Obama Receives A Possibly Symbolic Endorsement From Senator Byrd
On May 19, Democratic co-frontrunner Senator Barack Obama of Illinois has received what can be perhaps the oldest and one of the most interesting endorsements. Obama has received the endorsement from Democratic Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia. While this is an interesting endorsement, this could be perhaps one of the most controversial endorsements ever.
Byrd is one of the most outspoken critics of the war in Iraq. Iraq has been the main platform for the candidacy of presumed GOP nominee Senator John McCain of Arizona. McCain has focused mainly on Iraq. A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll taken back in April revealed that the state of the economy is the number one topic on the minds of most Americans. The issue of Iraq had come in at a very distant second.
The endorsement from Byrd is a major endorsement. At the same time, Obama gains another superdelegate. However, he had no hard feelings to Democratic co-frontrunner Senator Hillary Clinton of Illinois. So far, Clinton remains in the race and have refused all requests to drop out.
At this moment, it looks as if Clinton’s campaign is struggling to keep alive.
Byrd said: “Both Senators Clinton and Obama are extraordinary individuals, whose integrity, honor, love for this country and strong belief in our Constitution I deeply respect.”
So far, he endorses Obama because he feels he has the strength and courage to deal with issues like Iraq. While the endorsement is controversial, there is a strong sense of symbolism in it.
Not only is Byrd the longest serving senator in the US Senate, he used to be a leader of the white supremacist group known as the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). This was when Byrd was very young. He had even fought against the Civil Rights Act back in the 1960s. But, that was in the past. Now, Byrd is a different person than he was before as a young man.
On an interesting note, Clinton won the West Virginia primary which was only days ago. She had a devastating lead over Obama. However, Clinton’s victory in West Virginia has not done much to affect the delegate math. Obama holds the lead over Clinton in the delegate race.
However, Clinton insists that she still has the popular vote. But, Clinton’s claim is up for debate. While Clinton won West Virginia, Byrd gives his endorsement to Obama. Also, the other senator of West Virginia Jay Rockefeller had also endorsed Obama early in 2008. Clinton wins West Virginia, it does not do much, and Obama ends up with two endorsements from the state.
This gives a strong indication that Clinton’s campaign may not be able to hold out any longer. Due to Byrd’s past, this could be one of the most symbolic endorsements that Obama has received. In a sense, this could also be another slap in the face to Clinton’s candidacy.
Tags: Obama , Clinton , Byrd , Democrats , West Virginia , Iraq
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