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January 28, 2008
Ted Kennedy Obama Endorsement
In a surprising break with his past practice of not getting involved in Democratic primaries, Ted Kennedy has endorsed Barack Obama for President:
Both the Clintons and their allies had pressed Mr. Kennedy for weeks to remain neutral in the Democratic race, but Mr. Kennedy had become increasingly disenchanted with the tone of the Clinton campaign, aides said. He and former President Bill Clinton had a heated telephone exchange earlier this month over what Mr. Kennedy considered misleading statements by Mr. Clinton about Mr. Obama, as well as his injection of race into the campaign. The endorsement by Kennedy is more symbolic than anything although Kennedy might help Obama in the east where he is weakest. But Caroline's surprise endorsement carries even more symbolic significance. She speaks to the boomer generation that is supporting Hillary Clinton at the present time. Her annointing Obama as successor to Camelot may swing some undecideds in that very important age group to Obama. But endorsements don't carry the weight they once did. And an endorsement from "The Liberal Lion" won't help Obama much because he already enjoys the overwhelming support of Democrats who think of themselves as "liberal" or "progressive."
Mr. Kennedy called Mr. Clinton Sunday to tell him of his decision.
The endorsement, which followed a public appeal on Mr. Obama’s behalf by Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy, was a blow to the Clinton campaign and pits leading members of the nation’s most prominent Democratic families against one another.
But the symbolism is there. And the Clintons - who would have dearly loved Teddy's support - are left on the outside looking in when it comes to being touted by the #1 Democratic family in America.