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Presidential endorsements pile up, especially for Obama

February 1, 2008 |  8:22 pm

Barackkareem_2 A busy day for political endorsements today, especially for Sen. Barack Obama, not even counting the choices announced by the Editorial Board of The Times.

As if to counter the previous endorsement of Hillary Clinton by Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar went with Obama "because he has the ability to reach out to people who disagree and effectively build bridges."

The 650,000-member California Service Employees International Union, which had endorsed former candidate John Edwards, switched over to Obama, saying....

"he best advances our vision for a new America united in hope."

The Transport Workers Union of America, which the Ticket had reported was leaning toward Obama, endorsed him today. It has some 50,000 members heavily concentrated in Super Tuesday states, including Clinton's home state of New York.

The political action members of MoveOn.org voted overwhelmingly to endorse Obama, 70.4% to 29.6%. Eli Pariser, the group's executive director, said, "The enormity of the challenges requires someone who knows how to inspire millions to get involved to change the direction of our country, and someone who will be willing to change business as usual in Washington."

MoveOn has 1.7 million members in Super Tuesday states, his statement said. And, perhaps more importantly, earlier this week in a major move, Hulk Hogan, the wrestling star who's so good at ripping off his T-shirt, announced he favored Obama.

But Clinton wasn't totally blanked today. She won the announced support of L.A. County Board of Supervisors member Gloria Molina, the first Latina elected to that board. Molina called the New York senator "the best presidential candidate for the unbelievably challenging times we are living" and predicted she would fight for working families.

Additionally, the Denver Post came out today in favor of Clinton. It said, "Clinton's long record in public life shows her well prepared to deal with two of America's greatest challenges: ending the war in Iraq and solving our health insurance crisis."

On the Republican side, the Denver paper picked former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney who, it said, "possesses the executive acumen necessary to implement policies that produce results. Wouldn't that be a strange change in Washington?"

Longtime Rudy Giuliani ally and former Solicitor General Theodore Olson switched his endorsement to Sen. John McCain.

And New York Rep. Charles Rangel, a major booster of Clinton, watched today as his own wife, Alma, came out in favor of Obama. “I believe Barack Obama has the ability to unify this country," she said, "and the character to stand up for what’s right instead of what’s popular."

Now, one other thing about The Times endorsement editorials. One endorsed Obama. The other McCain. It's true they mentioned every single remaining candidate for the major parties' nominations except for one, Ron Paul. Like the endorsement editorials of several major newspapers, the 72-year-old representative's name went unnoted, despite his frequently finishing higher in some states than better-known candidate Giuliani, including a second-place finish in the Nevada caucuses.

This widespread omission will be widely interpreted by his thousands of fervent followers as part of a vast mainstream media corporate conspiracy to quell his strict constitutionalist rebellion by not mentioning him, omitting his name from polls, barring him from debates and affording him the least time to speak when he is admitted -- despite his having raised more money from donors in the fourth quarter of 2007 than any other Republican.

The Ticket inquired why Paul was not mentioned in The Times editorial that endorsed McCain. And the editorial page editor, Jim Newton, said he would let the editorial speak for itself. Here it is in case you can find the reason in it.

--Andrew Malcolm

                                                       Photo by Tiffany Koury©Berliner Studio

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