Thursday, 4:30 PM
Menino to endorse Clinton for president
(Globe File Photo)
Mayor Thomas M. Menino, shown above with Hillary Clinton in 1995 when she was first lady, is supporting her bid for the presidency.
By Donovan Slack, Globe Staff
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino is endorsing Senator Hillary Clinton for president in 2008, saying he believes she will represent best the interests of "America's cities."
"She has the experience to lead the nation during these uncertain times," Dot Joyce, Menino's spokeswoman, said. "She's long been a supporter of America's cities and will bring the urban agenda back to the table."
Menino has long been a friend of the Clintons and visited the White House during Bill Clinton's presidency. Political observers say the endorsement could be a boon for the senator from New York, potentially delivering between 10 and 15 percent of Democratic primary voters in Massachusetts. But Menino, one of the most popular mayors in city history, also endorsed failed gubernatorial candidate Tom Reilly last year, so his blessing may not guarantee a Clinton victory in the Democratic primary.
A spokeswoman for Clinton's campaign said the senator welcomed Menino's support.
"Mayor Menino is a strong and effective leader, and I am honored to have his support," Clinton said in a statement today.
The mayor is scheduled to explain his choice in a conference call this afternoon. Joyce, his spokeswoman, said none of the other candidates asked for Menino's support.
Observers say the endorsement shows Clinton's campaign may be making inroads in Massachusetts more successfully than Senator Barack Obama and other candidates seeking the Democratic nomination.
"I think it shows she's doing her homework," said Lawrence S. DiCara, a former city councilor and longtime observer of Massachusetts politics.
Donovan Slack can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.