(CNN) - Days before 22 states are set to hold Democratic primary contests, it appears at least one crucial endorsement is still up for grabs: Rapper Snoop Dogg's.
The rapper and music producer told CNN's Larry King he is torn between both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton's historic candidacies.
"I just want to see somebody win in the best interest of America - whether it be [Obama], a black man, or whether it be Hillary, a woman," Snoop Dogg, whose real name is Cordozar Calvin Broadus, Jr., says in an exclusive interview set to air Friday night.
"Either one is a great move for America," he continued. "We need change. We need somebody in there that's about listening to the people and representing the people. I think both of the candidates will do that."
Snoop Dogg also said he thinks America is ready for a black president, noting Obama is the first African-American with a legitimate chance to win the White House.
"In the past we had presidential candidates like [Rev.] Jesse Jackson. We didn't really think he can win," he said. "Right now people feel like this man could really win. He's got the right thing going for him. He's got the right conversation. He's in line with the right scenario to win. Whether he wins or loses, he made a great step for black America by even stepping to the table and pulling off something like this."
Catch Larry King's interview with Snoop Dogg, Friday, 9 p.m. ET.
(CNN) – Republican presidential hopeful John McCain will claim the backing of one former Massachusetts governor Saturday in his quest to beat another.
Former Gov. Paul Cellucci will back the Arizona senator one day ahead of McCain’s visit to Mitt Romney’s home turf of Boston, according to McCain campaign adviser Steve Schmidt.
Cellucci had previously backed former Rudy Giuliani’s presidential bid. The former New York City mayor ended his White House bid and endorsed McCain earlier this week.
Massachusetts voters head to the polls on Super Tuesday, February 5.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (CNN) – Mitt Romney’s Super Tuesday strategy became a little clearer Friday when reporters traveling with the former Massachusetts governor were told where they would be going before he heads home to Boston on Tuesday to cast his vote in his home state’s presidential primary.
The campaign had kept their plans under wraps, not even telling the press where they would be buying advertising time, other than in California. On Friday, Romney alluded to a schedule in flux, saying they would focus on states where they are strong and could land a large number of delegates.
Romney is taking a brief break from the trail Saturday in Salt Lake City, Utah to attend the funeral of Gordon Hinckley, the former president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
From Utah, Romney plans to make campaign stops in Minneapolis, Chicago, St. Louis, Tennessee, Georgia, and West Virginia before winding up in Boston on February 5.
After leaving California Friday morning, Romney flew to Denver, Colorado for a well-attended rally at a Ford dealership, telling the crowd, “I have a Ford Mustang, it’s one cool car.”
Romney declined to make a prediction on what sort of Super Tuesday showing he’d need to stay in the race. “I can't possibly forecast at this stage what the kind of numbers I'll have coming out of Tuesday will be,” he said.
(CNN) - Sources close to John Edwards tell CNN he will not endorse either of his former presidential rivals before Super Tuesday. "That's just not something he's going to do," said one source.
The former North Carolina senator’s endorsement would be a coveted prize. His exit from the race leaves unions, editorial boards, elected officials and voters who had backed his run suddenly up for grabs. Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are aggressively courting all of those groups ahead of next week’s crucial Super Tuesday contests in 22 states.
During last night's CNN debate, both candidates repeatedly acknowledged the former candidate's efforts to make the fight against poverty a priority for the Democratic Party.
Friday, the Obama campaign boasted that it was ahead in the race to nab former Edwards supporters, pointing to new endorsements from elected officials in at least eight Super Tuesday states, editorial boards like the Fresno Bee, and labor heavyweights like the Transportation Workers Union and the California branch of the Service Employees International Union, all of whom had previously backed Edwards.
(updated with new reporting 2 p.m. Saturday)
–CNN’s Jessica Yellin, Candy Crowley and Suzanne Malveaux
(CNN) - And they're off! The remaining presidential hopefuls have less than a week to win over voters in the Super Tuesday states.
In the latest episode of CNN=Politics Daily, Suzanne Malveaux reports on Sen. Barack Obama's newest endorsements.
Dana Bash explains Sen. John McCain's Super Tuesday advertising strategy. But Mitt Romney, one of McCain's chief rivals for the Republican nomination, plans to put up a fight. John King reports on Romney's strategy to block McCain in Super Tuesday's hunt for delegates.
Finally, Candy Crowley speaks with Wolf Blitzer about Sen. Hillary Clinton's performance in Thursday night's debate and about Clinton's prospects next Tuesday.
Click here to subscribe CNN=Politics Daily.
–CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart
(CNN) – Barack Obama and John McCain Friday won the backing of the Los Angeles Times, one of the most-read newspapers in the United States and most influential in delegate-rich California.
In separate editorials, the paper praised Obama as an "inspiring leader who cuts through typical internecine campaign bickering," and McCain as a consistent conservative with "fundamental individualism."
Both presidential endorsements are the paper’s first since 1972.
"[Obama] electrifies young voters, not because he is young but because he embodies the desire to move to the next chapter of the American story," the editorial read. "He brings with him deep knowledge on foreign relations and on this nation's particular struggles with identity and opportunity. His flair for expression, both in print and on the stump, too easily leads observers to forget that Obama is a man not just of style but of substance."
The paper also praised Hillary Clinton, but faulted the New York senator for her original Senate vote authorizing use of force in Iraq.
"Experience has value only if it is accompanied by courage and leads to judgment. Nowhere was that judgment more needed than in 2003, when Congress was called upon to accept or reject the disastrous Iraq invasion. Clinton faced a test and failed, joining the stampede as Congress voted to authorize war," the editorial read.
