Monday, May 12, 2008

Superdelegates Flock to Obama

The superdelegate endorsements are rolling in today for Barack Obama.

So far, Sen. Daniel Akaka and DNC member Dolly Strazar of Hawai'i, Rep. Tom Allen of Maine and Idaho DNC member Keith Roark have declared their support for Obama.

Here is Sen. Akaka's statement.

For more than a year, people have asked me who I plan to endorse for President of the United States. I’ve waited this long for several reasons. The Democratic campaign began with more than ten declared candidates. As a veteran of more than 30 years on Capitol Hill, I knew each and everyone of them and had worked closely with all. I had no doubt that each of them had the knowledge and ability to lead our country out of the financial and diplomatic chaos that we’ve experienced for the past eight years.

Having waged a number of campaigns myself, I can tell you they are not easy. Campaigns are tests, and there’s no tougher one than running for President. Like many Americans, I’ve followed the campaign for President closely and with growing interest, eager to see which candidate would articulate a vision for our country, encourage hope and renew faith in our government, and stand to the rigors of a nationwide contest.

After giving it a lot of thought, I’ve decided that for me, that candidate is Barack Obama.

Rather than echo his supporters or review his platform on health care, the environment, or the war in Iraq, I want to add a different voice to those who believe Senator Obama would make a fine President. He is the antidote we need to cure Washington of the uninspired, partisan politics that has plagued our country far too long.

What makes him uniquely qualified? A March 2008 feature in Vanity Fair magazine offers a clue: “He was born and came of age in Hawaii, the 50th state and in many ways among the freest-thinking, where mixed-race ancestry is …a given... If Obama comes across as a bit of a softy—if you don’t see the toughness or the ambition at first—it may be in part because he spent his formative years in a place where ‘Live Aloha’ had not yet become a slogan aimed at recapturing a more gracious time, but was simply a way of life.”

I have great hope, that in his own way, Barack Obama will achieve what I have been working to accomplish my entire Congressional career, more tolerance and understanding, an appreciation for common goals and interests, rather than an emphasis on our differences.

While I am pledging my support to Senator Obama, I want to make it very clear that I hold both Senator Hillary Clinton and President Bill Clinton in the highest regard as colleagues and friends. Senator Clinton has campaigned hard and well and I wish her all the best as we move forward. In an example of her leadership and commitment, Senator Clinton has promised that come November, the Democratic Party will be united behind our presidential nominee and I send her my fondest aloha for her courage and selflessness.

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