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. Trang, Fremont CA

    We have no desire to see the Clinton political machine nor the Republican political machine. They have done enough destruction to this country. They both will go down if they don't learn how to come together or to turn down their rhetoric.

    January 12, 2008 04:11 am at 4:11 am |
  2. steve

    obama is the man come nov

    January 12, 2008 04:34 am at 4:34 am |
  3. SecondSage

    This is a perfect storm. Nominate Obama it's sexism, nominate Clinton it's racism. I'm leaning towards Obama but I agree the media is out to beat Clinton. She is not lacking in coverage, however. This is the most exiting race since 88 when Duke and Jesse was going blow for blow.

    As a black man I would like to see all the racial talk subside. Jesse Jr, should be quiet. Wait a minute, he's a key member of Obama's team, nevermind he can talk.

    Michael Eric Dyson shut your mouth. Same goes with Jesse Sr and Sharpton. This campaign was going perfect when it wasn't a black white issue. Let HRC play the sex card, Obama is working wonders with the high road. These endorsements are the result of that. The Kerry endorsement scared me but AZ and Nebraska are serving just fine.

    January 12, 2008 04:48 am at 4:48 am |
  4. Jing

    Obama's consistent message of ending partisanship is attracting leaders from all sides of politics, including many independents and republicans. He has more experience that his opponents 'd like to acknowledge. His character and judgement is refreshing. If we want a clean break away from the dirty past, we need a fresh vision to move this country forward. Even Hillary Clinton is picking up his message, as she's talking about change like never before. How can you say Obama is not for president?

    January 12, 2008 05:06 am at 5:06 am |
  5. richard

    A few facts– Obama voted to continue to fund the war. (undereported) Louis Faraquan who was given an award from the reverend Wright of Obamas church has endorsed him.(undereported) The Obama camp has refered to Hillary as an Ice queen. The Obama camp declared she used racial code words after she won in NH. I could go on and on. And suddenly the word "fairytale" a racial slur. Give me a break the more I hear the more I cant stand.

    January 12, 2008 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  6. Californian

    Lots of Dem. senators like Nelson and Kerry are jumping on the lets compromise bandwagon with Obama. What's new about that? That is current democratic behavior in Washington. That is what Obama wants to continue doing. The Pelosi style hands off the other guys maybe we can compromise with them politics of now. That is exactly why nothing has changed in Washington this year. All the dems are have been compromising and all the Republicans have stayed exactly where they always are, tails to trunk together, not one inch of movement away from their leaders. That is the problem with all this lets work together campaigning. We can wish until you know where freezes that all our people will come together for compromise. What part are giving up to make the other side say Yes? We've lost our separation of powers, privacy, right to habias corpus, right to no unlawful searches and seizures and many, many other rights too. The fact is that the Republicans have no problem with any of that and neither do Dems like Lieberman and Obama. So as Obama runs around planning his future meetings and compromises with a side that never gives up anything we all lose the important stuff. Give me a candidate who knows what has to be put back in place and will not compromise on it. Save the heal the split stuff for a time when the wounds to our system of government, constitution, and economy have been treated first, then we can all sit down and talk about how we can agree in the future to a system that includes all kinds of compromises.

    January 12, 2008 05:53 am at 5:53 am |
  7. Mends

    Senator Obama will be making history in American politics not because he is black. He will certainly perform wonders for America and the rest of the world. Let us all support him because he represents future of the country and the world. Obama will surely be in the White House.

    January 12, 2008 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  8. Mac in Nova Scotia

    Obama is exciting because he gives us hope that America will re-gain the respect of other countries. It saddens me to see some of the hateful messages in these blogs, but then I look at the poor grammar and spelling and think that this underlines the need for education in the U.S.A.
    The Clintons seem to think that the Presidency is owed to them. I hope that the voters realize that Obama or McCain would be good choices to bring America back to being the most loved and respected country in the free world.

    January 12, 2008 06:55 am at 6:55 am |






    January 12, 2008 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  10. Dave


    You are wrong! We accept all endorsements, we all want change, and we want ALL Democratics, Republicans, and Independents to come on board. If he did not accept some people then it would be against what we stand for – INCLUSION OF ALL PEOPLE – come on, if he did not accept some people it would only justify to people who think like you that he is not part of change. You cannot have both ways. We want you too. Come on board the OBAMA CHANGE WAVE. OBAMA 08!

