Bruce Springsteen, the iconic musician of the working-class U.S., endorsed Barack Obama on Wednesday. The announcement comes less than a week before the Pennsylvania primary, in which blue-collar voters may play a significant role in determining the Democratic nominee.

The Los Angeles Times:

Bruce Springsteen, the rocker who made “Born in the USA” a signature of working-class pride, endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president today.

“He has the depth, the reflectiveness and the resilience to be our next president,” Springsteen said in a letter posted on his website and distributed by the Obama campaign. “He speaks to the [America] I’ve envisioned in my music for the past 35 years, a generous nation with a citizenry willing to tackle nuanced and complex problems, a country that’s interested in its collective destiny and in the potential of its gathered spirit, a place where ‘nobody crowds you, and nobody goes it alone.’ “

Springsteen did not mention Obama’s Democratic rival, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, by name. But the bard of New Jersey, who has written lyrics about the economically devastated towns of the Northeast, seemed to challenge her recent criticisms of Obama for saying that working-class Americans are bitter about their financial hardships, and for fanning the controversy over Obama’s involvement with the fiery Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

“Critics have tried to diminish Sen. Obama through the exaggeration of certain of his comments and relationships,” Springsteen said in his letter. “While these matters are worthy of some discussion, they have been ripped out of the context and fabric of the man’s life and vision … often in order to distract us from discussing the real issues.”

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