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Hoosier Hospitality: Lee Hamilton endorses Barack Obama

Hillary Clinton earned the early support of many in the Democratic Party establishment within Indiana, but former Rep. Lee Hamilton was a notable name that had up until today refused to take sides in the presidential primary.

He's neutral no more, though, and announced his support of Sen. Barack Obama this morning in Indianapolis:

Hamilton is the highest-profile Indiana Democrat to back Obama before the state’s May 6 primary. Sen. Evan Bayh and the bulk of Indiana’s Democratic Party leadership have campaigned actively for Clinton in a state where neither candidate is regarded as a natural front-runner.

Hamilton, once mentioned as a possible running mate for Bill Clinton, told the AP he believed Obama was the candidate most likely to unite the country.

“I begin by asking myself what kind of leadership the country needs at this juncture and I think, for me at least, the answer is that you want a candidate that will try to bring together a country that is very evenly divided, a country in which partisanship has been very sharp and to try to get a candidate who will create a new sense of national unity and will try to transcend the divisions within the country,” he said.

A member of the 9/11 Commission and the Iraq Study Group, Hamilton was quick to tout Obama's foreign policy expertise:

“His foreign policy is pragmatic, visionary, and tough. Barack Obama understands the urgent need for American leadership in confronting many of the challenges ahead, first and foremost defending the safety and security of the American people. He will work with our friends and allies. Obama will strengthen our ability to use all the tools of American power, and relentlessly promote the American values of freedom and justice for all people.

Posted by: Thomas


just proves that ol' Lee really is senile.

I doubt any of the Congressmen - Donnelly, Ellsworth, Hill or Carson will come out before May 6th. They are pretty cautious guys.

I have always admired Lee Hamilton. I grew up in Columbus, IN (a republican haven, like most of the donut around Indy) and was always amazed by his character and knowledge. I was already in the Obama camp before this,but this is huge,as most people in the ninth will listen to Hamilton's words and forget about Hillary. Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton is a little too much like royalty to me and I want new blood, new ideas, proactive instead of reactive on social issues. I look at my two children and know that an Obama presidency will be good for them in 20 years. I think Bill coming to the ninth today was about Baron Hill and his super delegate status. I also heard Hillary is in some severe debt and is staying in the race to raise more money so she wont have to owe as much after she drops out. Any takers on that one? I also feel that Obama, when push comes to shove, will be able to do some pushing and shoving on his own. He seems strong enough to me, go Obama!

I hope people outside of the 9th District realize how big of an endorsement and how huge of an impact this will have on some of the longstanding Democrats in the district.

Baron Hill to follow?

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