New York Members Plot Obama Endorsement
New York’s Democratic House Members were huddled just after 8 p.m. Wednesday evening in the Capitol office of Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel, the dean of the delegation. The group was set to discuss a Friday endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) as multiple news sources reported that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) is set to end her presidential bid and endorse her one-time rival. All of the New York Members had backed Clinton’s presidential bid and Rangel has been an especially fierce Clinton advocate. In a statement released Wednesday night, Clinton said she would be hosting an event on Saturday. “Senator Clinton will be hosting an event in Washington, DC to thank her supporters and express her support for Senator Obama and party unity,” the statement read. “This event will be held on Saturday to accommodate more of Senator Clinton’s supporters who want to attend.” Before heading into the meeting in Rangel’s office, Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) said that a statement regarding a group event scheduled for Friday would be forthcoming later Wednesday night. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) said she had heard reports of Clinton exiting the race but that she had not been notified by the campaign that would be happening. Rangel, who was seen huddling with Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) just before the meeting, acknowledged that the race would soon be coming to a close. “She’s going to do something on Friday,” he said. Rangel said there is still interest in having Clinton be Obama’s vice presidential running mate, but said he didn’t anticipate trying to rally people to exert pressure on Obama to do pick Clinton. “I don’t think it helps to put too much pressure on him,” Rangel said.