Two Senior California Democrats Endorse Obama
San Jose, CA - On the eve the California Democratic primary, two longtime office holders and recognized civic and political leaders who have been deeply involved in California and national affairs for nearly a half a century, have endorsed Senator Barack Obama for President.
Below is the joint statement of Hon. Norman Y. Mineta, Member of Congress (D-San Jose;1975-1995), US Secretary of Commerce (2000-2001), and US Secretary of Transportation (2001-2006) and Hon. Don Edwards, a Member of Congress (D-San Jose 1963-1995 ).
Statement by Hon. Norman Y. Mineta and Hon. Don Edwards:
Each of us, not quite a half century ago, chose to enter the political arena and the world of public service in San Jose, California. We were prompted to do that in no small measure by a President who challenged us to “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" We were inspired by John F. Kennedy’s eloquence, but we were motivated by his example, as well----his youth, his vibrancy, his determination, his optimism, and his commitment to the principle that we all have a responsibility to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
Once again we can sense the promise and the power of possibility---the very qualities that typify Silicon Valley and its residents---that have been generated by another visionary, courageous, and dynamic leader, a person who we believe will be, and most certainly should be, the next President of the United States of America, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois.
Barack Obama is a remarkable person with a remarkable life’s story. The son of a student from Kenya and a young woman from Kansas….a man whose youth was spent living and learning in the rich culture of Indonesia and the magnificent diversity of Hawaii…. who then studied and excelled as an undergraduate at Columbia University and at Harvard Law School….a man who, rather than accepting a lucrative position in some high powered and privileged corporate law firm, instead chose to become a community organizer in the toughest neighborhoods and on the grittiest streets of Chicago....a man who was elected to the Illinois state legislature and then to the U.S. Senate and who, in both bodies, quickly earned a reputation as a smart, effective, and respected legislator and leader.
Now Barack Obama is not only running for President of the United States, he is changing the way American political campaigns are conducted. He is showing that our leaders can once again be viewed with respect and admiration. Perhaps most importantly, he is inspiring a whole new generation of Americans to become engaged in the civic life of our country.
Barack Obama is sending a clear and unmistakable message to people of all generations---to people of all colors, of all faiths, of all partisan persuasions, of all life styles --- that America’s problems and challenges belong to all of us, that opportunities are and must be universal, and that hope, optimism, determination, responsibility and sacrifice should be shared qualities and characteristics.
Four decades ago, another young Senator challenged us to greatness by demanding that we face up to our responsibilities to make this world a better place---to fight for justice at home and abroad, to work for peace, to overcome the ravages of poverty and disease. As Robert Kennedy said then, “All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don’t. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity"
The same could be said today. It is a time when we need to, and can, call upon the better angels of our spirit, when we can end the politics of division and false choices. It is a time when we can elect a national leader who is determined that each of us can make a difference, and whose own life and career testify to the truth of that determination. We can elect a President who believes in us as much as we want to believe in him. We can, in short, elect a President who makes us proud to be Americans. And that is why we are supporting Senator Barack Obama in his quest to become the next President of the United States of America.
Additional statement by Don Edwards:
Senator Obama’s early and fervent opposition to the war in Iraq, his commitment to improving the lives of the less fortunate in our society, and his optimism and vision of leadership for the future make him a unique and inspiring candidate. His special gift of being able to relate to Americans who have soured on our political process offers a hope that he can provide our nation with a healing energy that can unite us and empower us to realize our shared goals.
Senator Hillary Clinton is a strong and able candidate as well, but I believe this is Senator Obama’s time. I am enthusiastic to be a foot-soldier on his team.
Additional statement by Norm Mineta
My parents came to this country because they knew that it was a place where individuals could pursue their own dreams and chart their own future. And like Barack Obama, I grew up in a home where we were taught that we have an obligation to leave the world a better place for our children and grandchildren, and for the eternity of future generations.
I have been given the rare privilege of serving my community and country as an elected official and as a Cabinet member for two Presidents---one from each party. When appointed Commerce Secretary by President Bill Clinton, I became the first American of Asian ancestry to ever serve in the Cabinet of any President, and I will be forever grateful for the confidence he placed in me, and for the respect he showed our community. I have the highest regard for the former President and First Lady, Senator Hillary Clinton; I applaud their outstanding and continuing service to our country.
Yet, we are beginning a new chapter in American history, and I am convinced that Barack Obama is the best person to write it, that he can both change and unite America. That is why I am supporting Barack Obama to be President of the United States of America.
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