LOS ANGELES (CNN) - 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
Shriver is married to California’s Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who endorsed GOP presidential hopeful John McCain on Friday.
The former NBC journalist had said in the past she was drawn to Obama’s message. Shriver is the niece of Sen. Ted Kennedy, and has been close to Oprah Winfrey since both got their starts in local TV in Baltimore. Both Winfrey and the Massachusetts senator have actively campaigned for Obama.
Most of the crowd was made up of supporters of the Illinois senator's presidential bid. But there were a few undecided voters still trying to decide between Obama and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, like El Segundo resident Leslie Clark, who came to the rally with a friend.
The Shriver endorsement didn’t impress Clark: "I don't go by what famous people say - I don't care about all that, living in L.A. They have money and political pull and might even be friends with him. What matters is what I learn about Obama while I'm here." Still, she left the rally leaning towards Obama.
California’s vote is this Tuesday, February 5. Most recent polls show Obama and Clinton locked in a tight race in the Democratic primary in this delegate-rich state.
–CNN’s Candy Crowley, Laura Bernardini and Jessica Yellin contributed to this report
(updated 8:15 p.m. ET with Shriver comments, crowd reaction.)