Iowa’s governor is endorsing Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. "It’s clear that the American people are hungry for change. They’re looking for a president who can push back on the special interests, who has the courage of their convictions to do the right thing for ordinary Americans and Senator Obama has demonstrated for more than 20 years this unique ability to stand up for ordinary Americans, to bring people together," Governor Chet Culver said during a telephone interview with Radio Iowa this afternoon.
Some Democrats have voiced concerns that having Hillary Clinton as the party’s presidential nominee would mean a bitter fight to the finish in November. Culver makes no mention of Clinton in his endorsement of her rival, but Culver does make it clear that he considers Obama a uniter rather than a divider. "I really believe that he can unite our party and his administration will unite the country," Culver said.
Culver stayed neutral in the run-up to Iowa’s Caucuses, which were held over a month ago, but Culver’s wife, Mari, publicly backed John Edwards. Chet Culver’s endorsement is timed so that it comes just before voters in Nebraska and Wisconsin will go to the polls and make their presidential picks. "I have great admiration and respect for all the presidential candidates on both sides. I really do, but I really felt that this was the best time," Culver said.
Culver refers to the results of the Iowa Caucuses, which Obama won. "Iowans have spoken and I now, as one of the party leaders, feel compelled to speak out and share my personal decision with Iowans and also with fellow Midwesterners," Culver said.
Culver is set to campaign with Obama in Omaha tonight and plans to make a trip to Wisconsin on Obama’s behalf. "There’s a lot at stake here and most importantly I think that Senator Obama’s candidacy will unite us as a Democratic Party and his administration will unite us as a country," Culver said.
One of Obama’s highest-profile endorsements came when Senator Ted Kennedy endorsed him. Culver’s family has deep connections to the Kennedys as Culver’s father, John, played football with Teddy Kennedy at Harvard, then the senior Culver went to work in Kennedy’s senate office after graduating from Harvard. But according to the younger Culver, Ted Kennedy never talked with him to lobby him to support Obama.