Two weeks before what could be a decisive Texas primary, Barack Obama picked up the endorsement Monday of Congressman Chet Edwards, whose district includes Texas A&M University, the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library, and George W. Bush's Crawford ranch. I'm not going to go so far as to say that I called this one, but I certainly pointed out last week that Edwards was saying some pretty favorable things about Obama (although his office said he hadn't taken an official position yet). I usually don't track endorsements too closely, but I think this one is significant because not only is Edwards a Democrat who has proven the ability to win election after election in a very conservative district, but he remains quite popular in his district and hasn't had to sell out his core progressive values for such success. He is as familiar with red state realities as anyone else, so I would argue that this endorsement is one to pay attention to.
Here's the full text of Congressman Chet Edwards' endorsement:
As the father of two young sons, I care deeply about the future of our nation, and that is why I am endorsing Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States.
I believe Senator Obama can bring about real change in Washington--change that will make a positive difference in the lives of average working Americans struggling to keep up with the high costs of health care, gasoline and education.
By voting for Senator Obama, we can say it is time to turn away from the divisive partisan politics of the past and work together for a brighter future for our children and our grandchildren. As he has reminded us so eloquently, we are not "a red America or a blue America. We are the United States of America."
Many in our nation believe we are going in the wrong direction, and they have grown cynical of a government mired in the politics of partisanship and personal destruction. That is why, now more than ever, we need a leader who can inspire us to do better, to be better. Barack Obama is that leader.
Our democracy is built on the foundation of "We, the people." With his integrity and God-given gift to inspire people of all ages, Barack Obama has empowered millions of citizens to become more involved in our democracy. That is good news for our nation's interests and bad news for the special interests.
Throughout American history, hope and inspiration have always been the key to progress and change. It was true at Valley Forge. It was true in the darkest days of the Great Depression and on the beaches of Normandy. It was true in Selma and on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the fight for civil rights. And, it is true today as working families face economic uncertainty in an ever more competitive and challenging world.
Barack Obama has inspired us to believe that by working together, we can make a positive difference for our families and our future. That is hope and change I can believe in.
As a Member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, Barack Obama also understands that we would not be the land of the free if we were not the home of the brave.
As someone who has spent most of my adult life fighting for veterans and for military troops and their families, I am convinced that Senator Obama will be a champion for better health care, housing and quality of life for those who have sacrificed so much for the American family. He knows that standing up for our troops, our veterans and their families is the right thing to do--for them and for our nation's security.
Look at the lives and values of Barack and Michelle Obama. They are the personification of the American dream that if you are willing to work hard and exercise personal responsibility, you can be whatever you want to be in this great land of ours. As a husband and father, I am grateful that their family is so deeply committed to keeping the American dream alive for this and future generations of American families.
On behalf of my family and hard-working families all across Texas and America, it is a privilege for me to endorse Barack Obama for President.