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. Kathy

    Republicans who support Obama are really just trying to show McMcain they don't think he's conservative enough–just like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh who said they would support Hillary. In some twisted way, they think that by publicly supporting a Democrat, they make a point with Republicans. It's a big ball of nothing. Come November, you can bet your boots all these Republicans will stand behind their own guy.

    Hillary is NOT out yet–and would be 100% better choice than Obama.

    February 14, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  2. dan agbada

    Senator Chafee, God bless you mightily for endorsing OBAMA. The HOPE shall come to reality by November 08. Democrats call Hillary to accept a VEEPEE position and use her experience to work for USA under OBAMA. "The last debate recall" No more war of words and money lending. United we stand !

    February 14, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  3. Benjanin,BC

    I am not american, but I have been following the democratic primaries closely.The new talk is about the Superdelegates or whatever you call them;Who thought about that crap in the first place? If the democratic party want to keep this type of system,well, I think the party should just appoint their presidential candicate instead of wasting voter's time.Superdelegate is another way to make the lobbyist's favourite get the candidacy,what a shame.

    February 14, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  4. James ( Independent )

    The super delegates are starting to come Obama's way.

    Yes we can

    February 14, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  5. Matt, Chico, CA

    Gorbashov from Long Beach,

    "(D)" is NOT the party of the people, its the party of the crazy lunatic 90% of our state. "party's of the people" dont tax it like crazy and encourage women to kill their kids

    February 14, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  6. Mr. Rod, Golden State

    The best endorsement is the individual voter, but when a Republican, Democrat, or Independent vote opposite of the norm then this brings creditability to the individual they are supporting.

    As an Independent Vet, I endorse Barrack Obama (BO).

    BO knows the American people and America supports BO 08!

    February 14, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  7. Gayron Taylor

    I remember a lot of people blogging about Kennedy helping Obama!

    February 14, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Mari
    Am awfully tired of hearing that the older women are supporting Hillary. I'm 70 and not one of my friends is supporting her. So wherever the information is coming from, I question it's accurary.'m not sure they're getting it right. Actually, it seems the general thought is, if Hillary gets the nomination, the senior gals will vote for McCain!

    February 14, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  9. Tim

    Hillary shold not be the dem candidate because she will lose. People hate her. People that Vote hate her. Obama is not hated. Simple math. If Hillary gets the nomination, the Dems lose. Its as simple as that

    February 14, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  10. Marianne

    Mari
    Am awfully tired of hearing that the older women are supporting Hillary. I'm 70 and not one of my friends is supporting her. So wherever the information is coming from, I question it's accurary.'m not sure they're getting it right. Actually, it seems the general thought is, if Hillary gets the nomination, the senior gals will vote for McCain!

    February 14, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  11. Larry-Kernersville, NC

    Its very uplifting to see what is happening in the Democratic Presidential race. Former Republicans , independents, and Democratic party insiders are now supporting Obama for President. Why? Because they also feel the movement of change that is blowing across the country; and know Obama is the best hope to change the status quo of DC Politics. We hear that Obama has no experience to be ready on day one; but he has convictions, and "one person with convictions is a majority. The movement will soon move to TX and Ohio and the "yes we can change movement" will continue to unite the country.

    February 14, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  12. Craig of Salisbury

    Yes, Obama/Edwards in 2008!

    February 14, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  13. Praetorian, Fort Myers, FL

    The People's Party is what they call it in China?

    Are we that driven to create a socialist society?

    For people who are so educated–Obama's supporters sure seem to have slept through most of History 101 and 102.

    February 14, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  14. shaun

    go obama

    February 14, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  15. Illinois

    We need to focus on the real issues that we are facing as a nation which is the Economy and the Health care crisis.

    HILLARY with her EXPERIENCE can CHANGE our Economy & ALSO our HEALTH CARE CRISIS. We need our Jobs & we need to be able to afford Health Insurance.

    obama is a charmer but IT TAKES MORE THAN CHARM to fix these major issues.

    We really need to rethink the issues & vote for EXPERIECE. we all need our Jobs & homes & Health care.
    Hillary/Edwards!!

    February 14, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  16. helen

    Change. Change.
    You will see change and you'll be crying in two years when you discover that Mr. Change is just a big bag of hot air.

    February 14, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  17. True Democrat

    To White Male:

    Thanks so much for you comments!! There is no need for all of these nasty statements against Hillary. I voted for Obama by the way. Whomever the Democratic Nominee is, I will stand behind him/her. This kind of negative stuff is beyond the Democratic Party!!

    Let's stick together and stand behind the Democrats!!!

    February 14, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  18. American Patriot

    Google The Builderberg Group.
    You will now find out without a doubt who is electing your president, your vote means squat.

    Google the Builderberg Group, I dear you...

    Open your eyes

    February 14, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  19. Matt

    Yet another example of Obama not only doing well with Democrats, but uniting others from different parties. GObama!

    Obama '08!

    February 14, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  20. mike

    every time clinton loses a superdelegate and goes to obama that is a plus 2 for oabma. she had a few go in the undecided last week as well. it is just starting people, we know that superdelegates are more afraisd of clinton than they are for her. but if obama keeps winning and the public opinion is conssistent, then the superdelegates eill follow suit. that is why she is in deep trouble.

    February 14, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  21. John

    I’ve met former Senator Lincoln Chaffee several times and I can tell that although I don’t agree with him on everything, he is the embodiment of what political discourse should be in this country. His endorsement of Senator Obama for President of the United States of America probably largely reflects that he sees Senator Obama as equally representing a politics that unities, and does not seek to divide.

    February 14, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  22. John, an aging Dem

    Obama – I've been waiting 45 years for you son...

    I know he's not Jack Kennedy; but II believe him to be the one true successor to Kennedy’s legacy – a communicator with a positive, inclusive, message of hope and change…

    There is no Camelot – but maybe we've FINALLY got a Presidental Candidate who can bring us to the America we’ve always known we could be?

    February 14, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  23. Randy - Denver

    where did my comment go not even lost in moderation just gone.. thanks I know how it pains you to show well thought out comments here next time I will just say My candidate will grow roses out your butts and yours eats snot.. since that is all the level of intelligence you guys want posted

    February 14, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  24. Kyle the ex-pat

    As a younger person I am easily won over and amazingly inspired by Obama and his hope/change rhetoric. Don't get me wrong, I will happily vote for Hillary if she is the nominee but Obama appeals to me just like Edwards did over Kerry in 04. I have recently been conversing with various persons from my parent's generation who seem to feel that Obama is this generation's Jimmy Carter... an amazing humanitarian but someone who isn't quite made of 'stern enough stuff' to be a successful president. I prefer to think of him more like Bill (a powerful combination of political savvy and serious intelligence) but then again I wasn't around for Jimmy. Any thoughts about the comparison?

    February 14, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  25. American Patriot

    white male

    Go to Youtube and look up END GAME, prepare to se your future.
    Deal with the wrath of slavery that will be placed upon you.

    You will not be able to deny the New World Order.

    Youtube the AntiTerrist, you will see your future under the North American Union as did the people of the EU European Union

    Do it, go wath your future blow away like a fart in the wind

    February 14, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
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