Edwards Endorses Obama

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 05/14/2008 - 9:20pm.

John Edwards endorsed Barack Obama for president today, dealing a major blow to Hillary Clinton's hopes for prolonging the Democratic race into next month.

Both Obama and Clinton had courted the 2004 vice-presidential nominee, paying personal visits to Edwards's North Carolina home and vowing to carry on his agenda to end poverty in the US. But Edwards waited until after his home state's primary last week to announce his support for Obama at a rally in Michigan.

The loss of Edwards could cue up the Clinton exit that most of official Washington has expected since her lacklustre performance in North Carolina and Indiana. The former first lady's backers believed as recently as last month that they could win over Edwards after his wife, Elizabeth, said she preferred Clinton's healthcare plan.

In recent days, however, Edwards appeared to be leaning on Clinton to quit the race. In TV interviews last week, he deemed Obama "the likely nominee" and warned Clinton against damaging the Democratic party's chances against John McCain by remaining in the race.

Clinton loyalists told ABC news that Edwards gave them advance notice of his choice, adding: "Clearly it's upsetting … he brings the workers [to Obama]."

The endorsement also opens the door to renewed speculation about what role Edwards would play in an Obama administration. The young and affable North Carolinian, who grew up in a working-class family, has been mentioned as a possible attorney general or running mate for Obama.

Edwards's announcement leaves Al Gore as the most influential party figure remaining neutral in the fading Democratic race. Congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have vowed to refrain from endorsing before a nominee is chosen, but Reid this week began openly addressing Clinton's future - in Congress, not the White House.

Elana Schor - May 14, 2008 - posted at www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/may/14/

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 05/14/2008 - 9:20pm.