McGovern, former Clinton backer, endorses Obama
By DENNIS GALE
The Associated Press
Wednesday, May 7, 2008; 12:01 PM
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Former Sen. George McGovern, an
early supporter of Hillary Rodham Clinton, urged her
to drop out of the Democratic presidential race and
endorsed her rival, Barack Obama.
After watching the returns from the North Carolina and
Indiana primaries Tuesday night, McGovern said
Wednesday it's virtually impossible for Clinton to win
the nomination. The 1972 Democratic presidential
nominee said he had a call in to former President
Clinton to tell him of the decision, adding that he
remains close friends with the Clintons.
"I will hold them in affection and admiration all of
my days," he said of the Clintons.
McGovern's announcement comes a day before Clinton was
scheduled to travel to South Dakota to campaign. The
state holds its primary June 3 with 15 pledged
delegates at stake.
McGovern said he had no regrets about endorsing
Hillary Clinton months ago, even before the Iowa
"She has run a valiant campaign. And she will remain
an influential voice in the American future," he said.
But Obama has won the nomination "by any practical
test" and is very close to a majority of the pledged
delegates, said McGovern, who is 85. Obama moved
within 200 delegates of clinching the nomination with
his split decision on Tuesday of a win in North
Carolina and a narrow loss in Indiana.
It's time to unite the Democratic Party, he said.
"Hillary, of course, will make the decision as to if
and when she ends her campaign. But I hope that she
reaches that decision soon so that we can concentrate
on a unified party capable of winning the White House
next November," he said.
McGovern is not a superdelegate, one of the prominent
Democrats who has a vote at the national convention.