    January 12, 2008 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  11. John Snow

    I think some of these people are using corn distilates for something other than powering their motor vehicles.

    January 12, 2008 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  12. EE

    Here is the truth guys,Hillary is the biggest drawback to senate dems , why?

    She is the best thing to energize the republican base
    She all the times talks of right wing left wing, a thing that divides that unites
    She's such a persona changing person that you dont know who she'll be next
    She doesnt connect with voters
    She is a very good person but the truth is she hasnt got that americans are tired of hardball politics , people want a break from politics as usual, they want something real.

    January 12, 2008 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  13. Teddy, ND, IN

    Why are people arguing that Obama cannot be for change and accept endorsements? Would you please learn more about the process and realize that he needs the endorsements to win the presidency, to raise more money, and to get more help with the campaigning. There are only old time politicians left on the HILL. Hillary is part of the old time politicians. Of her years in public service that she is counting 8 of those were spent as a wife. How tell me how many of your wives would be allowed to count the years of being married to you as years of job experience on their resume. Hillary is a sham and need to leave the race. Obama/Gore '08 or Obama/Edwards '08 or Obama/Hillary '08 but the key is Obama as president in '08.

    January 12, 2008 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  14. Michael

    In a country that boasts of so much...a country that boasts of being #1 it's really sad the levels some of it's citizens would stoop to (name slandering, unfounded rumours...all in the name of politics). Obama is inexperienced? Clinton has 35 years experience? Have you bothered to ask 35 years of doing WHAT? She clearly had no say during Bill's presidency. Could one Hillary supporter just mention one thing she's done that has tendered to the poor or low income earners...Her Economic stimulus yesterday was a joke...HOW ARE WE GOING TO FUND IT? let me guess...print more money or raise taxes...don't be fooled by the last name ...she is not Bill and will never be Bill!

    I won't be voting in the coming elections but all the yakking tires me... What this country needs is someone who can unite it! We'll be in even deeper mess if after this election we have a polarizing President who is incapable of working with his/her opposition...Bill Clintons charm afforded him some successes in this area...Hillary has NONE!

    January 12, 2008 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  15. Larry Buchas, New Britain, CT

    These endorsements are trying to tell you head in the sand bloggers one important fact.

    Obama is electable; Hillary is not.

    We found that out with Ned Lamont running against Joe Lieberman. Lamont, bless his heart, could not capture independents. And the Republicans voted for Lieberman over the Republican nominee.

    50% of the country will not vote for Hillary. That leaves about 44-47% for Hillary and the rest for Bloomburg or someone else. You better think twice before you enter the voting booth.

    January 12, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  16. Navy

    I'm military and Republican. I'm voting for Obama. It is time to put an end to the politics of old... dirty tricks, half truths or hidding the truth. There are those trying to make this election about race vs gender, old vs new, experience vs hope. This election is really about our need to come together and get things done.

    Ms. Clinton / Bill Clinton will never able to bring this country together. Mr. Obama can. I'm willing to cross political lines to work with him on this change. I guess in itself, my willingness to vote and work with him represents a change...Maybe this is the true definition of the change that we are talking about. It's a big change: the change that we need. Look folks we need to work together...this is not a game. This is about the future of our nation. I am not willing to give up on hope. Hope is the engine that drives the American experience, the American dream.

    January 12, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  17. Ryan in VA

    I just think it is funny that so many people want to slam on Obama for getting endorsements. Are you so naive you dont realize how the nomination process works? These are superdelegates. Superdelegates comprise some 30% of the total delegates in the convention. between congressional members and governors they make up almost 8% of the delegates awarded at the Democratic convention. In a tight race any vote makes a difference and I do not see anyone slamming on Hillary for the endorsements she receives. It is just those who are upset she can only win an endorsement in a solidly Democratic area whereas Barack is earning support among red state Dems (Nebraska, S. Dakota, N. Dakota, etc) and even gaining some extremely impressive compliments from the REBUPLICAN governor of South Carolina (if anyone says this is a ploy by the Repubs to nominate someone they know they can beat they are hopeless and do not have the ability to change). Also, to you Oklahoma guy up there, if Hillary won the nomination I would pray that Bloomberg ran so I could vote for him and I didn't have to be in the difficult position of voting for another Clinton and the Republican...sad thing is, I would vote for Huckabee over Clinton and I cannot stand the evangelical movement in American politics because I believe in the separation of church and state. But I cannot stand Hillary even more.

