Friday, March 9, 2007

Support for Obama from both sides of the river

On the one hand, Senator Barack Obama was endorsed by Philip W. Johnston, the Massachusetts Democratic Party chairman who served in the Clinton administration and called Obama "the future of the party."

On the other, Louis Farrakhan, long-time head of the Nation of Islam (NOI), voiced his admiration of the candidate.

Farrakhan's support won't likely help with mainstream voters, but obviously it could influence millions of members of the Nation of Islam. It might also have an impact on mainstream black voters. The NOI has had success in reaching out to the black mainstream as shown by the success of the "Million Man March."

"I like him very much. I like him, he has a fresh approach," Farrakhan said. "And I'm fearful, because there's a structure in our government that no matter who sits in the seat of power, there are forces that one has to contend with if one is able to attract the masses of their votes. Barack Obama is doing quite well."

"If avoiding me would help him to become president, I'd be glad to stay in the background, because of the taint that's on the minister," he said.

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