Obama Gives a Shout Out to "Friend" Thompson

A slick uptick on the endorsement scale

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    Thompson got some attention from Obama last night, in the form of a presidential shout-out.

    President Obama gave a shout-out to mayoral candidate Bill Thompson last night -- at long last naming the Democratic mayoral candidate in an introduction that either was -- or was not -- an official endorsement.

    "A great city comptroller, our candidate for mayor, my friend Billy Thompson is in the house," Obama told a crowd at the DNC event last night.

    Thompson expressed gratitude for the acknowledgment, which he saw as a second endorsement from the commander-in-chief.

    "I am excited and proud to receive the endorsement of the president," Thompson said. "To have the president of the United States get involved in a New York City mayoral race and endorse me illustrates that he believes I will win and that I can lead this city."

    Answering questions from reporters about how much that shout-out constituted an endorsement, Thompson at first held firm:
    The president "couldn't have made it more direct," he said.  "Everyone who wants to read something extra into it is making a mistake," Thompson said.

    When pressed further on whether he considered the comments to be an endorsement in his uphill fight to unseat Mayor Bloomberg he pointed at the reporter and asked: “No. Do you consider it an endorsement?”

    Obama's involvement in other Democratic elections dwarfs his single mention of candidate Bill Thompson. Today, Obama will be stumping for Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine at a sold out Hackensack event.  This will be the second time he stumps for the Democratic incumbent for Governor, who he has openly supported for months.

    In July, the president sent an e-mail to everyone on the Corzine '09 mailing list, aligning himself with the candidate.

    “Jon has set New Jersey in the right direction,” he wrote, according to Politico. “If you stand with him – and with me — the time and effort we invest today will pay off ten fold in the better New Jersey we'll build together.”

    Quite a difference from the two nods to Thompson, which he had to share with two other Democrats last night. 

    Earlier this month, a first luke-warm endorsement came from White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, who responded to a reporter's inquiry about Obama's stance on the New York City mayoral candidates.

    "The president is the leader of the Democratic party, and as that would support the Democratic nominee," Gibbs said.

    Thompson hailed that as a blessing from the White House, and responded that he was "grateful and encouraged to receive the support of the President of the United States."

    Certainly comments from the Obama camp have been favorable towards Thompson, but they're no match to the love being poured on the governor of the Garden State.