John Kerry said Wednesday that he was very close to endorsing a Democratic candidate for president, and sources now tell the Associated Press that he has settled on Barack Obama. CNN says the two senators will appear together today at an event in South Carolina.
Sen. Dick Durbin said just before the New Hampshire primary that several senators were poised to endorse Obama. To the extent Kerry's endorsement will help him -- and to the extent that it was already in the bag -- he might have been better served by announcing it before New Hampshire voted. Kerry won New Hampshire in the 2004 Democratic primary but lost South Carolina to John Edwards.
Obama received the endorsement of South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson Wednesday. The fact that goes without saying: One Johnson plus one Kerry probably doesn't carry the weight of one Al Gore. The former vice president's endorsement of Howard Dean may not have helped him in 2004, but the Nobel Prize-winning Gore is viewed just a little differently by Democrats now than he was then.
No word on when -- or even if -- Gore will endorse. Former Gore aide Chris Lehane said last month that Gore may be hesitant to endorse anyone for fear of "doing anything that could potentially impact his global brand."