Even Steven

Obama pulled even with Clinton in endorsements from top elected officials.

Obama yesterday won the backing of Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal, who became the sixth head of a Republican-leaning state to come out for him in his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. In the past week, Obama picked up support from first-term Senators Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania. Clinton, backed by two governors from Republican states, gained no superdelegates in that time.

Obama, 46, is endorsed by 16 U.S. House freshmen to Clinton’s 6, and 40 percent of his congressional allies are from “red states,” or those that voted for President George W. Bush in 2004, compared with one-quarter for Clinton. That bolsters the Obama campaign’s argument that he would have broader backing in the general election.

At the end of the day, do endorsements really matter anymore? Sure it signals party solidarity, but in the voters mind, is one endorsement more significant than another? The media goes crazy when a party stalwart like Ted Kennedy decides to align with Obama, but we now know it really didn’t matter that much to the voter. The same might be said about Bill Richardson’s endorsement. Will Hispanics suddenly love Barack just because Bill does? I don’t think it works that way anymore. Mostly, I think the public’s disconnectedness is to blame. Not enough people follow the primary race, or current events in general. They have name recognition with the candidates, but they aren’t necessarily familiar with the daily jousting. I just can’t believe the media pomp and circumstance around this endorsement or that one really amounts to much, today.

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2008 Election, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Hispanics, Voters, Electorate, Endorsements

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