In a huge new endorsement that is sure to be an enormous boost to Barack Obama's presidential campaign in Pennsylvania, Senator Bob Casey threw his support behind Senator Obama. "I really believe that in a time of danger around the world and in division here at home," Casey said at an Obama rally, "Barack Obama can lead us, he can heal us, he can help rebuild America."
Casey's endorsement yesterday is huge because he is an Irish Catholic who is popular with working-class white voters and he won the Senate race in 2006 with 59 percent of the vote. He is the son of a former governor of Pennsylvania and he knows the state well. Casey will travel to some campaign stops with Obama and he intends to help the Illinois Senator navigate his campaign through the complex politics of the Keystone State he knows so well.
Casey became part of the Democratic shift in the Senate in 2006 when he defeated one of the craziest, most extreme right-wingers ever to serve in the U.S. Senate: Rick Santorum. Casey brings his immense knowledge of his home state and his political experience and acumen to the assistance of the Obama campaign. Casey's base in Scranton, thought to be a Hillary Clinton stronghold, will now be more competitive for Obama.
Interestingly, Senator Casey attributed his decision to endorse Obama, in part, to his own children who lobbied their father to do so. I think this is extremely important to see that young people, even the sons and daughters of Senators, are engaged and energized by the Obama campaign. That phenomenon can only be positive for the nation.
This is exciting news for the Obama campaign. Casey is a hero or sorts to many liberals because he successfully ousted Santorum. Just like Jim Webb in Virginia who took out George "Macaca-Boy" Allen, Casey and Webb represent a breath of fresh air among Democrats. (Also, Webb would be an excellent choice as a running mate for Obama in my opinion.)
Senator Casey said of Obama: "I believe in this guy like I've never believed in a candidate in my life." Now THAT'S an endorsement!
This is more great news for the Obama campaign that is now a bandwagon rolling along, that is unstoppable no matter how negative the Clintons want to play it. He's received the endorsement of New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and now Senator Casey, Obama is racking up an impressive record among the so-called super-delegates. Hopefully, John Edwards will endorse Obama on the eve of the North Carolina primary when it will really count.
All this good news for the Obama camp will probably lead James Carville (Mr. Mary Matalin) to call Senator Casey a "Judas" as he did Governor Richardson. But how many more new "Judases" are left in the Democratic Party? This is Obama's year.
Follow Joseph A. Palermo on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JosephPalermo1