A Byrd for Obama

May 19, 2008 at 9:11 pm | Posted in Barack Obama, U.S. Politics | 2 Comments
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In an endorsement rich with symbolism, Senator Robert Bryd of West Virginia (a state that went overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton) has endorsed Barack Obama for President:

“After a great deal of thought, consideration and prayer over the situation in Iraq, I have decided that, as a superdelegate to the Democratic National Convention, I will cast my vote for Senator Barack Obama for President. Both Senators Clinton and Obama are extraordinary individuals, whose integrity, honor, love for this country and strong belief in our Constitution I deeply respect.”

“I believe that Barack Obama is a shining young statesman, who possesses the personal temperament and courage necessary to extricate our country from this costly misadventure in Iraq, and to lead our nation at this challenging time in history. Barack Obama is a noble-hearted patriot and humble Christian, and he has my full faith and support.”

Why so rich in symbolism? Well, as a young man, Senator Byrd was a leader of a local chapter of the Klu Klux Klan. For one man to make the long journey from being the member of a murderous gang to a Senator who was resistant to the civil rights movement and finally reach the embers of his life as an old man endorsing a young black man for President shows just how much progress a country can make in a short space of time.

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  1. a boon for clinton perhaps?
    the fantastic http://www.electoral-vote.com had this to say:
    “Hillary Clinton also got a big boost. Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV), the longest-serving U.S. senator in history and former industrial-strength racist and Ku Klux Klan member and now civil rights champion who generally gets 100% approval ratings from the NAACP endorsed Barack Obama. How does this help Clinton? Byrd’s state, West Virginia overwhelmingly voted for Clinton. Byrd just ignored his consitutents and voted for the person he personsonally thought would make the best President. This is exactly what Clinton has been saying for months to the supers: ignore the voters and do what you think is best. Now she can add “like Sen. Byrd.”

  2. I imagine that if the Clinton campaign tried that argument (and God knows they may try to), someone in the media will use the words ‘clutching at straws’. What they’re probably thinking ‘oh, if only this happened a few months ago’ when that argument still had some life to it.

    Fact is, Byrd isn’t the type to try and influence his state’s primary any more than he’s the type to simply acquiesce to their will over who he should vote for as nominee. It’s a sign that party grandees are forming around Obama, albeit slowly and steadily enough to avoid Clinton lashing out and further dividing the party.


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