February 3rd, 2008
05:29 PM ET
12 years ago

Maria Shriver endorses Obama

A large crowd showed for the Michelle Obama ralley.

A large crowd showed for the Michelle Obama ralley.

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.)

Filed under: California • Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (185 Responses)
  1. Amy


    February 4, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  2. Mary, Wisconsin


    February 4, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  3. DJ O'M

    The Michelle Obama "ralley"?!?!?

    February 4, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  4. BlackHouse

    In history, this is the first real change to WhiteHouse! Lets vote for OB!

    February 4, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  5. Jerry CA

    Again, it won't help.

    February 4, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  6. Deb - IL

    Who cares if Maria endorses anymore than Teddy, Caroline, or Oprah. You know what they have ever done to directly affect my family? None of them have an idea of how hard it is to raise a family or make a living now, if they ever did.....

    February 4, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  7. david , atlanta

    This is no surprise. Mr Ambiguous gets another endorsement from another blue blooded washington insider. Barack started off sounding so different, but now has yet to clearly state a policy specific, and keeps hanging out with old established insiders.

    February 4, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  8. Stevo

    I hate to say it but Maria's right and Arnold is wrong, or should I say, "wong!"

    February 4, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  9. Rose

    There is a comment about the Clinton's' doubling up and look at the quad squad yesterday for Barack Obama. Please no more Clinton bias. Obama seems to have a celebrity following. At the very least folks, can we play fair? I hope so. Senator Clinton is a wonderful woman who has dedicated her life for the greater good and some of the comments CNN has allowed which I have found extremely offensive towards Senator Clinton is cruel and nasty. Lighten up folks.

    February 4, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  10. Jessica

    May I say 'Touche'

    February 6, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
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