Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, will announce her endorsement of Barack Obama in an 11:30 a.m. conference call. Rationale and details to follow after the call, but I’m guessing it has a lot to do with Iraq.
The announcement comes as Obama heads for Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles this evening for a Generation Obama concert fundraiser, wherein thousands will pay $25 or $50 to see the likes of the Goo Goo Dolls, Ne-Yo, Jessica Biel, Mehcad Brooks, Taye Diggs, Hill Harper, Scarlett Johansson, Kal Penn, Ryan Reynolds, Kate Walsh, Olivia Wilde, Will-I-Am… oh, yeah, and Obama himself.
Today’s endorsement marks a difference of opinion between Lee and some of her closest Oakland political allies. Lee had spoken briefly at Obama’s big St. Patrick’s Day rally in Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza, but also had appeared at Hillary Clinton’s big downtown Oakland rally Sept. 30. She made it clear at each event that she had not yet endorsed anyone, but Clinton on Oct. 1 collected the endorsement of Lee’s political mentor, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums; Clinton also has the endorsement of another Dellums protege and her own former chief of staff, Assemblyman Sandre Swanson, D-Oakland.
A nationwide Associated Press-Ipsos poll conducted Dec. 3-5 found U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton in the lead, backed by 45 percent of Democrats, followed by Obama at 23 percent, John Edwards at 12 percent and Bill Richardson at 4 percent, with a 4.5-percentage point margin of error. In California, a SurveyUSA poll conducted Nov. 30-Dec. 2 for several television stations found Clinton at 50 percent, Obama at 24 percent and Edwards at 16 percent, with a 3.6-percentage point margin of error.
UPDATE @ 12:30 MONDAY: Get the whole story here.