ABC News’ Eloise Harper and Sunlen Miller Report:
ABC News has learned that Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., met with former Sen. John Edwards secretly at his home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on Thursday. Clinton’s rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Illionis Sen. Barack Obama will meet with Edwards on Monday, sources say.
Clinton initially told reporters that she was not asking for Edwards’ endorsement immediately after he got out of the race. Yesterday, speaking in Lewiston. Maine Clinton said "I’ll ask John Edwards to help with anything I do in the White House."
This would be an important endorsement for Clinton to secure, and is essential enough to her that she made a stealth trip to North Carolina, despite her busy campaign schedule. Clinton was two hours late to her first event last Thursday in Virginia, presumably things in the Tar Hill state tied her up.
Sen. Obama would very much like Edwards’ endorsement too. Pundits have speculated that Edwards’ populist message is more closely aligned with Obama.
Before exiting the Democratic presidential contest, Edwards secured pledges from his rivals to make fighting poverty a priority.
The meetings were initiated by Clinton and Obama, according to sources.
ABC News’ Raleyn Johnson contributed reporting.