With one Massachusetts senator throwing his weight into the Democratic presidential race today, anticipation now mounts for the other to follow suit.
Sen. John Kerry announced his support for Sen. Barack Obama at a rally in South Carolina on Thursday. The endorsement came at a bittersweet moment for the Illinois Democrat. While his campaign recovers from an unexpected loss to Sen. Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire primary, Obama has also seen his electoral prospects in Nevada - the next primary state - jump sharply, as a result of the Culinary Union's powerful endorsement.
Kerry's backing added an additional bump to the wave of good news, which Obama's camp hopes will push Clinton's victory out of the news cycle. Aides to Obama are convinced that, logistically, Kerry will prove extremely beneficial to their campaign. "He is still one of the most respected figures in the Democratic Party," one told the Huffington Post. "And he has an email list of three million activistsand donors. So organizationally it will be a boost."
But with Kerry's name now out of the endorsement battle, attention once again turns to Sen. Ted Kennedy, who next to former vice-president Al Gore is the most important Democratic figure yet to enter the primary fray. The liberal lion sits on Senate committees with both Obama and Clinton and has been complimentary of the two - even though Obama once called him out for "getting old." But even as the campaign season heats up, Kennedy, his office claims, does not feel the need to offer a commitment.
"Senator Kennedy has no plans to get involved at this time," Melissa Wagoner, a spokesperson for the Senator told the Huffington Post. "He has very strong relationships with many of these candidates personally, and has a lot of respect for them. Senator Kennedy is enormously pleased with the historic turn out and energy for the Democratic candidates at the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary."