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Barack Obama has won the presidential endorsement of Sen. John Kerry, the Democrats' 2004 nominee who lost to George W. Bush.
Kerry, a senator from Massachusetts, planned to announce his support Thursday at 11 a.m. EST at a rally at the College of Charleston, said a Democrat familiar with Kerry's decision. The 2004 nominee was to argue that Obama can best unite the country and has the potential to create transformational change, the person said.
Kerry lost the South Carolina Democratic primary in 2004 to John Edwards, the former North Carolina senator who now is running third in the 2008 campaign behind Hillary Rodham Clinton and Obama.
Besides any potential help for Obama, Thursday's endorsement was a slap at Edwards, who was Kerry's running mate in the last election. The two had their differences during the campaign over strategy and spending. In post-mortem interviews, Edwards said he would have been more aggressive in challenging the unsubstantiated allegations of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the Vietnam War veterans who questioned Kerry's military record.
As for Obama, Kerry gave the young Illinois state senator his first turn in the national spotlight when he chose him to deliver the keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Later that year, Obama won election as a U.S. senator.
Kerry himself had considered running for president in 2008, but that plan fizzled with a botched Iraq joke during the close of the elections in 2006. For many Democrats, his words then revived bitter memories of his missteps in 2004, when he lost to Bush.
Since announcing a year ago he would not make the run, Kerry has prodded Democrats to take a stronger anti-war stance, pushing for troop withdrawal deadlines. In another area, he has backed environmental causes, writing a book with his wife on the issue.
This program aired on January 10, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.
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