From NBC/NJ's Mike Memoli
RALEIGH, NC -- North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley (D) made his endorsement official this morning, saying that Hillary Clinton "gets it" and is a fighter who he said "makes Rocky Balboa look like a pansy."
"There's a lot of 'yes we can' and 'yes we should' going around," he said, taking what seemed to be a subtle jab at Obama. "Hillary Clinton is ready to deliver. That's the difference."
Clinton said she was honored to have Easley's endorsement, calling it "politically very meaningful." But more than that, she said the example Easley had shown in his two terms as governor that he "gets it" as well, and in his administration has shown how state governments "truly are the labs of democracy."
And she quoted former Gov. Mario Cuomo's famous line, that you "campaign in poetry but you govern in prose."
"I think that's pretty descriptive," she said. "Because when the lights are gone, and the cameras are off, and the speeches are over, what you want is somebody who delivers results. And sometimes that's not very glamorous, and it takes a lot of work, and some false starts, and frustration. Bringing everybody together doesn't necessarily mean they will all agree. It takes a leadership to set a vision, to put forth the goals and the strategies. That's what Gov. Easley has done in North Carolina. That's what I will do as your president. And I am honored to have this endorsement today."
Earlier, Easley and Clinton had toured a biotech lab here on the campus of North Carolina State University. Clinton credited Easley's administration for policies that have put it third in the nation in the field.
"We don't need any more position papers; we don't need any more commissions. Work is being done in states, a state like North Carolina. We just need to bring it to scale for the United States, and I will do that as president."