February 14th, 2008
11:45 AM ET
10 years ago

Former Rhode Island senator endorses Obama

(CNN) – Lincoln Chafee, a former Republican senator from Rhode Island, announced his endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama Thursday.

Chafee, who became an Independent after losing his U.S. Senate seat to Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse in 2006, told reporters he intends to vote for Obama in Rhode Island’s Democratic primary on March 4.

"I believe Senator Obama is the best candidate to restore American credibility, to restore our confidence to be moral and just, and to bring people together to solve the complex issues such as the economy, the environment and global stability," Chafee said.

Chafee served in the U.S. Senate as a Republican beginning in 1999 after being appointed to the seat previously held by his father John Chafee, who represented Rhode Island in the Senate from 1977-1999. Lincoln Chafee was elected to his father’s Senate seat in 2000 but lost a re-election bid in 2006. In 2007 Lincoln Chafee became an Independent.  Chafee is currently a Visiting Fellow at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies.

While serving in the Senate, he was known for his liberal views and for his opposition to the war in Iraq – a position he shares with Sen. Obama.

–CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart

soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. suzy

    Is Obama a Democrat or a Republican?????

    February 14, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  2. Liz

    From the right to the center to the far left. How does that make him an expert on credibility?

    February 14, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  3. Republicrat

    Is he a superdelegate I wonder?

    February 14, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  4. MEGO

    OBAMA-CAN!... is what he IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 14, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. Jeanine G

    My husband has also become an Obamacan.

    That is why the Republican Party wants Hillary on the ticket.

    Obama is attracting Republicans and Independants, the way Reagan attracted Reagan Democrats, and in a race against McCain and his stodgy unpopularity in his own party, he can't claim to be the Change Merchant if Obama is the candidate.

    Only if Hillary is the nominee will Democratic voting fall off dramatically & Republicans galvanize, even behind McCain, before they will ever flock to Hillary.

    February 14, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  6. Ann

    Thats great..

    February 14, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  7. j gannon

    Smart man!!

    February 14, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  8. white male

    Endorsements as we have seen, do nothing. I really hope that Obama can win the General election because it looks like he wil be our parties nominee. However, anyone who thinks that that debate Add is "negative" is in for a big surprise in November. Which is the part that scares me most about Obama not that he can't take the heat, it's that his supposed independent & cross over supporters will run for the hills once they find out what his positions are. In addition why do most of the Obama supporters on these blogs express such venom and hate for Hillary, you sound like the conservative right. You have bought into the misleading, false & derogatory things the GOP has been spinning for the last 15 years about the Clintons. The very things most of you say wont effect senetor Obama. Don't you understand if it was'nt for people like Bill & Hillary Clintons service in public life for the last 30 years Obama would not even have this opportunity.
    If it really is all about the new politics of HOPE & INCLUSION then why all the HATE & CONDEMNATION!

    Just A Thought, Go DEMOCRATS IN 08

    February 14, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  9. John

    YES WE CAN!!


    February 14, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  10. Blake in Brooklyn

    It is funny how Obama talks about changing Washington, but then he picks up all these endorsements by these deeply entrenched political dynasties. Why doen't the news cover that? Lincoln Chaffee, are we talking about the father or the son here, I get confused about which one is making the endorsement.

    February 14, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  11. Danny

    Thanks Senator and Obama will win in Rhode Island.

    February 14, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  12. John in Columbus, OH

    Everyday Obama gains more voters that used to be Clinton. It doesn't go the other way. He is the very picture of leadership, the main quality of a Leader. Clinton would make a good micro-manager head of a federal agency. Obama should put her in charge of Health and Human Services. That's where her "experience" is.

    Ohio, especially Columbus, is going to Obama.

    Btw, the Quinnipac-poll that had Clinton ahead by double-digits was done before the Potomac Primary Sweeps, and it only surveyed likely voters, demographics Clinton was supposedly stronger in. Alot has changed since then...and alot will change before March 4th.

