Monday, January 28, 2008

Clintons Extremely Upset With Kennedys
For Endorsing Obama
From Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, and Domenico Montanaro

Ted Kennedy Is All In: The New York Times front-pages the news of Ted Kennedy endorsing Obama, which occurs today at 12:15 pm ET at American University in DC. "Both the Clintons and their allies had pressed Mr. Kennedy for weeks to remain neutral in the Democratic race, but Mr. Kennedy had become increasingly disenchanted with the tone of the Clinton campaign… He and former President Bill Clinton had a heated telephone exchange earlier this month over what Mr. Kennedy considered misleading statements by Mr. Clinton about Mr. Obama, as well as his injection of race into the campaign. Mr. Kennedy called Mr. Clinton Sunday to tell him of his decision.” Did we read that correctly? Ted Kennedy called Bill Clinton -- and not Hillary -- to tell him of the decision? Anyway, the Clinton camp trotted out a statement from Kathleen Kennedy Townsend as a counterpunch to the endorsements from Teddy and Caroline Kennedy (and, per NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Patrick Kennedy will also be endorsing Obama). Umm, not quite the same impact...

Where Kennedy Helps Obama: The thing about a Kennedy endorsement is that once he's in, HE'S ALL IN. Ask Al Gore or John Kerry. Kennedy loves campaigning and when he hits the stump, he gets fired up. And as the Times reports, Kennedy is going to head West and then back to the Northeast to campaign for Obama. He could be particularly helpful for Obama in wooing rank-and-file, blue-collar Democrats as well as Latinos, two parts of the Democratic coalition Obama's under-performed with. Of course, Obama -- as this YouTube clip shows -- hasn’t always had kind words for Kennedy…

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