring Obama, it's because that's what we need most in this Country to heal the ills of the past 7/8 years of the Bush Administration. The qualities that Obama brings to the Presidency are not assets that a President would go out and find in other people to formulate his/her administration. We are all fooling ourselves if we believe that the President makes all the decisions and implements the vision for his/her administration. The best leaders are those who can identify an effective vision, appoint the right people to accomplish the mission, and set achievable goals to carry out the plan. To me, Obama appears to have the skills and compassion to do this, and is able to unite the "entire" country together not just the Democrates. I like Clinton a lot, but my fear is that once she's in office, this Country will undergo another 4 to 8 years of fighting with the GOP, unnecessary investigations, and in the end the DNC will have fallen back from the gains that we've had over the past 2 to 4 years. We need a fresh start, and I believe Obama offers that; Hillary is tough, but we don't need toughness in the White House to fight against our opponents, we need a uniter to bring both parties together to heal our Country and to regain our recognition as a superpower abroad.

It is important to note that when people endorse Obama, as above, they talk about "a fresh direction", "a breath of fresh air", "a new direction", his skill as a speaker.

Has anyone noticed what's missing in these endorsements?
Has anyone really asked why they think that Obama can handle the serious economic, social, and foreign policy issues we face? Why is Obama shying away from future debates?

Posted by: Beingsensible | February 8, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Excellent endorsement -- the King of scandal himself, former D.C. mayor Marion Barry...

May nouveau arrive Obama get more endorsements like this one!

Posted by: bava84 | February 8, 2008 5:35 AM | Report abuse

politicalobserver1: the facts are that Obama stands a better chance to win against McCain than Hillary. Of the 22 states to date that released exit polls, Obama won the majority of Independents in 18 of them - including CA, NY and NJ. If we look at the size of the independent votes in most states, they are often larger if not as large as the Dems and Reps. In a TIME poll just released, Obama wins 48 to 41 against McCain, while McCain and Clinton draw on 46. McCain and Obama are both liked by Independents, but head to head they chose Obama. Clinton is not well liked among independents. Clinton is somewhat preferred within the Democratic party - but this won't help you with your November election - Independents will.

Posted by: JayKay2 | February 8, 2008 3:22 AM | Report abuse

Hillary has won the Democratic leaning states, she hold a connection with Michigan and Florida. It is time for Obama to quit as he hasn't carried many of the pro Democratic states. The party has to unite and pool the money and effort to Mc Cain and the republicans. Obama for the good of the party seal the VP and your time will come down the raod....your the younger candidate and Hillary has the suppport of the Democrats. NOW IS THE TIME BARRAK..don't hurt the party endorse Hillary and lets get ready to defeat the GOP. You had my supprt but you failed to even win Calfornia so I have concerns about you in the homeland of the Democratic states...It is up to you Barrack

Posted by: harry.farr | February 7, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Marion Barry? I'm not sure Obama is too pleased with that one. DC isn't overwhelmingly Black anymore, just 57-60%. Wouldn't a Marion Barry endorsement turn off some of those newcomers? Shoot, it turned ME off!

What kind of new direction does Barry know anything about? He ran his city into the ground!

Posted by: precisioncontrol | February 7, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

I want to know when being a spouse of a politician became experience? Why is she running on her husband's record?

Posted by: Allec | February 7, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

I would like to see a debate with Hillary and Obama. I would still like to know why Hillary thinks her 35 experience makes her the best candidate to improve our economy. I remember two thing that killed our economy. The trade aggrememt with China that Bill Clinton signed and Hillary supported and the Iraq war that Hillary voted for.

Posted by: jerrypayneontherez | February 7, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Marrion Barry's an embarassment to the city. I hope Barry's endorsement doesn't prove poisonous outside of Ward 8.

Posted by: CrestwoodKat | February 7, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

What do you expect from Barry to talk about foreign policy and health care reform. This man is endorsing Obama. He is not a spokeperson for the Obama!
I am Health Care Provider for the past 35 years,Obama Plan to me has a very good chance to get a broad support from the republicans.
Universal Health Care is a good slogan for the election to get votes, simply that.

Posted by: aed08 | February 7, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Dear felipe_jain

You may trust him to do something, but he will never defeat Mccain in the general election. As a first term senator only elected in 2004 he is barley qualified to be Senator and is still learning that role. I find in him a tremendous amount of conceit to think that he can run the executive branch with incredible little qualifications. His campagn is avoiding the debates because HRC crushes him in the debates. HRC is far sharper in the details needed to govern that is blantenly clear when the two of them discuss policy. Why don't you replay the debates and listen carefully when HRC speaks of Policy. HRC answers are detailed and complex as the probelms the country faces are deep and comples. In his campaigning, Obama retreats to the chanting that he is now renowned for: We Can Do "it" We can change. What empty words! what an empty suit! I am down right angry that people vote for anyone employing chants!

Posted by: politicalobserver1 | February 7, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I really have to laugh at Barry and Kennedy talking about fresh new faces. Have they looked in a mirror lately- each represent the most partisan of politicians and the past.

Maybe after they have endorsed Obama they will both retire. At least Barry's last wife- I think they may be divorced has endorsed Hillary Clinton. She understands it is time for real change and only a woman will give us that.

Barry is the past and with his reputation in most of the District it may actually hurt Obama rather than help him.

Posted by: peterdc | February 7, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

SuperDelegates are CRIMINAL !

If SuperDelegates upend this election - the PEOPLE will upend the DNC.

Mark my words.

Posted by: PulSamsara | February 7, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Obama is extraordinarily substantive. As a graduating medical student, I trust him with creating a better health care system for my patients more so than any other candidate. However, as Obama and Clinton are equally "substantive" on the issues, the most logical way to endorse him is through his extraordinarily personal, inspirational and organizing abilities, which have the potential to move Washington to actually effect change.

Posted by: felipe_jain | February 7, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Why is Obama "shying away" from debates with Hillary? Hillary wants to debate because her fundraising is failing to compete with Obama's, and so she needs the free publicity that debates would give her. She also needs to distract Obama from campaigning in the upcoming primary states, because Obama's track record shows that the more a state gets to know him, the better he does. There's nothing that will be said about policy, by either candidate, in a debate that they haven't already told us. This is just a ploy from a Clinton campaign that is beginning to sense that it might actually lose the nomination.

Posted by: dondiego4 | February 7, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

It is important to note that when people endorse Obama, as above, they talk about "a fresh direction", "a breath of fresh air", "a new direction", his skill as a speaker.

Has anyone noticed what's missing in these endorsements?
Has anyone really asked why they think that Obama can handle the serious economic, social, and foreign policy issues we face? Why is Obama shying away from future debates?

These questions are important for every voter to consider when deciding on the candidate who can lead our country.

Posted by: wolkp | February 7, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

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