    January 12, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  18. Jack K.

    Conservative Democrat??

    January 12, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  19. Pam, MI

    Hilary has my vote. obama has ignored all of us in michigan because we changed our primary date. If that isn't a slap in the face, I don't know what is. If he wins the primary I'll probably vote republician and I've never done that before.

    January 12, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  20. Greg OH

    Veronica, you always post negative comments on Obama. Do you work for Hillary's Campaign because you use her talking points all the time?

    Obama making people people that would not usually vote for a Democrat to want to vote for one because they believe he can change this country.

    My parents mostly always vote for Republicans and they actually told me that their vote will go to Obama because they feel politics can finally change. They are conservative and don't agree with all his views but they believe in him. They have felt like the Republicans and the Democrats just fight and no nothing, but they actually have hope AND believe Obama will help end that since they have since his experience to do so (meaning many bills together with John McCain and other Republicans)

    Veronica and the other Hillary supporters, do you want to turn off voters like my parents? They are willing to go over their party lines for change, Obama has this power on people not seen since JFK.

    January 12, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  21. Jack K.

    Veronica-you hit the nail on the head!!!

    The DLC has weighed the odds–and is hinging bets on Obama for the General Election.

    But in states where only Democrats can vote in the Primaries–John Edwards is swinging a strong majority from what I've seen.

    This is bad judgement. The DEM leaders want to "hold on" to the big money rolling into the party from the liberal, social focused, healthcare, and legal special interest groups. They are rolling in money!!!

    John Edwards–is sure to end the "pay day" from the big rollers and he has the entire party leadership shivering in their boots.

    His grassroots success–and coming in 2nd ins Iowa against Hillary–has the entire DLC working at odds towards ending his flame...in hopes of Obama and Clinton maintaining the "staus qou" with the big special interest money.

    They don't want change.

    As President–John Edwards is the only candidate–that can not only make the White House fall in line with a "new way of doing business"–as the de facto leader of the DEM Party as President–he can push for some meaningful change there too!! And they are scared.

    Don't be mislead. If you're a centrist–who would like to see some real change in Washington and not lip service–vote Edwards.

    January 12, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  22. Robert A. Hunter Jr.

    Hillary supporters have a lot venom in their post. Their is a blatant difference between Baracks supporters posts and Clinton supporters. If Hillary had gotten these same endorsements the clinton supporters would be happier than Richard Simmons at Studio 54 in the late 70's. I'm not sure who I'm going to vote for but just judging by the post of each candidates supporters the Clinton supporters seem a lot more desperate and angry. Barack has led more of a clean campaign. No mud slinging, no "fairytale"comments. Hillary is coming off as stale politics and Barack is frankly a lot more refreshing. We've got a long race ahead us but right now Barack is CLEARLY running a more respectable, refreshing and honest campaign.

    January 12, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  23. jjwv

    What shocks me the most is that Kerry is backing Obama. If Hillary wasn't in the race, I would vote for John Edwards. Where does Kerrys loyaties lie. He was you running mate. And I cant believe that Obama(who is about change and doesn't like senators who have experience) all of a sudden is trying to get there support. I think he is scared. HILLARY ALL THE WAY TO THE WHITE HOUSE!!!!!!!

    January 12, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  24. Dre Atlanta

    I think Obama will be a good President for the American people not just for African American I feel he's for all American. Let stop throwing race cards. I am African American all my life I have voted for a president and I didnt look at the canidate as a white canidate I look at that person who can do a good job. I was going to vote for Hillary now I am going to vote for obama because he believe in changes American as a better country that we all American. You know what I voted for Clinton for president and I didnt look at him as a white canidate I knew he can do the job. All American let get behind Obama and vote for him because he can bring all American together. If Hillary win democrate nominee for the general election I would vote for her because I am sticking behind my party as a Demoncrate. But as of now I am voting for Obama.

    January 12, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  25. jw, canadian,ok

    What in the name of Elmer Fudd is a conservative Democrat?

    January 12, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
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