UPDATED: Consider U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan as part of the effort to draft Hillary Clinton into the 2016 presidential race.
The state’s Democratic U.S. senator revved a crowd eager for a woman president Monday in New York. “All of the Senate Democratic women have written her a letter encouraging her to run,” Hagan told an EMILY’s List crowd, according to local reports.
When asked if she supported a potential Clinton’s presidential bid, Hagan answered: "Add me to the ‘Yes’ list.”
Hagan stayed out of the fray in 2008 when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton waged a pitched battle for delegates in North Carolina.
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And the early endorsement may make for an awkward situation when Vice President Joe Biden comes to North Carolina next month to help Hagan raise money for her re-election bid. Biden, too, is reportedly exploring a possible presidential bid.
Hagan was a featured guest at the EMILY’s List event, which raised money to help elect Democratic women to political office. The organization ponied up big money to help elect her in 2008 and is expected to do so again.
The N.C. Republican Party is using her appearance in the big city to score political points.
Hagan recently criticized outside interests for helping Republican Senate candidates in North Carolina and now she’s doing the same thing, a state party spokesman said. “Slamming out-of-state special interest groups at the very same time you attend their events and accept hundreds of thousands of dollars from them is really the height of hypocrisy, even for Kay Hagan,” Daniel Keylin.