Coveted Endorsers Still Thinking About It
By Shailagh Murray and Paul Kane
CLEVELAND -- Sen. Chris Dodd's endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama today was a big get for the Illinois senator, but the Connecticut Democrat is not the only lawmaker the Obama campaign would like to sign up as it seeks to build pressure on Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to bow out next week, should the four contests on Tuesday do not go decisively her way.
Prime targets include: Sens. Tom Harkin of Iowa; Byron Dorgan of North Dakota; Daniel Akaka of Hawaii; Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; and Jack Reed of Rhode Island. Obama won the home states of the first four decisively. In Reed's case, Rhode Island is a small but significant March 4 prize, and given its large population of working-class Democrats, a possible Clinton pick-up. Its senior senator, a low-key expert on the military, is also enormously popular.
Dorgan, asked about his preference in a hallway of the Capitol today, brushed off an inquiry from The Trail as to where he stood. "Yeah, I am closer to a decision," he said with a laugh as he walked away. Another uncommitted Democrat, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, told reporters he was "totally satisfied" with the Democratic race, but played deaf when asked how he would vote at the Democratic Convention as a superdelegate, if the outcome still wasn't clear.
"I can't hear a word you're saying," he joked.
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