Two sources familiar with the senior Vermont senator’s plans say Patrick Leahy will be endorsing Obama in an 11:00 a.m. conference call today.
Leahy’s spokesman, David Carle, wouldn’t confirm the senator’s plans, but did suggest a reporter pay attention to the call, which the Obama campaign is touting as a “major endorsement.”
If Leahy endorses as expected, it would be the latest in a string of Senate validations for Obama, and to the extent that endorsements play a role in voters’ decisions, Leahy’s — along with those of Sen. John F. Kerry and others — could counterbalance charges that the Illinois senator lacks readiness or establishment credibility. Like Kerry, he’s also a liberal stalwart and a veteran of battles with the Bush administration.
UPDATE: “We need a president who can reintroduce America to the world — and actually reintroduce America to ourselves,” Leahy said in the conference call, saying Obama carried the “hope” to end the war in Iraq and to bring “health care for all.”
He also compared the decision to support Obama to supporting John F. Kennedy for president.
that’s gotta hurt