Can't find what you're looking for? Try Google Search.

Kennedy endorses Obama's bid for U.S. president

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, a Democratic icon and a leading liberal voice, endorsed Barack Obama on Monday for the party's presidential nomination and called the young lawmaker an inspirational uniter.

"He is tough-minded, but he also has an uncommon capacity to appeal to 'the better angels of our nature,'" Kennedy, flanked by Obama, said at a packed rally of several thousand people at American University.

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) (L) smiles beside Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) at a rally at American University in Washington January 28, 2008. (REUTERS/Mike Theiler)

"Every time I've been asked over the past year who I would support in the Democratic primary, my answer has always been the same: I'll support the candidate who inspires me, who inspires all of us," said Kennedy, who invoked the memory of his brother, the slain President John Kennedy.

Kennedy was joined by his son, U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, and niece, Caroline, daughter of the assassinated president. They also backed the 46-year-old, first-term senator from Illinois, who would be the nation's first black president.

Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, Obama's chief rival, brushed off the Kennedy endorsements while aides noted other members of the famous political family have backed her to be the party's presidential nominee in the November election.

"At the end of the day this is not about anyone else other than the candidates," Clinton told reporters in a conference call from Connecticut. "I have the experience we need to make the changes we want in America."

Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend on Sunday threw her support behind Clinton, who would be the first woman president. The daughter of former U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy said her brother, Bobby, and sister, Kerry, also supported the former first lady.

Republican presidential contenders, meanwhile, crisscrossed Florida where a new Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll showed Sen. John McCain of Arizona opening a narrow lead -- 33 percent to 30 percent -- over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney ahead of the state's primary on Tuesday.

McCain picked up 3 percentage points after obtaining the endorsement of Florida Gov. Charlie Crist. The poll had a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.

McCain and Romney split the last three nominating contests as Republicans and Democrats battle to represent their parties in November's presidential election. The winner will succeed Bush, whose second term ends in next January.


The winner in Florida will gain valuable momentum heading into the Feb. 5 "Super Tuesday" voting, when more than 20 states will have nominating contests.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani are battling for a distant third.

"We're making our stand here in Florida, and we're going to win," Giuliani, polling just 14 percent, told CBS's "Early Show."

Giuliani discounted polls show him trailing in his home state. "I win the primary in Florida, we'll be right back on top in a lot of these polls," he said.

Sen. Kennedy, 75, first elected to the Senate in 1962, is a favorite of organized labor and other liberal advocacy groups that helped fellow Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts win the Democratic 2004 presidential nomination.

"With Barack Obama, we will turn the page on the old politics of misrepresentation and distortion," Kennedy said.

In Florida, Romney continued to criticize McCain's ability to handle fiscal matters and charged that an energy bill proposed by McCain and Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman was "a liberal Democratic course" that would hurt the economy by raising gas prices.

"One thing we should really give Governor Romney for is he is consistent. He has consistently taken both sides on any major issue," McCain countered at a shipyard in Jacksonville.

No comments: