As the second-longest serving member in the Senate, I know the importance of experience in government. But as someone who entered the Senate at the age of 30, I want to reiterate what I said on Monday. Barack Obama has more than enough experience to handle the job. What counts in our leadership is not the length of years in Washington, but the reach of our vision, the strength of our beliefs, and that rare quality of mind and spirit that can call forth the best in our country and our people.
Barack Obama’s ability to unify and inspire is a rare gift, and matters in politics because it allows a leader to get things done. It’s not enough to rally the base and push an agenda through. A leader like Barack can bridge the gaping divide in this country to bring Americans together in common purpose.
Even rarer — and more powerful — is the movement of inspired Americans powering the Obama campaign. This is proof to me that an Obama presidency will be a transformational moment for our country. I’ve endorsed a leader not only with tremendous intelligence and skill, but a leader who has the extraordinary ability to move our country past the politics of fear and personal destruction and make Americans want to be part of something bigger than themselves.
Two days ago I endorsed Barack Obama. But today I’m following that with an emphatic endorsement of a new generation in American politics. Across this country, there’s overwhelming turnout at the polls, unprecedented attention to the critical issues facing our nation and a growing conviction that our best days are still ahead. No matter who you support for president, I challenge you to accept the responsibilities of this new generation.
On Monday, I told Barack Obama he can rely on me. But the hope and promise of our nation relies on all of us.