Barbara Lee endorses Barack Obama

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.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • A REAL American

    This guy is a muslim!!!! come on people, what the hell is wrong with you ? It dosen’t matter, Hillary is gonna be the next president, but still. You people must be out of your minds supporting a black muslim for president! Do you think Americans are gonna let that happen? Remember 9/11? I’m from New Jersey, I saw that s**t happen and have friends that fought those bastards in Iraq. Muslims are not welcome here!!! why are you supporting this guy?

  • Josh Richman

    Fact check:
    1.) Barack Obama has been associated with the United Church of Christ since the mid-1980s, describes himself as a Christian and says he is “rooted in the Christian tradition.” As a child in Indonesia, he spent a few years at a Catholic school and a few years at a Muslim school.

    2.) Even if he were a practicing Muslim, which he’s not, the phrase “black Muslim” usually connotes something else: membership in the Nation of Islam or associated groups, which are a distinct offshoot of traditional Islam.

    3.) Even if he were a practicing Muslim, which he’s not, so what? Muslims practice a faith just as do Christians, Jews and others, and have a Constitutional right to do so. No “real American” would be so quick to say “Muslims are not welcome here.”

    (OK, the second part of #3 might not be a fact, but I’ll stand by it nonetheless. And I’m from New York, “real American,” so don’t lecture me about 9/11.)

  • Maiysha Myshere

    I am saddened to read comments made by this person who calls himself or herself “A REAL American”. This person’s comments prove that he/she is one of those person who is obviously incapable of critical thinking, and is one who also believes everything he or she hears or reads from probably one source. What is more disturbing is that this person is obviously white and lives somewhere way up in the country and has had little or no personal experiences or reference for anyone who doesn’t look just like him or her. This is further evidenced by making reference to 9/11 while accusing all Muslim s as being responsible. You, like so many people in this country know only what you’ve been told by certain limited media types about Islam, the religion and the people who practice it. Osam Bin Ladin does not represent all those who practice Islam, just like you sir/madam do not represent all Americans (THANK GOD). If your this is the basis by which you judge a people, or person, then all white people are card carrying members of the Klu Klux Klan; all Germans are like Hitler.

    Mr/Ms A REAL American, please do yourself a favor and don’t open your mouth in public. It’s bad enough that most of the world thinks that George Bush is an idiot. Comments like that only help to foster the belief by the rest of the world that A REAL American such as yourself is still as limited and ignorant as you have presented yourself. That is probably why you did have the a brief moment of sanity and did not use your actual name.

    You know what? Don’t you dare soil the name of good, honest, decent “Americans” with your vicious ignorance. You should probably stay in your cave.

  • Oakland Democrat

    I wouldn’t get too excited. Real American is probably just a Hillary supporter. She’s running scared now and is getting her aides to make public snarky comments about Obama insinuating he is all kinds of things. I certainly wouldn’t make these kinds of petty criticisms of Obama. If you want to criticize Obama, do it because he constantly imitates Hillary’s policy proposals and cannot come up with anything original himself. When you get past the charm, there’s an empty vessel with big corporate backing running for president.
    He’s clever though and makes Hillary look like the old tired political hack which she is.

  • OaklandIsGreat

    I love Barbara Lee. I can’t understand this endorsement. In June Obama said that the current adminiatration has done nothing grave enough to warrant impeachment. The seems to be the opposite of what the progressive caucus is all about. She’s a great representative but I really disagree with this endorsement.