Ed. Note.  The timing of Rockefeller's endorsement was significant as it came when Obama and Clinton were tussling over their national security credentials and less than a week before the primary in neighboring Ohio.

PRESS RELEASE from Obama for America
February 29, 2008


Chairman of Senate Intelligence Committee Says Obama is Right Leader to Meet Nation’s Challenges

CHICAGO, IL – Today, Senator Jay Rockefeller, the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, endorsed Barack Obama for president, citing his judgment on the Iraq war and national security issues, and calling him the right candidate to lead our country during a time of instability at home and abroad.

Senator Rockefeller said, “Today, I’m proud to lend my support and strong endorsement to Barack Obama and his candidacy for President of the United States. Barack Obama is the most qualified person – Democrat or Republican – to lead our country in the face of enormous challenges – the very real threat of terrorism, economic uncertainty, and instability at home and abroad.
“As Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I am all too aware that the threats we face are unconventional.  They are sophisticated.  They are constantly changing and adapting.  And they are very serious. What matters most in the Oval Office is sound judgment and decisive action.  It’s about getting it right on crucial national security questions the first time – and every time.
“The indisputable fact is Barack Obama was right about Iraq when many of us were wrong.  It was a tough call and the single greatest national security question, and mistake, of our time.  Today, we remain a country at war, and countless mistakes over the last six and a half years have made us less safe.  The stakes have never been higher, and that is why we must take a stand.
“I am not just supporting Barack Obama because of his strength on national security.  I am equally proud of his commitment to rebuild America – so that we’re a country of equality and prosperity – where no segment of society is left behind.  I know Barack Obama will fight and win the battle for health care, good paying jobs, and energy security.
“Barack Obama is a uniquely gifted, brilliant and strategic thinker, who genuinely understands the hopes and desires of the American people.  There is nothing sheltered about his life; he’s always had to work hard, and he’s always fought to make his community and his country better.
“A leader like Barack Obama just doesn’t come along very often, and as voters who care passionately about the future of our country, we cannot afford to squander this opportunity.”
Senator Obama said, “Senator Rockefeller’s leadership in the Senate has strengthened our national security and advanced economic opportunity, and I am honored to have his support. Nobody understands the unconventional threats of the 21st century better than Jay Rockefeller, and I look forward to partnering with him as President to strengthen our intelligence community and protect our homeland. Together, we will work to reclaim the American Dream for working families at home, and to restore our security and standing abroad.”

February 29, 2008
Contact: Obama Press Office, 312-819-2423