On the trail

The Associated PressMay 30, 2008 

Democrats push to end primary race

THE NEW YORK TIMES

WASHINGTON -- Hoping to bring their party's presidential nomination fight to an end, the two top Democrats in Congress said they were pressing superdelegates who had yet to declare a preference in the race to make their choice public by the middle of next week.

Party officials said Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, had been contacting uncommitted superdelegates, encouraging them to prepare to go public and resolve any last question about the contest between Sens. Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

"By this time next week, it will all be over, give or take a day," Reid said in a Thursday appearance in San Francisco.

Given Obama's lead in the delegate race and potential support among the approximately 200 members of Congress and Democratic insiders who have yet to declare, the push to wind up the race works to his benefit. While Pelosi and Reid have remained publicly neutral in the nominating clash while emphasizing its potential benefits to the party, they now appear to have concluded that prolonging it much longer could be detrimental.

Representatives of Reid and Pelosi will be on hand Saturday for the rules committee of the Democratic National Committee, when members meet to decide how the disputed delegates from the Florida and Michigan primaries should awarded.

Obama deals with new clergy dust-up

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Thursday that he was "deeply disappointed" by a supporter's sermon at his church that mocked Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The Rev. Michael Pfleger, a Chicago activist, also apologized for Sunday's sermon at Obama's church, in which he said Clinton's eyes welled with tears before the New Hampshire primary because she felt "entitled" to the Democratic nomination and because "there's a black man stealing my show."

In video circulating on the Internet, Pfleger said the former first lady expected to win the nomination before Obama's sudden popularity.

Obama won the Iowa caucuses, the first contest of the nominating season, in January. Days later, Clinton's eyes brimmed with tears and her voice broke as she talked with New Hampshire voters on the eve of the primary, which she won.

Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago has been Obama's spiritual home for years and also triggered a controversy earlier this spring over remarks made by Obama's longtime pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr.

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