Obama to Receive Kennedy Endorsements

CBS News has learned that both Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., and his son Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., will endorse Barack Obama at his rally at American University in Washington, D.C. tomorrow. They will be joined by JFK's daughter Caroline Kennedy, who endorsed Obama in an op-ed in today's New York Times, according to sources close to the Kennedys.

The Kennedy endorsements come on the heels of Obama's huge win in South Carolina and provide extra momentum for his campaign as they embark on the run-up to the 22 Democratic contests on Super Tuesday, Feb. 5.

It remains to be seen what role Kennedy will have in Obama's campaign over the next 9 days. In 2004, after endorsing John Kerry, he gave Kerry a boost as he traveled with him in the days leading up to the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.

Patrick Kennedy had endorsed Sen. Chris Dodd's failed presidential run and had been sitting on the sidelines since Dodd dropped out after this year's Iowa caucuses.

Caroline Kennedy, in her New York Times op-ed titled "A President Like My Father," wrote, "Sometimes it takes a while to recognize that someone has a special ability to get us to believe in ourselves, to tie that belief to our highest ideals and imagine that together we can do great things. In those rare moments, when such a person comes along, we need to put aside our plans and reach for what we know is possible. We have that kind of opportunity with Senator Obama."

"I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans."
  • Steve Chaggaris

    Steve Chaggaris is CBS News' senior political editor.

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