In a shocker surprise endorsement, Maria Shriver — First Lady of California and Ahh-nold’s wife, just showed up at the Michelle Obama, Oprah, Caroline Kennedy rally in Los Angeles.
She’s taking the stage now, more to come.
Now that I’ve finally made it to LAX…
Shriver, wearing a suede brown western-style jacket, explained her casual outfit, saying she woke up this morning intending to go to her daughter’s horse show.
“I’m standing here because I want to be here,” Shriver told the 9,000-person crowd. “I wasn’t on the schedule. And I thought to myself when I woke up this morning, I thought to myself there’s no place I’d like to be but here today… You know, the more I thought about it, I thought if Barack Obama was a state he’d be California. Think about it: diverse, independent, smart, bucks tradition…” Shriver said as the crowd chanted “Yes!” to each quality.
Interestingly Shriver announced her “support” for Obama, but never used the word “endorse,” though Obama staff aftereard said her appearance and speech qualified as an endorsement. As my colleague Mark Halperin points out, she still has not made a decision about whether she will campaign for Obama.
Of course, Shriver is a Kennedy although she’s married to the Republican governator of California. Walking out of the event Diane and Jonathan Kert, both retired state workers from Long Beach, mused about what this might make for dinner conversation in Sacramento tonight (Schwarzenegger has endorsed McCain). “I’m absolutely floored that the wife of a Republican governor in this state would be supporting a Democrat for president,” said Jonathan, 61. “She took a risk that’s almost historic.”
“Yes dear, but she was on the stage with her cousin,” Diane, 62, replied. “She is, after all a Democrat.”
It remains to be seen how this could affect the vote in California. But in a state where Hillary has reached out almost exclusively to women Shriver’s support — and today’s rally as a whole — can’t be great for Hillary.