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ROAD TO THE WHITE HOUSE 5:45pm 5-14-08 Obama Scores Big with John Edwards Endorsement
Wednesday, May 14, 2008 3:55pm

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN  (By: Tom Pace, Talk of the Town) From CNN  ROAD TO THE WHITE HOUSE  5:45pm 5-14-08  Barack Obama pulled a rabbit out of his hat this afternoon, introducing John Edwards as his latest endorser during a campaign rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

Edwards dropped out of the presidential race back on January 30 after poor showings in the early contests.

He told NBC last week that Obama, the Democratic front-runner, is the party's likely nominee. Both Obama and the his rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton, had sought Edwards' blessing, according to CNN. 

Clinton campaign Chairman Terry McAuliffe said Wednesday that "we respect John Edwards, but as the voters of West Virginia showed last night, this thing is far from over."

According to CNN's latest estimates, Obama has 1,884 total delegates (pledged: 1,600, superdelegates: 284). Clinton has 1,718 total delegates (pledged: 1,445, superdelegates: 273).

Edwards, meanwhile, has 19 total pledged delegates who may or may not pledge their support for Obama at the Democratic National Committee's August convention in Denver, Colorado.

Edwards, who is not a superdelegate, said last week that it was "fine" for Clinton to continue making her case but expressed concern that a continued campaign could damage the party's prospects in November.

Wednesday's endorsement could help Obama reach out to white blue-collar voters, a demographic that Obama has failed to capture, most notably in the recent Pennsylvania and West Virginia primaries.

Edwards had campaigned on the message that he was standing up for the little guy, the people who are not traditionally given a voice in Washington, and that he would do more to fight special interests.


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