ABC News’ Rick Klein and Sunlen Miller Report: Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison — who famously declared Bill Clinton to be the nation’s "first black president" in a 1998 essay — today endorsed Barack Obama for president, via letter from Morrison to the Illinois senator.
In it she writes, "this opportunity for a national evolution (even revolution) will not come again soon, and I am convinced you are the person to capture it."
Morrison writes of her admiration for Hillary Clinton but says she "cared little for her gender as a source of my admiration".
"Nor do I care very much for your race[s]," Morrison continues to Obama, "I would not support you if that was all you had to offer or because it might make me ‘proud.’ "
"In thinking carefully about the strengths of the candidates, I stunned myself when I came to the following conclusion: that in addition to keen intelligence, integrity and a rare authenticity, you exhibit something that has nothing to do with age, experience, race or gender and something I don’t see in other candidates. That something is a creative imagination which coupled with brilliance equals wisdom.
"Our future is ripe, outrageously rich in its possibilities. Yet unleashing the glory of that future will require a difficult labor, and some may be so frightened of its birth they will refuse to abandon their nostalgia for the womb.
"There have been a few prescient leaders in our past, but you are the man for this time," she concludes.
In an October 1998 essay in The New Yorker, Morrison wrote: "Years ago, in the middle of the Whitewater investigation, one heard the first murmurs: white skin notwithstanding, this is our first black president. Blacker than any actual person who could ever be elected in our children’s lifetime."
Morrison’s endorsement letter to Obama comes as Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., also announces his support for Obama on Monday, at a rally in Washington.