Award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns, a resident of Walpole, endorsed Barack Obama on a media conference call today.
It might be the first tangible consequence of Hillary Clinton's co-chair Bill Shaheen's comments last week saying that Obama's previous drug use would be a problem if he were to get the Democratic presidential nomination. Shaheen has since left the campaign
"For a number of reasons I had intended to remain neutral throughout the New Hampshire Primary process, but I find I can no longer do so. Recent events compel me to declare my support for and endorse Barack Obama," Burns said. "As the tone of things changed last week I think it was time to step up."
Burns, a 30 year resident of the state, said he's known the Clintons for at least 15 years, but he said he has been "disappointed" by the tone the Clinton campaign has taken and that Hillary is "getting some bad advice".
"I have been extremely disappointed by the tone the campaigning has taken," Burns said. "It has galvanized me to action."
He also compared Obama to Abraham Lincoln.
"If you were a pundit in the 1850s you would certain that the country needed an old pro like Clay or Calhoun or Chase or Stanton or those folks, but in fact what the country actually needed a relatively -- or so it seemed -- inexperienced youngwiry figure from Illinois. And I am willing to accept, at least in this case, that history does repeat itself.
In 2000 Burns introduced Al Gore and in 2004 he supported John Kerry. He laughed off the notion he would help make commercials for Obama.
One of Burns's employees is Dayton Duncan, who serves on the Obama steering committee.