From CBS News' Fernando Suarez:
RALEIGH, N.C. – "This lady right here makes Rocky Balboa look like a pansy," said Governor Mike Easley, D-N.C., today, referring to Hillary Clinton. "There's nothing I love more than a strong powerful woman."
Clinton accepted a key endorsement from Easley today, as she struggles to stay alive in this nomination contest. She is down in the polls in both North Carolina and Indiana, so any political victory is a big one.
"I am thrilled to accept his endorsement," she said. "Of course, it's politically very meaningful but even more than that, it is great to have someone who really understands what we have to do to transform our country."
Although Easley did not mention Barack Obama by name, he implied that his decision was based on the fact that Clinton has more experience to be commander-in-chief. "There's a lot 'yes we can' and 'yes we should' going around," Easley told the crowd gathered in a small conference room at North Carolina State University, referring to Obama's campaign slogan. "Hillary Clinton is ready to deliver, that's the difference. She is ready to deliver today!"
"I never, never thought the United States of America could get in as much trouble as we have over the last seven or eight years," Easley continued. "It's going to take somebody special. Somebody smart, somebody who understands it, somebody who has experience to get in there, turn it around immediately and she can do that."
Clinton stayed in North Carolina this morning in order to accept the endorsement. She is headed to Indiana where she will campaign over the next few days.