Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont is the latest Democratic US senator to pick Barack Obama over fellow colleague Hillary Clinton.
Leahy, who has been in the Senate since 1974 and is now chairman of the Judiciary Committee, endorsed Obama today.
"We need a president who can reintroduce America to the world and actually reintroduce America to ourselves," Leahy said in a conference call with reporters, according to the Associated Press. "I believe Barack Obama is the best person to do that."
Leahy has been an Obama fan soon after the Illinois senator took office in January 2005. "I've been here 31 years and seen a small handful of people that have made as much an impression as he has, and he has done it by working hard," Leahy said in early 2006.
In the last week, Obama has also won endorsements from senators John F. Kerry of Massachusetts, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, and Ben Nelson of Nebraska.
The Republican National Committee immediately sought to use the endorsement to hit both Obama and Clinton.
"Glowing endorsements from establishment liberals like Leahy and Kerry are indicative of the sort of 'change' Obama would bring," spokesman Alex Conant said in a statement. "It's no surprise that the liberal lions love Obama's plans to raise taxes and increase spending. On the other hand, the Democratic senators' rejection of Clinton is nothing short of stunning. Clinton is running on her record, but those that know it best – her Senate colleagues – are increasingly rejecting her candidacy."