(CNN) - Sen. Robert Byrd, the longest-serving senator in American history, announced Monday he is endorsing Barack Obama's White House bid.
Byrd, 90, has served as West Virginia's senator for nearly fifty years, and is one of the chamber's most vocal critics on the war in Iraq.
"After a great deal of thought, consideration and prayer over the situation in Iraq, I have decided that, as a superdelegate to the Democratic National Convention, I will cast my vote for Senator Barack Obama for President," Byrd said in a statement released by his office. "Both Senators Clinton and Obama are extraordinary individuals, whose integrity, honor, love for this country and strong belief in our Constitution I deeply respect."
"I believe that Barack Obama is a shining young statesman, who possesses the personal temperament and courage necessary to extricate our country from this costly misadventure in Iraq, and to lead our nation at this challenging time in history," Byrd also said. "Barack Obama is a noble-hearted patriot and humble Christian, and he has my full faith and support."
The endorsement is not without symbolism. Byrd was a leader of the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan as a young man and was, along with several southern Democrats, an opponent of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He has since denounced his previous views on racial segregation.
West Virginia's other senator, Jay Rockefeller, endorsed Obama earlier this year. Hillary Clinton carried the state by 41 points last week.
Going against WV voters
Best of luck
We are the voters, We will decide who is our president in November
That was very well put, Senator Byrd!
Hopefully all the ignorant racists in West Virginia can someday learn from his example and change their ways.
The more, the merrier!!! Keep them coming.
Good Luck Mr. Obama and may God Bless you and your family.
And he is carrying his constituants' will?!!
This shows how polititains disrespect the votes and desire of those who are supposed to represent.
Barack is pulling off the con of the century, and you're letting him.
Do any of BO's supporters actually think for themselves, or have you, as it appears, just been mesmerized by an extremely smooth talker.
Wake up! You're about to put the country in the hands of someone who's not ready for such a huge job. I fail to see how black skin will help this guy deal with Iraq, the economy, etc.
And the "change" mantra? It's as if BO's gotten ahold of a "How to Get Elected" for Dummies book and is going chapter by chapter–only he's not the dummy.
This is true confirmation that Barack Obama can and will make a change that will unify people of all kinds in this country.
Susie: Stupid–go back and read the transcript!!!! THis is a great, grand indorsement. Barack had the largest political ralley in history!!! Wake up people!!! THe Nation wants a change!!!! And the republicans are scared to death of him!!! I read everything I can that McCain says and not much makes sense. I used to be a republican–14 years a republican judge. It no longer is the party of Goldwater or Eisenhower! What a shame. Both men today would be democrats. Listen to Stephanie Miller some time on the radio–her father was Goldwaters running mate. The republican party has been captured by rich, greedy corporations who care little for the people who work for them–Bush/McCain are the same!!!!
Wow! It took courage on Senator Byrd's part to endorse Obama. It is clear that not everyone is afraid of change. It is time for us to let go of our fears of other people and race and accept them for who and what they are. Obama is a good candidate. He should be given his due respect for running a solid campaign and restoring hope in America.
What happened to voting for the candidate who won in your state, superdelegates?? Hypocrites – all of you!
Democrats must unite to convince they can convert Republicans into Obamacans.
WOW, WOW, WOW that is Huge!
CHANGE (the fierce urgency of now!!!)
Wow!! This is a big one. Byrd has incredible influence in Congress. Much more relevant than Geraldine Ferrero.
Thank you Senator Byrd. I hope this will send a message to the many Clinton Supporters in West Virginia that don't feel Senator Obama will fail them as President of the United States. I respect the wisdom and change your life represents as well.
He really understands the statesman issue!
PARTY FIRST, PERSONALLITIES SECOND.....
you ask how this represents "change"? Byrd once HATED black people and now he's endorsing Obama! How do you not see change in that?
No sympathy vote for Obama....Wake up people........
i can honestly say, for the first time in my adult life, i'm proud to be an american – © me
the symbolism of this endorsement is HUGE
go figure, not only is he spineless. but now he is endorsed by the KKK. Explain that one to your black brothers and sistas. Nobama you're a joke. And a bad one at that.
Change is a great thing! I believe in America and Americans. If this Statesman can see and accept change, so can I.
This endorsement is even bigger than, that of John Edwards because of the sybolism!
The face of America is changing as we speak. I think if Obama is elected race relations in America would improve tremendously.
Hillary's supporters will not "shut up and go away". We will be more than heard come November. We do not "owe" the democratic a thing. We are not "afraid" to vote for McCain so stop trying your scare tatics about war in Iraq and the men and women who are fighting there. Obama will not get them out any faster than anyone else can. We will do our best to keep Obama out of the White House.
He will never win over Hillary's voters – at least not the ones who know better – and is a lot!!
HILLARY FOR PRESIDENT
the delegates ple up for Obama wednesday morning we will have our nominee