Hillary Clinton accepted a key endorsement from N.C. Governor Mike Easley on T. Kicking off his endorsement, Easley said:
“This lady right here makes Rocky Balboa look like a pansy. There’s nothing I love more than a strong powerful woman.”
Move over Rocky… This is a key endorsement of a Superdelegate in N.C. (who previously endorsed John Edwards) that hopefully will give her a boost there.
“I am thrilled to accept his endorsement,” she said. “Of course, it’s politically very meaningful but even more than that, it is great to have someone who really understands what we have to do to transform our country.”
Although Easley did not mention Barack Obama by name, he implied that his decision was based on the fact that Clinton has more experience to be commander-in-chief. “There’s a lot ‘yes we can’ and ‘yes we should’ going around,” Easley told the crowd gathered in a small conference room at North Carolina State University, referring to Obama’s campaign slogan. “Hillary Clinton is ready to deliver, that’s the difference. She is ready to deliver today!”
“I never, never thought the United States of America could get in as much trouble as we have over the last seven or eight years,” Easley continued. “It’s going to take somebody special. Somebody smart, somebody who understands it, somebody who has experience to get in there, turn it around immediately and she can do that.”
Yes she can.
Ace Smith, Hillary Clinton’s North Carolina director, told Politico, Easley’s endorsement is a “huge deal.” Smith, also said that if “Clinton could keep the margin within 15 percentage points — she currently trails Obama by 12 percent in an average of polls – she’d have won a victory.”
But other Clinton backers were more optimistic, saying Clinton had a shot at the definition of victory she set for Obama in Pennsylvania: Victory.
“The governor clearly feels she can now pull this out,” said a prominent Clinton supporter. “He’s not doing it to be embarrassed in his own state. Governors don’t endorse for number two.”
Easley doesn’t bring the kind of field organization or financial base that Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell gave Clinton’s Pennsylvania campaign, but he does carry a popular name and a symbolic validation of her central argument: That she, better than Obama, connects with the working-class white people who are traditional swing voters.
Easley, 58, the lone survivor of a class of Southern Democratic governors elected between 1998 and 2000, has managed to thrive by figuring out how to win reelection in a region where the national Democratic party is typically a burden to statewide elected officials.