From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
Dodd and became the first presidential hopeful to sign the early state pledge we reported on earlier.
DODD: "I believe that Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada offer a cross section of America and allow for voters to probe the experience and vision of candidates in a meaningful way. In this year, where the national media focus seems to be on celebrity and bank accounts, the role of these states is more important than ever. I am committed to the DNC nominating calendar and preserving the first in the nation status of Iowa and New Hampshire."
*** UPDATE *** BIDEN SIGNS PLEDGE: Biden Campaign Manager Luis Navarro: "It is time to end all the maneuvering around the dates of the early primaries and caucuses. We intend not only to sign the pledge, but to honor our pledge to Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina to respect their primacy to the process. They played by the rules of the DNC. We respect those rules. The public despises this kind of maneuvering for political advantage. If the Republicans want to play this way, let them. But we will not be a party to it."
*** UPDATE 2 *** OBAMA, EDWARDS AND RICHARDSON ALSO SIGN PLEDGE: Obama, Edwards and Richardson have also agreed to sign the pledge. This puts pressure on Clinton now to say whether she will campaign in Florida and Michigan for defying the DNC and moving up inside the Feb. 5 window. ***UPDATE 3*** CLINTON SIGNS PLEDGE
Here are Obama's, Edwards' and Clinton's statements:
OBAMA: "As I have campaigned across America over the last six months, it's become clear that Governor (Howard) Dean and the Democratic National Committee have put together a presidential nomination process that's in the best interests of our party and our nation."
EDWARDS: "Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina need to be first because in these states ideas count, not just money. This tried-and-true nominating system is the only way for voters to judge the field based on the quality of the candidate, not the depth of their war chest."
CLINTON: "We believe Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina play a unique and special role in the nominating process," Patti Solis Doyle, the Clinton campaign manager, said in a statement per the New York Times.