Strange Bedfellows (Seattle P-I political blog):
Rep. Jim McDermott on Thursday became the fourth U.S. House member from Washington to endorse Barack Obama for president. Howie P.S.:
The Seattle Congressman told the P-I's Joel Connelly that Obama is his pick because "I am confident as president he will end the war in Iraq and bring our sons and daughters home."
McDermott has represented Seattle for 19 years and is one of the more liberal voices in the Democrats' 235-member House caucus. He is the last House member from this state to declare his support for a presidential candidate.
McDermott joins at least four other Washington "superdelegates" who have endorsed Obama in the race for the Democratic nomination: Gov. Chris Gregoire; Reps. Rick Larsen, Adam Smith and Brian Baird; and Pat Notter, a member of the Democratic National Committee.
Sen. Hillary Clinton has the support of five of the state's superdelegates, including Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, Reps. Norm Dicks and Jay Inslee, and King County Executive Ron Sims.
Obama won Washington's caucuses earlier this year.
Ex-President Bill Clinton staged a fundraiser in Seattle in the fall of 2006 to help McDermott pay legal bills from his long-standing civil litigation battle with GOP House Minority Leader John Boehner, which McDermott eventually lost. McDermott said Thursday he had repeatedly tried, without success, to reach Hillary Clinton to tell her he was endorsing Obama.
McDermott was elected to the Washington Legislature in 1970 from a district that included the University of Washingotn. McDermott said he has been greatly impressed by Obama's appeal to young people.
"They have not only shown up, but they have stayed involved in the whole thing (campaign)," McDermott said.
While endorsing Obama, McDermott said he does not envy the the challenges that America'as 44th president will face. "The situation is that the country is in such peril. That he can give hope and get people working," but he added that "tough changes are in order in order to lift the country out of a stalemated war."
"If you look down the list of problems he's going to catch a connonball in the chest when he''s in the White House," McDermott argued.
McDermott said he's still fearful that the Bush Administration will manufacture a crisis with Iran as a way of reigniting voter fears of the Democrats' ability to handle security issues. Obama won Washington's caucuses earlier this year.
It is tempting to connect McDermott's tardiness with Bubba's help with Jim's legal problems.Barack Obama
Labels: barack obama, jim mcdermott