On John McCain, the liberal editorial board noted it disagrees with many of his stands on social issues, but wrote, "The Arizona senator's conservatism is, if not always to our liking, at least genuine.
"It reflects his fundamental individualism, spanning his distrust of big government, his support for immigration reform and his insistence on a sound American foreign policy," the editorial read.
California voters head to the polls Super Tuesday, February 5.
– CNN Producer Alexander Mooney
(CNN) - Talk-show host Oprah Winfrey is set to headline a Barack Obama event in Los Angeles Sunday, two days before Democrats in California and 21 other states head to the polls.
The event will mark Winfrey's return to the campaign trail two months after the media mogul stumped for the Illinois senator in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, drawing record-breaking crowds and heavy media coverage.
Obama's wife Michelle and Caroline Kennedy will also attend the event, though the Illinois senator himself is scheduled to be in Delaware that day.
– CNN's Chris Welch contributed to this report
The Job Interview
ABOARD THE ELECTION EXPRESS/LOS ANGELES (CNN) - The Elvis impersonator on the flight out here was not in uniform, which was at first confusing.
He was Vegas Elvis– I’d say circa 1970: modified muttonchops, clear eyes, chiseled jaw– and in a white jumpsuit he’d have had some context. But this was a travel day for him, and on United Airlines’ flight 111 from Chicago to Los Angeles he was in street clothes, topped by a mid-length black leather-like coat.
He had an entourage - three people shadowing his steps, conferring quietly with him - and whatever business was bringing him out here, they were taking care of it. Like everyone else boarding the flight at O’Hare yesterday he was getting out of town early, trying to beat the blizzard; by the time we got to baggage claim at LAX I had lost him.
The country is wide, and everyone moves through it at his or her own pace, with his or her own aspirations. There was a time when the idea of having lunch in Illinois a little before noon and strolling the streets of southern California the same day well before the sun has begun to set would have been a concept so bizarre as to qualify as science fiction. Yet we do it now with little more than a yawn– the miles mean nothing.
And everything. The people I had come to see had crossed the country, too, to be here for a joint job interview. They sat shoulder-to-shoulder on the stage at the Kodak Theatre, facing a personnel department whose faces they could not make out. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama were being evaluated by potential employers they would never meet, whose names they would never know. This, too, inconceivable in a past America not all that distant - the idea of staring into the lenses of machines that will transport your image and your voice instantly to every corner of the nation, every cranny of the globe, and then going to bed having no real idea of what the strangers on the receiving end have thought of you - has by now become simply the customary way of doing presidential campaign business.
Which makes it no less Jules-Verne-like. The cameras carried the pleas of the two jobseekers - the candidates for the opening - to the people who will ultimately decide how to fill the position. The Elvis who had crossed the continent with me earlier in the day might have dreams for himself not quite as lofty as the dreams of the two on the stage, but then, there are said to be thousands of men who try to make their livings asking people to believe they are the King, and fewer than half-a-hundred people, in all our history, who have asked to make their livings as our president, and who have been told: yes.
To join that group you first have to make it past the hiring committee, many millions strong, that gazes at you through sheets of glass while, with the lights in your eyes, you see mostly disorienting glare. A person can cross the nation in a handful of hours, high above the clouds, and notice nothing on the ground below; right now I’m setting out to see it block-by-block, neighborhood-by-neighborhood, in a television studio on wheels that rolls at eye level through the country. Science fiction indeed. Come November, someone will have the job.
Bob Greene is an award winning journalist and best-selling author.
LOS ANGELES (CNN) — Thursday night’s Democratic debate on CNN shattered the cable ratings record again last night, with more than 8.3 million viewers tuning in to see the party’s final two White House hopefuls battle it out.
Democratic presidential candidates New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama met on-stage at the Kodak Theater in front of a star-studded crowd just days before the critical Super Tuesday primaries, for their final official faceoff before voters in 22 states head to the polls February 5.
So far this cycle, CNN has broken the primary season record for debate viewership four times, and hosted the five most-watched presidential primary debates in cable news history. Thursday night’s debate was the second-most watched this cycle on any network, broadcast or cable.
The forum came just hours after Democratic presidential contender John Edwards ended his White House run.
After weeks of campaign trail fireworks between the remaining two presidential rivals, currently locked in a tight race for the Democratic nomination, the debate was an unexpectedly civil affair. The two candidates spent far more time highlighting their similarities than drawing attention to their differences.
The biggest applause line of the night was a question from moderators about whether Obama and Clinton might consider sharing a ticket.
“The audience response was the same as that of Democrats across the country: they’re happy with their choice this year, but they don’t want to have to make it,” said CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider.
Both Wednesday night’s Republican debate, and Thursday’s Democratic forum at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles, were co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times and Politico.com.
With a race this close, observers are starting to plan with an eye towards post-Super Tuesday primary bouts. Thursday night, CNN announced plans for two more primary season debates, to be held February 27 and 28 in the crucial swing state of Ohio. Voters there head to the polls March 4.
(CNN) - Former presidential candidate Steve Forbes has endorsed John McCain's White House bid, the Arizona senator announced at an event in Missouri Friday afternoon.
Forbes is the latest former Rudy Giuliani supporter to sign up with McCain. Earlier Friday, former Solicitor General Ted Olson, himself a onetime supporter of the Giuliani's failed White House bid, announced he was backing McCain.
– CNN's Anastasia Diakides contributed to this report