Obama Announces Endorsement, Explains Wife’s Comments

I just got off a conference call with Barack Obama, in which he officially announced his endorsement by Patrick Murphy, a congressman from Pennsylvania and a veteran of the war in Iraq.

"He's not afraid to challenge conventional thinking and that's something I truly appreciate," said Obama, echoing comments he often makes about himself. He called Murphy part of a "new generation" of leaders bringing a fresh perspective to politics.

Rep. Murphy, who joined Sen. Hillary Clinton to introduce legislation in May calling for a "new G.I. bill for the 21st Century," responded in kind, saying Obama "is absolutely the best chance to change the direction of our country."

During a short question and answer period, Obama was asked about Clinton's comments yesterday that the surge was to some degree working but that withdrawal was still necessary.

Obama seemed to echo those comments.

"My assessment is that if we put an addition 30,000 of our outstanding troops in Baghdad it is going to quell some of the violence short term, I don't think there has even been any doubt about that," said Obama, adding "It doesn't change the underlying assessment which is that there is not a military solution to the political dynamic in Iraq."

Obama was also asked about comments by his wife Michelle in today's Chicago Sun Times.

"If you can't run your own house, you can't run the White House," she said.

Was that a reference to the Clinton household?

Obama said that it wasn't.

"Anybody who has listened to Michelle on the stump," said Obama, knows that she often talks about the importance of family. He said his wife was not speaking of anyone in particular, and her general point was that the Bush administration talks often of family values but doesn't back it up.