Calling him "a true son of America," Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) warmly endorsed Sen. Barack Obama for U.S. president in a statement released late Wednesday afternoon.
In a surprise one-page endorsement statement, Eshoo lavished praise on Obama.
"Barack Obama inspires me. He gives me hope," Eshoo said. "He appeals to the best in us and in doing so he restores the sense of idealism that brought me to public service."
"He challenges us to dream bigger and reach farther," she said.
She made no reference to Obama's opponent for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-New York), or to former President Bill Clinton. There was no immediate response from the Clinton campaign.
Eshoo's endorsement of Obama follows that of Sen. Ted Kennedy, another apparently unexpected blow to Clinton's candidacy.
But Clinton has picked up some significant support from black and other minority political leaders in California, where polls have shown she is leading in the race for the state's large number of delegates in the Feb. 5 primary.
Clinton was endorsed by Congresswoman Maxine Waters of Los Angeles, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums, a longtime black political leader, also has endorsed Clinton, as has Hispanic Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles.
Eshoo's endorsement of Obama is unreserved.
She said Obama "reminds me of the people in my district: innovative, collaborative, optimistic and dedicated to change as a way to make things better."
She said he also reminds her of the best things for which both John and Robert Kennedy stood.
"Senator Obama's candidacy is historic, and so is the reaction to it," she said. "He has brought thousands of disaffected and skeptical people back into the political process and he has struck a chord with thousands of young voters. Still more are poised to participate in the days ahead."
Eshoo was elected to Congress in 1992, along with U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer, Diane Feinstein and three other women in what was termed "The Year of the Woman."