ELECTION ’08: Sen Kennedy to Endorse Sen. Obama

Whoa. That’s heavy. I generally ignore endorsements unless they’re pretty important. I didn’t think Caroline Kennedy’s endorsement was that impressive. This is pretty important:

Mr. Kennedy, the latest in a string of senators to announce their support for Mr. Obama, is said by associates to be drawn to Mr. Obama because of his ability to motivate a new generation of Democrats. His niece, Caroline Kennedy, made a similar argument in an op-ed piece in today’s Times.

During Mr. Obama’s three years in the Senate, he has worked to build allies and gain friendships with many of his colleagues. While Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Obama have not been particularly close, Mr. Obama quickly gained the admiration of the Kennedy family.

It was on a November day in 2005, near the end of Mr. Obama’s first year in the Senate, when he was asked to deliver a keynote address at a ceremony commemorating the 80th birthday of Robert F. Kennedy. The invitation was extended by Ethel Kennedy, whom at the time referred to Mr. Obama as “our next president.”

And for the record:

The Kennedy endorsement has been underway for days, even before the outcome of the South Carolina primary. Mr. Kennedy told his decision to Mr. Obama on Thursday.

From CNN:

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign is expecting Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy to endorse Barack Obama for president.

[snip]The source said Kennedy has “enormous respect and admiration of Sen. Clinton” but “believes Sen. Obama has a unique message and a unique opportunity.”

From the Boston Globe:

Kennedy plans to campaign actively for Obama, an aide said, and will focus particularly among Hispanics and labor union members, who are important voting blocks in several Feb. 5 states, including California, New York, New Jersey, Arizona and New Mexico.