The Hill - Congress's Only Iraq War Veteran Endorses Obama
By Chris Good
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on Tuesday picked up the presidential endorsement of freshman Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.), the only Iraq war veteran to serve in Congress.
"Congressman Murphy is a part of the new generation of American leaders that's bringing a fresh voice to our nation's capital," Obama said Tuesday. "He knows that we need fundamental change in our politics and our foreign policy if we want to make the progress America so desperately needs."
Murphy was swept into Congress in the 2006 election amidst a climate of public opposition to the war.
"When I returned from Baghdad, I saw that we needed to go in a new direction â" both here at home and in Iraq," Murphy said. "I am inspired by Sen. Obama's call to service and believe he is best suited to bring about the changes we need in our country."
The endorsement lifts the number of Obama's congressional supporters to 25. He continues to trail Democratic presidential front-runner Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y), whose 57 endorsements from senators and congressmen leads all candidates, according to The Hill's lawmaker endorsements list.
Murphy joined the Army in 1993 and later become a West Point professor and a Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps attorney. He earned a Bronze Star as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, serving in Baghdad in 2003 and 2004.
House Democratic leaders have invited the freshman to speak at press conferences attended almost exclusively by the party's senior leadership, demonstrating the political value of Murphy's war experience.
"Sen. Obama truly wants to unite America, and, speaking as a former captain in the 82nd Airborne Division, I know that he has the judgment we need to be our next commander in chief," Murphy said Tuesday.