    February 14, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  13. Kevin

    Did you know that Ohio's governer and ex-senator endorsed Clinton?

    February 14, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  14. Lucas, Columbia, SC

    That is a good nod. Chafee was a voice of reason in the Senate, a worker for bipartisan solutions.

    February 14, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  15. Lewis

    If you checked on the math yesterday by CNN. If Obama wins in both Wisconsin and Hawaai and other small states and remains competitive in Ohio and Texas it will be impossible for Clinton to beat him. As it looks now Clinton is going to be embarrased the way Guliani was. He banked on big States hoping McCain and the rest will keep winning but when it comes to the bigger states like Florida his momentum could have picked up. Whats happening is Clinton is banking on only two states now Ohio and Texas. Obama remains very competitive in Ohio and with the wave thats going on he will most likely win Ohio. If he wins Ohio Clinton is done and Obama becomes the direct nominee. March 4th will be another Obama talk and how clinton ran a bad campaign.

    Obama 08

    February 14, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  16. Gypsee

    Yesss, Obama will take Texas.....Those people are smarter than she thinks they are. You said meet you in Texas. The movement is coming and we the American people are with him. He will not be setting on the stage alone.
    Obama 08

    February 14, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  17. John

    Clinton fans...wonder why these guys are flocking to Obama. I know why.....CHANGE BABY
    Clinton is the same old washington and I am tired of it.

    February 14, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  18. Gorbashov, Long Beach, Ca.

    Another Republican/Independent for Obama.

    He not only can unite the The Peoples Party (D) he can unite the country.

    Obama/Edwards in 2008!

    February 14, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  19. Peter Obama08!

    I am in Canada , but I have been following the campaign trail everyday. I like the way you partray the campaign.
    thank you Cnn.
    Yes we can, am not surprised that he is endorsed by every change advocates.
    Thank you and please keep doing what you doing. God Bless youall.

    February 14, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  20. Jim in FL

    Lincoln must have read the latest Rasmussen 2/14/08:

    Democratic Presidential Nomination: Today’s results show Obama earning support from 49% of Likely Democratic Primary Voters while Clinton attracts 37%.

    In General Election match-ups: Obama leads John McCain 46% to 42% while McCain leads Clinton 48% to 41%.

    February 14, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  21. Josh

    I agree with Chafee's statement. It's going to happen. Obama '08!!

    February 14, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  22. Cuacus = Peer pressure fest!

    Meaningless endorsment from a past senator. Hillary holds a sizable lead in current polls. RH is her state come March 4th. I'm gettng really sick and tired of the press and people bringing up a senate vote that only she was actually a part of. To say Obama opposed the war is pointless. Would he have if he was a member of the senate with the information privy to a U.S. Senator in front of him? I don't know and neither do any of his supporters. It's easy to preach from the wayside. Did Obama supporters ever think that the reason he comes off so clean is because he never takes a stand on controversial issues and has played it safe through out his political career. Why? Because he doesn't want anything to jeapardize potential votes. I couldn't respect someone who shows no courage much less support that person in a bid for top spot in the country.

    February 14, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  23. Kathryn Irby - Metairie, LA

    So do I, as well as thousands of other Americans!!!

    Kathryn Irby
    Metairie, LA

    February 14, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  24. Karen

    HEY CNN,

    Why did you shut down the blog about the disaster with Michigan and Florida?????? WE (Democrats) NEED TO DO SOMETHING TO FIX THIS NOW, NOT IN THE SUMMER WHEN IT IS TOO LATE. Are we going to have a replay of 2000, where our election is stolen away. CALLING ALL DEMOCRATS, CALL THE DNC TO FIX WHAT THEY SCREWED UP IMMEDIATELY, NOT WHEN IT IS TOO LATE. Hello People this is effecting the outcome of this election.

    February 14, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  25. Billy Sayles

    The democrats will lose the white house again. Thanks to the black Ralph Nader.

    February 14, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
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