Obama Scores Big Endorsements

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[National News]

Riding the momentum of his resounding South Carolina victory Senator Barack Obama scored two significant endorsements, from Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy and from Nobel laureate Toni Morrison.

Kennedy, the youngest brother of John F. Kennedy endorsed Obama at a Washington, D.C. event where he referred to the Illinois Senator as a “new national leader” who reminded him of his slain brother.

Senator Hillary Clinton and her husband Bill Clinton had aggressively lobbied for the influential Massachusetts senator’s endorsement and appealed to him to remain neutral should he decline to pick Mrs. Clinton.

Kennedy recently made it clear that he was angered by the Clintons' race-baiting strategy which was meant to steer White voters away from Senator Obama, media reports say. Kennedy today said of Obama: “He is a leader who sees the world clearly without being cynical.”

Clearly still shaken by the Clinton’s reprehensible strategy, Kennedy noted that Senator Obama was “a fighter who cares passionately about the causes he believes in without demonizing those who hold a different view.”

Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of JFK, had earlier endorsed Obama Sunday in an Op-Ed article published in The New York Times, and stood by her uncle today. Ironically, the Times, which earlier in an editorial criticized the Clintons for race-baiting, ended up endorsing Senator Clinton.

“I ask you to join in this historic journey to have the courage to choose change. It’s time for another new generation of leadership,” senator Kennedy, who is popular in the Latino communities and has strong union backing, added.

The Clinton’s race-baiting strategy failed in South Carolina when Obama won 25% of the White vote, boosting the 80% Black vote he won—Obama ran away with the vote, garnering 55% to Clinton’s 27%. Senator Edwards trailed with 18%.

Separately today, writer Toni Morrison, who had famously dubbed Bill Clinton the nation’s “first Black president,” wrote a new story when she endorsed Obama in a letter.

She said it was the first time she had ever endorsed a presidential candidate and added that this was “one of those singular moments that nations ignore at their peril.”

She said she had always admired Senator Clinton but added that Senator Obama had something special. "That something is a creative imagination which coupled with brilliance equals wisdom,” she said.

"It is too bad if we associate it only with gray hair and old age. Or if we call searing vision naïveté," Morrison wrote, clearly embracing one of the themes of the Obama’s thrust, that his is a campaign of the past versus the future.

"When, I wondered, was the last time this country was guided by such a leader? Someone whose moral center was un-embargoed? Someone with courage instead of mere ambition? Someone who truly thinks of his country's citizens as 'we,' not 'they'?” Morrison added.

Morrison, 76, won the Nobel prize for literature in 1993. She is also a 1988 Pulitzer prize winner for Beloved. She teaches at Princeton.


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