The 2004 Democratic candidate for President of the United States has given his backing to Barack Obama.

John Kerry, a decorated Vietnam veteran and Senator from Massachusetts, said that his Illinois colleague can unite the country and transform it.

After Hillary Clinton’s win in the New Hampshire primaries earlier this week the Democratic frontrunners in the race for the White House have been concentrating their efforts on the next states to pick a candidate.

John Edwards, who is third behind Obama and Clinton, was Mr Kerry’s running mate in their unsuccessful 2004 campaign against President George W Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

Senator Kerry’s endorsement of Obama over Edwards is seen by some as a snub, but other commentators point out that the relationship between the Massachusetts blue blood and the mixed-race urban organiser stretches back to the Democratic National Convention in 2004.

Kerry chose Obama, then a mere candidate for the US Senate, to deliver the keynote address.

Obama’s speech was so electrifying it made him an instant star and led ultimately to his 2008 campaign.

South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson and California Congressman George Miller today also gave their endorsements to Barack Obama.