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Edwards Fundraiser Backs Obama Bid

Hours after former Senator John Edwards announced his exit from the presidential race, one of his most prominent Jewish fundraisers is backing Senator Barack Obama, the Forward has exclusively learned.

Speaking this morning, Fort Lauderdale lawyer Mitchell Berger said the decision had been an easy one.

“They are the two candidates who represent real change,” Berger said. “I will be supporting Barack Obama.”

In 2004, Berger was the national finance co-chairman of Senator Joseph Lieberman’s failed presidential bid. He said that he has heard from a number of fellow Edwards supporters by phone and email today and, after reeling off a half-dozen names of fellow donors who had joined the Obama campaign, predicted the “vast majority” of Edwards’s supporters would follow suit.

In an earlier conversation with the Forward, Berger said that his relationship remains cordial with Lieberman, who since the 2004 race has been reborn as an Independent, and is now backing Republican John McCain in the presidential contest.

Earlier this month, while Lieberman was in Florida stumping for McCain, he took time out to visit Berger.

“We shared a conversation, and I told him that I disagreed with what he did,” Berger told the Forward. “But we are 20-odd-year friends, and after all these years, Senator Lieberman has stood for good things on all these other issues.”

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