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Obama visits Edwards in Chapel Hill

February 17, 2008 6:13:05 PM PST
Sources tell Eyewitness News Senator Barack Obama landed at RDU around 11:30 this morning unannounced.

He was then whisked away by the secret service to the Edwards home in Chapel Hill. Obama advisors say he wanted a private setting to avoid a media circus.

Chopper 11 captured the only glimpse of what could possibly result in a coveted endorsement from John Edwards.

Chopper 11 picked up the action with a bird's eye view around 2:30 p.m., Senator Barack Obama shaking John Edwards hand, each giving the other a one arm hug. Elizabeth Edwards close behind offers an Obama advisor a handshake, just before she and her husband head back inside.

The black SUV carrying Obama heads to RDU where the senator flies back to Chicago.

The private meeting comes a little more than a week after Obama-rival Hillary Clinton sneaked into the triangle - undetected by news - crews to meet with Edwards. Both Clinton and Obama vying for an endorsement from Edwards who has 26 delegates to offer either campaign.

"If the trend continues we could be a big player on May 6," State Democratic Party Chair Jerry Meek said.

Meek says North Carolina's May 6 primary is shaping up to be a king maker as the race between Obama and Clinton tightens, since our state has 134 delegates to give.

The state board of elections says more than 63,000 new voters between 18 and 40-years-old registered statewide last month and more than 13,000 this month.

Unlike the private visit today, voters could get more public visits and the primary treatment from each candidate between now and May 6.

"I know that if Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama came here they would find so much more support than if they didn't," Abby Crownshaw with UNC Young Democrats said.

Obama cancelled his appearances in Wisconsin tonight because of weather.

His camp would not comment on his visit to Chapel Hill today. The Edwards camp has not returned calls.


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