Leahy, Welch endorse Barack Obama

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(Host) Senator Patrick Leahy says he’s supporting Barack Obama’s campaign for president.

Leahy announced his endorsement of the Illinois senator during a telephone conference call this morning.

Leahy says Obama will be able to restore American prestige around the world and a sense of optimism at home.

(Leahy) “Barack Obama represents the America we once were and want to be again, leading with hope and opening the doors of opportunity to everyone, realizing the potential of our great nation for its citizens, but also as a leader of the free world.”

(Host) Leahy says his support of Obama is not intended as a judgment of Hillary Clinton or John Edwards, with whom he also has served in the Senate.

Leahy says he believes Obama is best qualified to rekindle respect and enthusiasm for American leadership.

(Leahy) “I’ve come to this conclusion not out of disrespect for the other two candidates in the race, but out of a very strong feeling that Senator Obama would be best to do that.”

(Host) Other prominent Democrats in Vermont have thrown their support to different candidates. House Speaker Gaye Symington endorsed Clinton earlier this fall. Former Governor Madeleine Kunin also supports Clinton.

Leahy noted that his own son, Kevin, supports Edwards and worked on the former senator’s New Hampshire campaign.

Congressman Peter Welch also announced yesterday that’s he’s endorsing Barack Obama. Welch says Obama’s campaign and his personal journey are helping the country reach across a partisan divide and renewing a sense of hope and possibility.

Obama says he’s grateful to the support from both Vermont politicians.


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