Coming on the heels of Hillary Clinton's big win in New Hampshire, this is definitely big news for the Barack Obama campaign. The endorsement is also quite expected because it was John Kerry who chose Obama to speak at the 2004 convention and that speech made Obama's career. Some interesting details from Jeff Zeleny at the NYT:
Mr. Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat who was the party’s presidential nominee in 2004, will argue that Mr. Obama represents the best prospect for uniting a divided country, aides to both men said, as well as transforming America’s image around the world.
The endorsement is weeks in the making.
In the final days before the Iowa caucuses, Mr. Kerry was on the verge of endorsing Mr. Obama, several senior Democratic officials said, but a final decision wasn’t made because it wasn’t clear how it would affect the campaign. So Mr. Kerry decided to hold off on the endorsement until after the New Hampshire primary.
The endorsement is weeks in the making. This probably would have had more impact several weeks ago, and, if you can read between the lines, the Obama and Kerry camps apparently delayed the endorsement for fear of a backlash in Iowa or New Hampshire. It probably would have hurt in Iowa—the losing "establishment" candidate isn't exactly, well, change—and this would have changed the dynamics of the caucus. The endorsement definitely would have helped in New Hampshire.
On the other hand, Kerry's endorsement should create more momentum for Obama because Kerry will make the announcement later this morning in South Carolina and Clinton is campaigning in Nevada. Although the specter of a Massachusetts limousine liberal campaigning in Charleston and the Carolina low country with Obama seems rather redundant ...
No comment from Kerry on his running mate from the 2004 election: John Edwards.