Saturday, January 05, 2008

Virginia's Doug Wilder, Nation's First Elected Black Governor, Endorses Obama

I have been saying for some time that Barick Obama's race does not make him unelectable as Hillary Clinton and others are whispering - look at Doug Wilder who was elected Governor of Virginia in November 1989. He served from 1990 to 1994 and if he had been able to run for a second term (Virginia does not allow consecutive terms for the office of Governor), he might well have been re-elected. Believe me, in 1989, Virginia was a far more conservative state than it is now and Wilder's election was all the more notable. Not surprisingly, Wilder has come out and endorsed Barack Obama who has some of the characteristics Wilder presented in 1989. Here are highlights from the Virginian Pilot's story (

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- L. Douglas Wilder, the nation's first elected black governor, endorsed Barack Obama's bid to become the nation's first black president on Friday. Wilder, Virginia's governor from 1990 to 1994 and now Richmond's mayor, praised Obama as "a leader who can move beyond the parochialisms of the past."

"Sen. Barack Obama brings forth all of these qualities. I am tremendously impressed with him and have said many favorable things about him in the past," Wilder wrote in a three-paragraph statement. "Our country is in desperate need of a new direction, new ideas, and new solutions to resolve the circumstances that the U.S. has shouldered in recent years," he wrote.
In the statement issued as an official city news release, Wilder pledged to campaign nationally for Obama "to the fullest extent possible that my schedule will allow." Wilder, a 76-year-old grandson of slaves, campaigned briefly for a 1992 presidential run but quit the race before that year's primaries. Virginia's current governor, Timothy M. Kaine, endorsed Obama in February and said Friday that he might campaign for Obama on his own time on a weekend, even as he braces for a busy legislative session that opens Wednesday.

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