Edwards to Endorse Obama
NOAH ADAMS, Host:
From NPR News, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Noah Adams.
MICHELE NORRIS, Host:
NPR's Don Gonyea is on the Obama campaign bus in Western Michigan. He joins us now. Don, John Edwards has been pretty coy about who he voted for and who he plan to endorse. What does his endorsement mean at this stage in the campaign?
DON GONYEA: That said, this is still a big endorsement. Edwards is one of the, you know, big names who is out there. And perhaps what it does more than anything else is kind of, you know, helped to slam the door shut on Senator Clinton. The door that was perhaps rapidly closing all by itself.
NORRIS: Yeah. Well, she sees that door as still being wide open. She plans to stay in the race. As interesting note, John Edwards won about seven percent of the vote yesterday in West Virginia, even though he's no longer an official presidential candidate. Could John Edwards' support help Barack Obama with some of those blue-collar voters and white voters who seem to be rallying around Senator Clinton?
GONYEA: Still, it's been a long time since Ronald Reagan's name has been on a ballot. But he is trying to figure out ways to reach out to those voters and to really make the case to those voters. He's making the case differentiating himself from not so much Hillary Clinton but John McCain. And Edwards is the guy who's good on the stump, and he's going to be out there helping Obama make that very case.
NORRIS: So what tipped the balance? Any sense of what the Obama camp did to get this nod?
GONYEA: There's not a lot of risk for Edwards here to kind of put it on the line. He's backing the guy who, again, had all the numbers in favor of him as he - you know, he's going to spend these last few weeks of the campaign trying to nail down a nomination that, you know, the numbers are really working in his favor in terms of securing it. So what tipped the balance now beyond that, we just don't know at this point.
NORRIS: Don, just quickly, since you're inside the campaign cocoon, how are they reacting to this?
GONYEA: They were teasing this for about the last two hours, saying, you know, anybody who's thinking of getting off the plane now, you will regret not being there in Grand Rapids. They think this is a very big get. They are very excited about it. They're very anxious to see Senator Edwards on the stage with Senator Obama here in Grand Rapids today, with Senator Edwards making the case for Senator Obama's candidacy.
NORRIS: Thank you, Don.
GONYEA: A pleasure.
NORRIS: That was NPR's Don Gonyea. He's on the Obama campaign bus. He spoke to us from Western Michigan.
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