University of Oklahoma President David Boren, a longtime influence in state Democratic Party politics, said Friday he is endorsing U.S. Sen. Barack Obama for president.
Boren made his announcement to back the Illinois Democrat along with former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn of Georgia. Boren and Nunn earlier this year convened a bipartisan group of nationally prominent political figures on the OU campus to challenge presidential candidates to focus on serious issues. Boren and Nunn have accepted Obama's invitation to serve as advisers to his national security foreign policy team. "I am exercising my rights and duties to my country as a private citizen," said Boren, a former Oklahoma governor, who resigned from the U.S. Senate in 1994 to become OU's president. "I am not acting on behalf of the University of Oklahoma," Boren said. "I will not be involved in the day-to-day activities of the campaign. My plan is to share with Senator Obama what I have learned from my own experience in public service. This will in no way impact my work at the university." Boren arranged to have his announcement handled by Josh Galper, a Washington attorney who served on Boren's Senate staff in the mid-1990s and who followed him to work at OU.