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Confirmed: John Edwards to endorse Barack Obama tonight

May 14, 2008 |  2:44 pm

So, it was a revealing slip the other day when, as reported in the Ticket, former Sen. John Edwards said he was going to endorse the Democratic presidential candidate he had just voted for in the North Carolina primary and then referred to that person as "him."

Ex-Senator John Edwards of North Carolina slipped up on national TV and revealed who he's going to endorse for the Democratic presidential nomination--Sen. Barack Obama

Tonight, according to sources in the Obama campaign, Edwards will endorse Sen. Barack Obama at a rally in Michigan, a crucial state for Democratic plans to recapture the White House Nov. 4.

It's perfect, and not accidental timing, for the freshman senator as it will shift the political conversation away from Sen. Hillary Clinton's lopsided victory in West Virginia Tuesday.

In public and in private conversations today in Washington with potential campaign donors, she was trying to use the win to show momentum and raise questions about Obama's. It's a bitter pill for Clinton, who had adopted several of Edwards' campaign themes, including fighting poverty, in an effort to win his endorsement.

But now the prime-time focus will be back on the Democratic front-runner, who will let other Democrats and the media ask the recurring question, "Why doesn't she just give up in the face of the unconquerable delegate math?"

In her victory speech last night in West Virginia, the New York senator indicated she would stay in the race until "everyone" is heard, possibly including settling of the Michigan-Florida vote-counting morass.

In a campaign appearance today, Clinton's spouse, ex-president Bill Clinton, remarked he never thought it would be the Democrats who would not be counting votes from Florida.

Now, that leaves only one big kahuna out there ...

... who's not yet endorsed, former vice president Al Gore. He's likely to await a grand entrance and proclamation at the national convention in Denver in August.

(UPDATE: Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe issued a brief reaction: "We respect John Edwards, but as the voters of West Virginia showed last night, this thing is far from over.”

(Mike Duncan, chairman of the Republican National Committee, also issued a statement equally full of joy and praise: “Barack Obama and John Edwards share an out-of-touch agenda that would raise taxes on families while cutting funding for our troops. The only question is why didn’t Edwards endorse sooner?  Edwards’ endorsement of a candidate he previously blasted as inexperienced, hypocritical and lacking substance will not help Obama with voters looking for real change.”)

-- Andrew  Malcolm

Photo Credit: CNN

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