CNS – Amid cheers at a City Hall rally, six Southland leaders endorsed Democratic Illinois Sen. Barack Obama Jan. 9, saying he is the only presidential candidate who will unite voters.
Obama, who placed second in the New Hampshire primary behind Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, picked up the support of Rep. Adam Schiff, D- Pasadena; former Rep. Mel Levine; Assemblyman Ted Lieu, D-El Segundo; Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks; West Hollywood Mayor John Duran and Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke.
“This week, we have seen change in America. We have seen a total reestablishment of the belief of the American people in the electoral and political processes,” Burke said.
“We have seen the young people who believed there was no place for them in elections or government or politics. They (now) believe there is a place for them.”
The California primary election will be held Feb. 5. In preparation for that vote, Obama supporters have called 350,000 permanent absentee voters to rally support, said Buffy Wicks, Obama’s California field director.
The campaign expects to place 15,000 phone calls a day until the primary.
“Sen. Obama has one of the most inclusive campaigns in history,” Lieu said. “Whether you have oval eyes or slanted eyes, whether you’re a black, white, brown or a shade of yellow, whether you are a gay or straight, whether your family came here 100 years ago or you just became a citizen, whether you’re a Democrat or an independent, you will have a seat at his table in his administration,” he said.
Schiff told supporters on the City Hall South Lawn that an Obama presidency would ease the country’s partisan debates.
“Over the last several years I’ve grown increasingly concerned about the divisions we have here at home—over the bitter partisanship, over the polarization, over the red states, the blue states,” Schiff said.
“We face great challenges, great challenges here at home and great challenges abroad. I am confident we can meet those challenges if we are united at home.”
Not far away, meanwhile, Clinton supporters rallied at her local campaign headquarters to celebrate the New York senator’s victory during the Jan. 8 New Hampshire primary and gear up for the next month of campaigning leading up to the California primary.
“She worked tirelessly, very hard, to make sure that she could win in New Hampshire,” City Councilwoman Wendy Greuel, a Clinton backer, told NBC4.
“She brought voters to the polls—Democrats, women, … individuals who knew that she was going to be the kind of leader we wanted to see.
“…This is just the beginning. California is going to be a critical part. You know, people are getting their absentee ballots today (Jan. 9), the last couple of days. We have a 29-day campaign to February fifth. California is going to make a difference. And Hillary Clinton, in all of the polls, has shown a big lead, double-digits at certain times, and we think she’s the kind of person that’s going to lead our country.”