California Down to the Wire: Is an Obama Upset Possible?
When California's Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, announced his support for John McCain last week, it came as a bit of a surprise. The governor had just said, a couple of days prior, that he would remain neutral in the race, but the results of the Florida primary, coupled with Rudy Giuliani's departure, led to the unexpected endorsement.
But however surprising Schwarzenegger's announcement was, that was nothing compared to his wife's unforeseen endorsement yesterday.
Maria Shriver endorsed Democrat Barack Obama's White House bid today at a Los Angeles rally.
"Follow your own truth and your own voice," she told the crowd. With California's primary just 48 hours away, "We're at the epicenter of change. We can lead. We can lead this country," she said.
The California First Lady made a surprise appearance on-stage at the Sunday campaign event, backed by the candidate's wife Michelle Obama, talk show host Oprah Winfrey and Shriver's cousin Caroline Kennedy.The event was televised on C-SPAN, leading one of Ben Smith's readers to note it was "probably the most exciting thing to happen on C-SPAN in a very long time."
I haven't seen any of the event myself, but the NYT's Andrew Rosenthal said, "Forty-eight hours before the closest thing America has ever had to a national primary, four extraordinary women put on the best campaign rally I've seen in 20 years of covering presidential politics." I guess it was pretty good.
All of this matters, of course, given California's electoral significance, but the contest in the Golden State is complex enough at this point to make it entirely unpredictable.