In a surprise move, former President Clinton has endorsed the candidacy of Barack Obama, bringing the Illinois Democrat's delegate tally to 1971, just 55 votes short of the number required to secure the Democratic nomination.
"I'm proud today to announce my support for the 44th President of the United States," Clinton told Katharine Seelye of the New York Times. "Together we can bring about the kind of change that this country so sorely needs."
The announcement comes just hours after the President's soon to be ex-wife cited the possible assassination of Barack Obama as a reason for her remaining in the race.
"I'd be lying if I said that wasn't a factor," agreed Clinton. "I mean, everybody's known that Obama has this thing wrapped up for ages. I was trying to position her for the Vice Presidency, but it looks like she's really blown that possibility too. There's no use for me to just sit back here twiddling my thumbs when there's history in the making."
Clinton added that another motivation for his endorsement was the long-term damage Hillary's campaign has done to his legacy.
"I left office with an abundance of good will, at least within the Democratic Party. My presidency looks pretty good in retrospect, although I admit that I benefited from being the meat in the middle of a Bush sandwich. I want to get out there and restore my reputation." Clinton paused before continuing thoughtfully. "Whatever debt I owe her for my previous carousing, I guess I've paid it back in full."
Still, President Clinton cautioned against believing that his wife's future was anything but bright.
"Shoot, being a New York Senator is really a pretty sweet deal. If I was still advising her - which I'm not - I'd tell her to just try and hold on to that."
©2008, Mark Hoback