Christopher Dodd (D. Conn.) became the first former Democratic presidential candidate to endorse a remaining contender. Appearing today in Cleveland, the Connecticut senator endorsed Barack Obama for president.
Obama glowingly introduced Dodd, commenting:
"But as passionate as Chris Dodd is about the causes he champions, he also has that rare ability to disagree without being disagreeable. He is respected on both sides of the aisle for his authenticity, reason and civility."
Dodd echoed Obama's positivity: "I don't want a campaign that is divisive here, and there's a danger in that. ... This is the moment for Democrats and independents and others to come together, to get behind this candidacy."
Dodd's call for unity spells trouble for Hillary Clinton. She has spent the past week lambasting Obama for empty rhetoric and a lack of experience. Dodd's endorsement may send a signal to other establishment Democrats to get behind Obama.
I wouldn't be surprised if other former presidential candidates like Joe Biden or Bill Richardson followed suit soon. The rush to get a high-level job in an Obama administration may have just begun in earnest.
The Dodd endorsement is well timed. It bolsters Obama's confidence before he and Clinton debate Tuesday night in Cleveland. The endorsement also could have an effect on the tenor of the debate. Clinton may be concerned about making negative attacks out of fear that other Democrats will begin to abandon her campaign.
The debate will air at 9 p.m. EST Tuesday on