January 11th, 2008
07:17 PM ET
5 years ago

Conservative Democratic senator to endorse Obama

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, a conservative Democrat, will endorse Illinois Sen. Barack Obama for president, two Democratic sources tell CNN.

One of the sources, a Nebraska Democrat, said Nelson decided to back Obama because he “agrees with Obama’s philosophy of ending the partisan divide in Washington.”

Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson endorsed Obama on Thursday.

Nelson’s fellow Nebraskan, former Sen. Bob Kerrey, previously announced his support for New York Sen. Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic nomination.

Nebraska Democrats hold their caucuses on February 9, a potentially important presidential contest if Democrats do not choose their nominee by February 5, otherwise known as “Super Tuesday.”

The sources said the announcement could happen as early as Saturday.

–CNN Political Editor Mark Preston

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Nebraska
soundoff (136 Responses)
  1. Ron, TX

    All these conservative democrats from red-leaning states are endorsing Obama for a reason. A Hillary Clinton presidency, with all its partisan division, will absolutely DOOM democrats in red-leaning states.

    January 11, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  2. Bob, Florida (RFO)

    Go 'Huskers '08!

    Go Obama '08!

    January 11, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  3. CE, Wisconsin, USA

    He is on a roll.

    January 11, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  4. Max, DC

    Just another one jumping on the wagon, trying to position themselves because they think he will win. If they truly believed in him, why did they wait until AFTER the first two voting events? These are just as transparent as any other endorsement.

    January 11, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  5. aware

    Are Republicans really trying to beat the odds or is it a nice gesture for a Republican to endorse a Democrat. Do Republicans think if Obama wins his far left liberal policies will guarantee their return in the second term or do they think he is easier to beat than Hillary? This will be interesting! 🙂

    January 11, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  6. Major Man, Petersburg, VA

    As Tip O'Neill said: "All politics is local"

    Great news! These endorsements matter because they allow the Obama campaign to tap into local volunteers and funding sources.

    Additionally, this week alone three Senators, one Governor, and one Congressman have joined the Obama movement. They are from the east coast, midwest, southwest, and west coast. In contrast, HRC only picked up one new person.

    Obama is clearly the most "electable" democrat. These long-term congresspersons know that.

    I expect him to be endorsed by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and Sen. Mary Landreiu (D-LA) soon!

    January 11, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  7. aware

    Oops! A Conservative not a Republican. That changes the story line but its not as much fun. 🙂

    January 11, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  8. Billg

    Go Obama! A conservative and respected Democrat endorses Obama! Keep it going; many people will be surprised with the amount of support he has among many Democrats. Obama continues to roll – get on the winning team – He is the first to call for change; now both Democrats and Republicans are on the CHANGE BANDWAGON that OBAMA BEGAN. This proves he understands us and knows we want CHANGE! This proves he is a leader with VISION!

    January 11, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  9. Chloe

    A senator who claims he wants to bring about change and end the status quo seems all to happy to parade around endorsements of Capitol Hill's old regime. Why am I not surprised. So much for being the change you wish to see in the world.

    January 11, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  10. Beth

    Got my ticket! All aboard.... This train is picking up steam!

    January 11, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  11. Billg


    Please understand he Obama means what he says; pull all of us together – come on, come on board!

    January 11, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  12. kenneth

    Senato Obama gets an endorsement and it becomes big news. Senator Clinton gets an endorsement and nobody talks about it. Such a double standard. This is not a level playing field for Hilarry and she is still prevailing. That says something about her strength and resilience. Clinton got so many endorsements in the past week but none has been mentioned. Everybody is conspiring against Hillary especially the republicans because they know if barack is nominated, they will easily defeat him. They fear the Clinton political machine because they know what it can do to them. It did it in 1992, evidenced it in NH against all odds. If the democrats really want to take over the white house, let them never make this mistake. They should pay more attention reviewing Obama's voing records as a senator beFORE making their final conclusions.
    GO Hillary! You'll be the next capable president the bring american back at this tough times.

    January 11, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  13. Ryno

    "A senator who claims he wants to bring about change and end the status quo seems all to happy to parade around endorsements of Capitol Hill's old regime. Why am I not surprised. So much for being the change you wish to see in the world."

    If you want to change politics and no one is on board, that would be kind of difficult, no?

    I'm proud, Republican, and voting Obama in the primaries and general election this year.

    January 11, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  14. Patrick

    Chloe, people are joining Obama becasue they believe that he is The One that can lead the party in a new direction, away from the old politics of hate.

