Gary Hart, Ned Lamont, Tim Johnson, and George Miller Endorse Obama

While the big news of the day has been the endorsement of Barack Obama by John Kerry, Obama has also received some other notable endorsements over the past couple of days. Gary Hart endorsed Obama yesterday:

I have personal experience of the Democratic party at a generational crossroads. In the mid-1980s the Democratic party could play it safe and stay with a candidate they knew and with whom they were comfortable and familiar. Or they could take a chance with a new generation of leadership with a new understanding of a new age and new policies and ideas. They chose the former and they lost.

Democrats and Americans are faced with a big decision. Will we play it safe? Or will we embrace the future? This is not a time to put gender or race above what is best for the country or to make superficial choices. We have huge debts and deficits. The climate is rapidly approaching a tipping point. We are stuck in the Middle East. Most of the people in the world do not like us or trust us. Our education system is declining. And the list goes on.

Only a new generation of leaders can solve these new challenges, because only a new generation of leaders is unbound by old policies, old commitments and arrangements, old deals and old friendships. This is a time when America must leave old politics behind. This election is about transition not power. We will either move forward or we will go back.

Ned Lamont has endorsed Obama today:

We have seen that Sen. Obama has the wisdom and judgment to get the big decisions right – as he did on Iraq more than five years ago. And when President Obama steps out of Air Force One in countries around the world, he will represent a fresh start with friends and allies. He will end the war in Iraq, work for a comprehensive peace in the Middle East, and start investing in America again – and we will be safer and stronger for it.

We Democrats are fortunate to have had many strong candidates running for President. As you may know, I was proud to work hard for Chris Dodd during his campaign. I have the deepest respect and admiration for Sen. Dodd – especially for his powerful calls to defend our constitutional freedoms by restoring habeas corpus, closing Guantanamo, and living up to the spirit of the Geneva Conventions. I know that Sen. Obama, a former professor of Constitutional Law, has been and will continue to be Chris’ ally in fighting to protect our Constitution.

As Barack often says on the campaign trail these days, “with the challenges we face at this moment, the real gamble in this election is playing the same Washington game with the same Washington players and expecting a different result.”

South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson has endorsed Obama. According to AP, “Johnson says he’s backing Barack Obama because he’s bi-partisan and wants to bridge differences between the two parties.” Obama has also received the endorsement of California Congressman George Miller. These endorsements follow two recent union endorsements.

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  1. 1
    democrafty says:

    Great Democrats, all!

  2. 2
    Tomas says:

    Prior to this, I was still undecided. It was Sen. Hart’s endorsement that helped me decide. He made the essential point that it is time for a clean break from the past. I am ready to turn things over to my children’s generation, as I have already with so many other aspects of my life. And, I am pleased and proud to do that. Lead on!

  3. 3
    Patrick says:

    Gary Hart, it should be noted, was way out ahead of the curve when it came to warning the country about the threats of terrorism long before 9/11. It is his judgement that Barack Obama is the candidate best prepared to deal with the broad range of threats facing our country today. Democrats, Independents, and disaffected Republicans should keep this endorsement in mind when deciding whom to support.

  4. 4
    David Drissel says:

    I was a strong Gary Hart supporter back in 1984, so I can definitely see some similarities between that campaign and Obama’s today. In both cases, the candidates offered a new vision of America, one that challenges the political status quo.

    In that 1984 race for the Democratic nomination, Gary Hart – the candidate of “new ideas” was attacked by the party establishment (epitomized by Hart’s chief rival, former Vice President Walter Mondale) simply because he was not as well known nationally prior to the start of the campaign season. Even though Hart had authored numerous policy papers and was a defense and national security expert, Mondale acted as though Hart was junior varsity or something.

    Remember what Mondale said in a debate about Gary Hart? Mondale was able to bury Hart’s 1984 candidacy with just one little line, plagiarized from a Wendy’s commercial: “Where’s the beef?” 

    Similarly, the Hillary Clinton campaign often makes unfair attacks against Obama. For example, Hillary has said essentially that Obama is “all talk and no substance.” You know, that’s what the party establishment says about every insurgent candidate who threatens to disrupt the status quo.

    My point is that the Clinton folks are attempting to do the same thing to Obama that Mondale did to Hart. Ironically, Hillary is actually the one who lacks substance when she repeatedly uses such simplistic inane arguments.

    This whole thing about Hillary claiming all these years of “experience” and “being ready on day one” (in contrast, she says, to Obama) is really disingenuous to say the least. In fact, Obama actually has had more legislative experience than Hillary, if you include his years in the Illinois legislature. Just because he hasn’t been in Washington DC as long as Hillary is no reason to assume that he is less experienced in political matters. 

 Indeed, his experience as a community organizer and professor of law are actually very impressive credentials.

    Notably, Obama is an insightful writer and an inspiring speaker who has taken numerous specific policy positions. Take health care, for instance, Obama has a very specific plan that would achieve universal health care. But just because he doesn’t want the federal government to mandate coverage (which is unenforceable anyway), Hillary accuses him of not having a universal plan. That’s just downright ridiculous, but Hillary keeps saying it nonetheless.

    Do Democrats really want to win back the White House or not? I’m sorry, but Hillary is just way too polarizing a figure. I can’t tell you the number of folks I have talked to who say that they would never vote for Hillary but really like Obama.

    Now, as a loyal Democrat, I would of course vote for Hillary if she’s our party’s nominee. But we would most likely lose the general election with her as our standard bearer. Obama, on the other hand, brings all kinds of people together. Importantly, he electrifies crowds and inspires people like no other politician since possibly Bobby Kennedy. We can’t afford to let the Democratic party’s status quo wing win this time. If so, the Democrats seriously risk losing the White House once again.

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