Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) has been in the Senate for 26 years and has bulldogged his way to (near) the top of the ladder in terms of who his colleagues respect.

He has today endorsed Barack Obama:

“Today, I am announcing my support for Barack Obama for president and declaring my intention to vote for him at the Democratic convention. Our nation faces a daunting number of critical challenges: reasserting America’s leadership in the world, meeting our needs for energy independence, addressing global warming, making healthcare accessible and affordable, positioning our economy to effectively compete globally, and extricating ourselves from the war in Iraq, to name a few. To make progress, we must rise above the partisanship and the issues that divide us to find common ground. We must move the country in a dramatically new direction. I strongly believe Barack Obama is best positioned to lead the nation in that new direction.”