Gov. Easley endorses Clinton for president

April 29, 2008 2:22:33 PM PDT
Gov. Mike Easley enthusiastically threw his support behind Sen. Hillary Clinton in her race against Sen. Barack Obama one week before the critical May 6th North Carolina primary.

The endorsement came at N.C. State's McKimmon Center Tuesday morning, where Easley appeared to have more energy than has been seen in months as he exclaimed to the gathered crowd that he was "having a ball" today.

"We all know that Hillary Clinton gets it. She gets it!" Easley said. "It's time for somebody to be in the White House who understands the challenges we face in this country."

Easley praised the New York senator for her experience and her understanding that, in the governor's words, "there is a connection between education and economic development that's never existed before." He also said he was impressed by Clinton's ability to continue coming back in the race against Obama despite often being counted out by pundits. "This lady right here makes Rocky Balboa look like a pansy," Easley said.

The governor even indirectly chided Obama as he voiced his support for Clinton. "There's a lot of 'yes we can' and 'yes we should' goin' around," Easley said. "Hillary Clinton is ready to deliver. That's the difference."

Clinton eagerly accepted the endorsement from Easley, one of the state's prized superdelegates. "I am thrilled to accept his endorsement, of course it's politically very meaningful, but even more than that, it's great to have someone who really understands what we have to do to transform our country," Clinton said.

Hillary Clinton left North Carolina for Indiana, which also hosts a May 6th primary election, shortly after the morning announcement. Easley took questions from reporters, where he was asked if he would be interested in becoming part of the Cabinet in a Clinton Administration.

"When it comes to politics, I'm like a rat. I've had enough cheese. I just want to get out of the trap," Easley said. "Nobody would want me. But if they did, I would not be interested."

Easley also downplayed the impact his endorsement may have across the Tar Heel State.

"I don't have an apparatus, I don't have campaign machinery, I don't have people in every county that I can deliver," the governor said. "All I can do is tell the people who've been supporting me for 24 years now of elected office what I believe and how strongly I feel about it."


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