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Bill tried to stop Ted. K from backing Obama

Ted Kennedy

(AP photo)

Via Politico:

Rejecting a personal entreaty from President Bill Clinton, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) plans to endorse Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for president in a joint appearance on Monday, Democratic sources said.

The embrace provides a dramatic rocket for Obama to ride into the frantic, nationwide campaigning ahead of the spate of Super Tuesday primaries on Feb. 5, the biggest day for nominating contests in U.S. history. Caroline Kennedy, the senator's niece and the daughter of President John F. Kennedy, will also appear at the rally, the sources said.

Democrats said the endorsement will help Obama with traditional Democratic groups where Clinton has been strong — union households, Hispanics and downscale workers.

Also, the nod by the most experienced member of the Senate adds significant standing to Obama, who is working to prove he has the experience necessary to be president.

The announcement stunned Senate colleagues, who had expected Kennedy to remain neutral until the increasingly vitriolic nominating contest with Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) settled out.

“This is the biggest Democratic endorsement Obama could possibly get short of Bill Clinton,” said a high-level Democrat.

The Clinton campaign launched a last-ditch effort over the last few days to stop Kennedy's move, orchestrating a flood of phone calls to Kennedy from sources ranging from union chiefs to his Massachusetts constituents.

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