Liberal California Dem endorses Clinton
Hillary Clinton received the endorsement of Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat who could provide crucial support when Democrats there vote in next week's Super Tuesday slate of primaries and caucuses.
Waters praised the New York senator and former First Lady as "no nonsense, articulate and experienced policymaker" who will be ready from her first day in office to make "dreams a reality."
Clinton and Waters spoke to reporters on a conference call Tuesday, 24 hours after Barack Obama scored a publicity coup when he was endorsed by Ted Kennedy, the "liberal lion" of the Senate and one of the most influential Democrats on the national stage.
Clinton said the Waters endorsement was especially cherished because of her "connection to her constituents." Waters' Los Angeles-area district is a bastion of Democratic support in California populated primarily by black and Hispanic voters.
Waters, who is in her ninth term in the House, is one of its most liberal members, a member of the Progressive Caucus and co-sponsor of a resolution aimed at impeaching Vice President Dick Cheney. She also is a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, and her backing comes as Clinton's campaign faces charges that it has inappropriately inserted race into the primary contests.
Waters predicted Clinton would win California, which holds its primary Feb. 5 along with more than 20 other states.
Clinton also said she was "proud" to receive the endorsement of three children of Robert F. Kennedy, the brother of Ted Kennedy and former President John F. Kennedy who was assassinated during his own presidential campaign. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Kerry Kennedy wrote in the Los Angeles Times that Clinton was "the strongest candidate" for America and the Democratic party.
"Democrats believe that America should not be torturing people, eavesdropping on our citizens or imprisoning them without habeas corpus or other constitutional rights. We should not be an imperial power. We need healthcare for all and a clean, safe environment," they wrote.
"The loftiest poetry will not solve these issues. We need a president willing to engage in a fistfight to safeguard and restore our national virtues."
Regardless of who is endorsing whom, though, Clinton said the election ultimately came down to a choice between individuals.
"I trust the voters to sort this out for themselves," she declared.