The endorsement brings the total number of superdelegates to endorse Barack Obama to 253. Senator Obama is 279 delegates away from securing the Democratic nomination.
His statement is below:
“It is with a great sense of pride and confidence in his leadership that I am delighted to publicly endorse Senator Barack Obama and pledge my support to him as former National Democratic Chairman and as a superdelegate. Senator Obama is the one candidate who has and will continue to expand the electorate beyond the traditional Democratic party base and bring young and new and Independent voters to the Democratic banner in November, an essential ingredient to a Democratic victory.
“Throughout his life and public career, has fought the tough fights to advance the quality of life of the working families of Illinois, not with election year gimmicks like the gas tax holiday espoused by others, but by hard headed, common sense solutions, and that’s what he will do as President of the United States.
“America never turns back. America always marches forward to seize the future. 8 of 10 Americans believe their country is on the wrong track. Senator Obama is the one candidate who, in the best tradition of American history, will not take us back but will lead us to a new future.
“Senator Obama is the one candidate best able to quickly restore America’s respect and reputation globally. Senator Obama is the one candidate best able to set the tone at the top for the unity and reconciliation needed in this country, to bring us together, to define our common goals and to provide the inspiration to move us forward.
“After the attention paid to the poisonous and polarizing diatribe of recent days, Senator Obama’s clear and compelling message which appeals to our best instincts as Americans is more important than ever. For all these reasons, I heartily endorse Senator Obama and hope my colleagues will do the same.”