    January 11, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  15. veronica

    As I've stated before, these endorsements are really only that person's opinion, just like any one of us. They mean no more than that.
    Hillary has some, Edwards has some, Obama has some, etc.

    I've never seen it make a difference one way or the other to voters..
    Would it make a difference to you, or do you make your own choices?

    January 11, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  16. Dave


    Calm Down; seems Clinton backers have issues with everyone. Part of Clinton's problem is that she was endorsed early on, meaning last year. Even the endorsements she recieved last two weeks are no name endorsements. Soooo, Obama has the BIG MO! Like others, we welcome all – meaning you too...we are open to you my friend. GO OBAMA!

    January 11, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  17. Chris, Wisconsin

    Yeah, Hilary will bring us through hard times. Look at her inital reactions to rough times (i.e. losing to Obama), she lowered herself to insults and sophmoric behavior. Meanwhile, Obama stood there and it took it like a man, reacting with disconcern and he stayed his course.

    We need consistency and dependablilty, two things Obama has been nothing but since this whole thing started. I do not want a President who is going to fly off the handle when another country is upset with his/HER decisions; I want someone who is goind to hear the complaint and react accordingly (Obama).\

    There is one guy for the job and he is BARACK OBAMA!

    January 11, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  18. margaret

    The David of the Goliath story always gets the headlines. That is just the way it is. We did not complain when it benefited President Bill Clinton, we should not complain about it now that it benefits one capable Democrat over the other.

    I am an African-American female in my 40s (a civil rights baby) who thought all the way up until this year I would vote for HIllary (just and only just because of her husband). This was a seriously tough decision in the beginning, but after reviewing both Obama's and HIllary's platforms, they are too similar for me not to vote for who has captured my inspiration. That person is Obama.

    I believe that Hillary is too polarizing of a figure inside Washington and Internationally to really be the best for our country's future. I do respect her, but I simply can't vote for her. She is too connected to Washington.

    My first choice is Obama, but make no mistake, if he does not win the nomination, I will have to completely re-think my position in the general election.

    January 11, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  19. Juan Carlos(Vegas)


    January 11, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  20. John

    Go Obama,you are the best!

    January 11, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  21. Kevin in Oklahoma

    I'm a Democrat. I'm also voting for Hillary Clinton. She's the person who IS real change. If Barack Obama is chosen as the Democratic nominee, as hard as it will be, I'll vote for a Republican. I can not, and will not, support Barack Obama, who only talks of change. I'm so sick of seeing people just jumping on the Barack Obama bandwagon, without examining who they are really voting for. I know many Democrats, who will not support him, and if he is the Democratic nominee, they will vote for a Republican. I think that says alot.

    However, if people would actually listen to Hillary Clinton, study her career, and find out about where she stands on the issues that are facing all of us, you'll find a person who does understand, and has the ability to bring about the change we all need. Barack Obama does not. Think about that.

    January 11, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  22. J

    don't some of you people realize that ALL the candidates NEED endorsements to win? they get superdelegates ( along with the pledged delegates the earn by "winning" a state) who then VOTE for them at the convention. IN ORDER TO WIN THEY HAVE TO HAVE ENDORSEMENTS. these governors, senators, congressmen and women, etc all get a vote at the convention. do your homework or you look like an idiot.

    January 11, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  23. Alex, st paul MN

    There you go this gives me hope to think that there people with the right attitude and read for the change that is happening for America!!!!!!!! GO Barack we love you and no matter what we, the people of America, who love our country will be 100% behind you. When you have all the of us behind you, you can afford to be nice, to run positive campaing ever in American political history and most of all bright the people together for the common porpose!

    No more Drama,
    Vot for Obama!
    Meaza, MN

    January 11, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  24. mike

    kenneth- Senator Clinton has every PAC corp. in the democratic party behind her and they are all afraid that they will lose power. Having said that, it is Obama that is more the underdog because he is taking on everybody and there mother who loves to make money... Comprende

    January 11, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  25. jane

    Let's not forget that Bill Bradley has also given Senator Barack Obama his endorsement! GO OBAMA! Billary will never win because she is such a polarizing figure and has too many lies and scandals the public is aware of. The Independents are going with Obama and half the Democrats hate Hillary and her crocodile tears and fake southern dialect when she visits a southern state, so they are voting Obama or are voting Republican.
    It's Obama or McCain 2008!

    January 11, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
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