Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sunday Flashes

STUNNING NEWS:

California First Lady Maria Shriver delivered a surprise endorsement of Barack Obama today. She appeared unexpectedly at the big Obama rally at UCLA, led by Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama and Caroline Kennedy. Hear her 8-minute endorsement speech here. Shriver hinted at the trouble her decision could cause at home, joking about how "scary" it was to break publicly from her husband, Governor Schwarzenegger, who's endorsing John McCain. It's not the first time the two have disagreed publicly on politics, but if Obama wins the nomination, it sure raises the prospect of a fascinating fall campaign, with Schwarzenegger stumping for one candidate and his wife for the other.

TOO CLOSE TO CALL:

You can feel Obama's momentum on the campaign trail, and now you can measure it. Three new polls show him closing what was once a yawning gap with Hillary Clinton. She had a 30-point lead in California's Field Poll six months ago - now it's just two points. Meanwhile, Zogby and Rasmussen say Obama has pulled ahead - and Zogby polled through Saturday, while Field quit calling on Friday. So Zogby's numbers may be tracking late-breaking voters more accurately. We talked with Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo about his numbers, in both the Democratic and Republican races - hear the interview here.

The Clinton campaign, trying to stop the hemorrhaging in a must-win state, is scrambling to bring the First Husband-in-waiting back to a place that still loves him: Bill will barnstorm California on Monday, from Orange County to San Francisco, to try to sway those undecided and Edwards voters, and keep Obama from stealing the Golden State. Hillary insists she's not worried; if you missed our exclusive interview with her Friday night, here it is.

We'll break down those Super Tuesday races tomorrow - too much going on today to keep up!