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Does Kennedy’s endorsement matter?

LYNN – If you’re a relative newcomer running for president, how important is it to your candidacy to have a living American political legend say you are the man for the job?A lot, said state Rep. Steven M. Walsh, D- Lynn.”Any time the senior senator from Massachusetts endorses a candidate, it’s a major boost from the progressive wing of the party,” he said.Not so fast, said Revere Mayor Thomas Ambrosino.”I’m not one who believes endorsements have much weight but I will be very happy if Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama is the nominee.”For Democratic Party stalwarts like Walsh and Ambrosino, U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy’s endorsement of Obama is just one factor they must weigh in assessing their party’s candidates during a politically turbulent week that also saw Sen. John Edwards leave the presidential race.Walsh campaigned for Edwards and woke up Wednesday morning believing he still had a candidate in the race. He planned to participate in a conference call with Edwards and other supporters Wednesday night, but he does not anticipate throwing his support behind Clinton or Obama until after next Tuesday’s primary.He thinks Edwards’ Massachusetts supporters will “split evenly” among Obama and Clinton. Legislative colleague Mark Falzone, D-Saugus, thinks Edwards’ exit could help Clinton.”He is in line with her vision of evolutionary change rather than Obama’s vision of revolutionary change.”Falzone shares Ambrosino’s view on Kennedy’s endorsement.”Most people vote on qualifications: Who is the most experienced candidate?”

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