MoveOn Backs Obama For President

By Jennifer Parker

Feb 1, 2008 12:29pm

ABC News’ Teddy Davis Reports: Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign has received the endorsement of the liberal anti-war group MoveOn.org’s political action group.

This is MoveOn’s first presidential endorsement.

With former Sen. John Edwards out of the race, MoveOn.org emailed its 3.2 million members asking them if they support Sen. Hillary Clinton or Sen. Barack Obama.

About 70 percent of those who responded chose Obama and about 30 percent chose Clinton. The percentage breakdown is by no means a scientific survey of all MoveOn’s over 3 million members. Only about 300,000 individual email addresses participated in MoveOn’s on-line balloting and members were required to vote within a 24 hour time period.

Obama touted the group’s first-ever presidential endorsement in a statement released by MoveOn.

"In just a few years, the members of MoveOn have once again demonstrated that real change comes not from the top-down, but from the bottom-up," Obama wrote. "From their principled opposition to the Iraq war – a war I also opposed from the start – to their strong support for a number of progressive causes, MoveOn shows what Americans can achieve when we come together in a grassroots movement for change. I thank them for their support and look forward to working with their members in the weeks and months ahead."

MoveOn will now use its email list to tap volunteers to make phone calls on behalf of Obama in Super Tuesday states. The group says it has 1.7 members in the states that vote Feb. 5.

MoveOn.org’s mobilization efforts are credited with helping the Democratic win the House of Representative in 2006.

"Our members’ endorsement of Senator Obama is a clear call for a new America at this critical moment in history," wrote Eli Pariser, MoveOn.org’s executive director in the statement.

"Seven years of the disastrous policies of the Bush Administration have left the country desperate for change. We need a President who will bring to bear the strong leadership and vision required to end the war in Iraq, provide health care to every American, deal with our climate crisis, and restore America’s standing in the world. The enormity of the challenges require someone who knows how to inspire millions to get involved to change the direction of our country, and someone who will be willing to change business as usual in Washington. Senator Barack Obama has proved he can and will be that President."

With his early opposition to the Iraq war, Obama was a natural for this endorsement once the Democratic nomination contest became a two-person race.

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