The Raleigh N&O blog reports this evening that our Democrat governor will endorse Hillary Clinton for prez tomorrow:
Gov. Mike Easley is going to endorse U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, according to Tom Hendrickson, a former state Democratic party chairman who is a key Clinton supporter in North Carolina.
Easley agreed to the endorsement after returning from an economic development trip to Italy, reports Rob Christensen. Clinton is expected to fly to Raleigh on Tuesday for a joint event with Easley.
An Easley endorsement would be the first endorsement for Clinton from a major North Carolina political figure. Three members of North Carolina’s congressional delegation have endorsed Sen. Barack Obama.
Easley does not have the same sort of political machine that Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania used to help deliver votes for Clinton in that state.
But Easley is popular with rural, white, blue-collar Democrats, the sort of voters that Clinton has successfully targeted in wins in Pennslyvania and Ohio.
I don’t think the endorsement will help her much in next week’s primary, outside of solidifying her core group of voters (working class whites, seniors, etc). Easley, I should note, is known by those paying attention to politics around here as the “absentee governor” (as described by, surprisingly, the liberal Charlotte Observer).
Speaking of Hillary, I wonder if she had any BBQ today while she was in Concord, NC (Charlotte’s next door neighbor)?
CONCORD –About 300 supporters stood through a downpour this afternoon to see and hear Hillary Clinton outside Troutman’s Bar-B-Q restaurant in Concord.
Some had waited for hours for the appearance, scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Clinton appeared about 4:45, as the rain stopped.
“I’m here in Concord because I need you next Tuesday,” she said of the N.C. primary.
The nation needs a change, Clinton said, and she’s the right person to clean up the damage she said the Bush administration has caused.
“I happen to know a little bit about cleaning house,” she said, to cheers from the crowd.
She talked about creating jobs for an area that’s been devastated by the loss of thousands of manufacturing jobs, including the closing of the Pillowtex textile plants in 2003.
“I thought the economy was working pretty good in the 1990s,” she said of her husband’s administration.
Inside the restaurant, another 150 supporters who had waited — some since 1 p.m. — weren’t disappointed. Clinton worked her way through the crowd one by one, shaking hands, hugging supporters and having her picture taken with them.
“Have you already voted?” she asked them.
Four female students who identified themselves as “students for Hillary” had their photos taken with her.
Caroline Ford of Concord, a 22-year-old UNC Charlotte student, held a poster that said, “I’m 22 and I’m voting for you Hillary.”
Clinton autographed her poster.
“She seemed very genuine,” Ford said. “We don’t judge books by their covers.”
“Yeah, I heard some girl say she would vote for (Obama) because he was cute,” said Anita Honeycutt, 21, another UNCC student from Concord.
Wow – now that’s a shocker.
Related: “Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has requested nearly $2.3 billion in federal earmarks for 2009, almost three times the largest amount received by a single senator this year.” – The Hill
Sounds like she’s getting an early start on her “Shared Prosperity” plan …