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Ken Burns Endorses Obama

In a conference call today arranged by the Obama campaign, filmmaker Ken Burns says he was going to stay neutral in this presidential race. That is, until last week, when Clinton surrogates brought up Obama’s past admissions of drug use as a youth.

According to MSNBC, he said of Hillary Clinton, “I am really disappointed just in the tone that the campaign has taken on their part. I think she’s getting some bad advice, and I’m sure she’ll clean up the act, but it was time for some real change.”

Burns, who most recently made “The War” for PBS, says that the negative tone “compelled” him to go public.

“If you were a political pundit in the 1850s, you would be certain that what the country needed was an old pro like Clay, or Webster, or Calhoun,” Burns said. “In fact, what the country actually needed was a relatively — or so it seemed — inexperienced young, wiry figure from Illinois. And I’m willing to accept that at least in this case history does repeat itself.”

He also praised Obama’s opposition to the war in Iraq, and said that he has been “attracted from the beginning to his authenticity,” he said. The nation, he said, needs “someone able to dream and suggest a future without being tied to the past.”

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