(CNN) – Sen. Barack Obama pocketed two more of his party’s superdelegates Friday.
California congressmen Jim Costa and Dennis Cardoza are endorsing the Illinois senator, according to a statement released by his campaign.
“While I continue to greatly respect and admire Senator Clinton and feel she has made history with her campaign, I believe that Senator Obama will inevitably be our party’s nominee for President,” Cardoza, who had previously supported Sen. Hillary Clinton, said in the statement.
Cardoza also waded into the controversy over seating the Florida and Michigan delegations at the Democratic convention. “I will not support changing the rules in the fourth quarter of this contest through some convoluted DNC rules committee process. Yet, we must find a resolution” to the situation with Florida and Michigan, Cardoza said. “I believe we need to avoid this potentially divisive situation by uniting behind one nominee and bringing the party together immediately,” he added.
Costa said electability had helped drive his decision. “In my opinion, it is clear that Senator Obama will be the strongest presidential nominee for the Democratic Party,” Costa said in the statement released by the campaign.
Obama leads the delegate race with a total of 1,967 total delegates including 309 superdelegates, according to CNN’s latest tally. Clinton has 1,779 total delegates, including 279 superdelegates. The number of delegates necessary to claim the Democratic nomination is currently 2,026 but that number may change once the Democratic National Committee decides how to resolve the situation regarding the Florida and Michigan delegations.
The DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee is set to meet on May 31 and hear appeals from both states that were stripped of all their delegates to the convention because they held their primaries in violation of party rules.
(CNN) - Hours after his rejection of Pastor John Hagee’s endorsement, John McCain rejected the backing of Pastor Rod Parsley, who said that Islam was a “conspiracy of spiritual evil.”
"I believe there is no place for that kind of dialogue in America,” he told the Associated Press. “And I believe that even though he endorsed me, and I didn't endorse him, the fact is that I repudiate such talk, and I reject his endorsement."
The decision to cut off Parsley could have the bigger impact on the presidential race: in 2004, the Ohio pastor was a major figure in an unprecedented evangelical turnout operation that helped an anti-gay marriage ballot initiative pass overwhelmingly, and which was widely believed to have helped President Bush carry the critical swing state state – and the presidency - by a slimmer one.
The leader of the World Harvest Church in Columbus also founded the Center for Moral Clarity - an organization which has held that adultery should be treated as a crime – during the last presidential cycle.
Related: McCain officially rejects Hagee endorsement
(CNN) – New York Gov. David Paterson, a supporter of Hillary Clinton's White House bid, said Friday the New York senator is showing signs of "desperation" in her continued push to get the full delegations of Michigan and Florida seated.
"I would say at this point we're starting to see a little desperation on the part of the woman who I support and I'll support until whatever time she makes a different determination," Paterson told New York radio station WAMC, according to the New York Daily News. "I thought she was the best candidate and I thought she had the best chance of winning."
The comments come a day after Clinton delivered a fiery speech in Florida demanding that that state's delegation, as well as Michigan's, be fully seated at the party's convention in August. The party stripped both states of their delegations last year after the state legislatures there voted to hold their primaries before February 5.
Clinton won both states' primaries, though Barack Obama removed his name from the ballot in Michigan. Clinton uses popular vote totals from both Florida in Michigan in her claim that she is beating the Illinois senator in the overall popular vote.
“I have heard some say counting Florida and Michigan would be changing the rules,” she said at a rally in Boca Raton. “I say not that not counting Florida and Michigan is changing a central governing rule of this country, that whenever we can understand the clear intent of the voters, their vote should be counted.”
Paterson, a Democratic superdelegate, said he disagreed with the party's initial decision to penalize the states, but added he thought the party should now "leave it where it is."
He also noted none of the presidential candidates - including Hillary Clinton - objected to the penalty when it was imposed last year.
Compiled by Mary Grace Lucas, CNN Washington Bureau
Washington Post: POW Aftereffects in McCain Unlikely
Sen. John McCain's 5 1/2 years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam undoubtedly changed the course of his life. But now that he is 71, that remote trauma seems unlikely to shorten his life span or to lead to mental or physical conditions that are not already apparent.
LA Times: Obama makes moves for fall election
The Democratic front-runner looks for a running mate, talks with party officials and campaigns where it counts - all while trying not to overstep while Clinton is still in the race.
The Hill: GOP says troop cuts likely to help McCain
GOP Sen. John McCain’s presidential bid could receive a boost if additional troops are withdrawn from Iraq this fall, according to his Republican colleagues. The Arizona senator’s allies said Gen. David Petraeus’s remarks Thursday that he expects to recommend more troop withdrawals this fall would validate McCain’s arguments that last year’s troop surge was needed to stabilize Iraq.
NY Times: As Race Wanes, Talk of Clinton as No. 2 Grows
While Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and her advisers insist that she is determined to win the Democratic nomination, friends of the couple say that former President Bill Clinton, for one, has begun privately contemplating a different outcome for her: As Senator Barack Obama’s running mate.
* Sen. Hillary Clinton campaigns in South Dakota towns, holding two afternoon events to discus solutions for securing the state’s future.
* Sen. John McCain has no public events today.
* Sen. Barack Obama is in Florida, for the Cuban Independence Day Celebration in Miami and then heads to a rally in Sunrise.