President Obama Calls Bill Thompson, and Everyone Else, a Friend

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Photo: Getty Images

If Bill Thompson could draw up the ideal endorsement from President Obama, it probably wouldn't have been worded as Obama delivered it last night. "A great city comptroller, our candidate for mayor, my friend Billy Thompson is in the house," is the entirety of what Obama said, which Thompson then decided to interpret as an endorsement. But even if it wasn't really an "endorsement," in the technical and accurate usage of the term, Obama's words were meaningful nonetheless, because he called Thompson a friend. That's not something the president of the United States, the world's most powerful human, says about just anyone. In fact, according to a search of transcripts of the past ten months, it places the Democratic candidate for mayor in elite company with the following people:

Virginia congressman Rick Boucher
Virginia governor Tim Kaine
AFL-CIO president Rich Trumka
Mexican president Felipe Calderon
Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper
United States ambassador to Japan John Roos
Connecticut senator Chris Dodd
Former senator Ted Kennedy
Former HUD secretary Henry Cisneros
Vice-president at the MacArthur Foundation Julia Stasch
Chicago mayor Richard Daley
Executive director of the Chicago Community Loan Fund Calvin L. Holmes
German chancellor Angela Merkel
Oregonian congressman Earl Blumenauer
Writer Elie Wiesel
Assistant secretary of the VA Tammy Duckworth
Attorney general Eric Holder
California State auditor Elaine Howle
Labor leader Maria Elena Durazo
New Jersey senator Bob Menendez
Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank
Oklahoma governor Brad Henry
French president Nicolas Sarkozy
Majority leader of the Nevada State Senate Steven Horsford
Senate majority leader Harry Reid
Mexican ambassador to the U.S. Arturo Sarukhan
Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Sallai Meridor
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar
Former British prime minister Tony Blair
Human Rights Campaign co-founder Terry Bean
Former Second Lady Tipper Gore
Maryland governor Martin O'Malley
Pennsylvania senator Bob Casey
Pennsylvania senator Arlen Specter
Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak
Ohio governor Ted Strickland
Ohio senator Sherrod Brown
Illinois State Senate president John Cullerton
Former Illinois State Senate president Emil Jones
Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi
New Mexico governor Bill Richardson
Missouri senator Claire McCaskill
Missouri State auditor Susan Montee
Secret Service agent Jeff Gilbert
Illinois senator Dick Durbin and wife Loretta Durbin
NATO secretary general Jaap De Hoop Scheffer
California campaign co-chair for Obama for America Steve Westly
Ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney
Vice-President Joe Biden and Second Lady Jill Biden
Special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration
Indiana senator Evan Bayh
Spanish president Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero
Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Newsman Walter Cronkite
OMB administrator Cass Sunstein
Chef Alan Wong
Greek prime minister Kostas Karamanlis
President Joe Shirley of Navajo Nation
Tribal chairman Robert Bear of the Duck Valley Shoshone-Paiute Tribes

Like we said — elite company.