Kennedy, O'Malley Push For Candidates In MoCo
Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley today took their case for their presidential candidates to a gathering of 500 Montgomery County Democratic activists.
A hoarse Kennedy invoked the memory of his slain brothers as he urged them to get on the Obama bandwagon, saying the Illinois senator, like John and Robert Kennedy, "could call us to our highest ideals," while at the same time ably manage the rough and tumble of politics to ensure they achieved their goals.
Kennedy, who spoke for more than 10 minutes before he mentioned Obama's name, also took time to praise Sen. Hillary Clinton, who has substantial support among Montgomery activists and elected leaders, many of whom were in the audience at the county Democrats' annual winter brunch.
He said that above all he was eager to restore the Democrats to the White House.
"The Democratic Party can be and should be, and when it is at is best, an instrument of change in the nation," he said.
Obama best embodies that, Kennedy said, but he assured those attending the midday gathering at the county's Rockville conference center that he "will be out there if Sen. Clinton gets the nomination working as hard as I possibly can."
Kennedy, whose voice cracked at several points - he said he had "left my voice behind in Maine" where he had been stumping for Obama - cited Obama for his early opposition to the war in Iraq and his ability to galvanize young voters.
He said it was important for Democrats to try to cultivate the youth vote, crediting the younger generationfor playing a pivotal role in drastically altering the political landscape in the 1960s and early 1970s, a time when "this country was on the move...young people were involved knocking down the walls of discrimination."
Before Kennedy spoke, O'Malley, a longtime Clinton backer, took the stage to extoll the New York Democrat, whom he described as " a person who will fight for the American people, who will advance the common good, who believes that each of us matters. There is no such thing as a spare American," he said.
Pointing to an issue of particular concern in Maryland, where the condition of the Chesapeake Bay continues to decline, O'Malley said Clinton " will be a president who will let the Environmental Protection Agency protect the environment again."
While many Democratic politicians in Montgomery have taken sides in Tuesday's contest - over the weekend the top prosecutor John McCarthy came out for Obama - County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) yesterday renewed his pledge to stay neutral, saying he had no plans to endorse before Tuesday.
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