- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 5, 2008

UPDATED, 11:30 a.m.

NEW YORK — The Democratic National Committee this morning will be announcing it will no longer take donations from registered federal lobbyists and PACs, consistent with Sen. Barack Obama’s policy.

Mr. Obama today will announce the change — a policy that has helped boost his own candidacy and raise grassroots money.

DNC Chairman Howard Dean said in a statement the national party and Obama camp are “unified and working together to elect Barack Obama as the next president.”

He also called Mr. Obama the presumptive nominee for the first time when saying the DNC would adopt the pledge to not take lobbyists’ money.

“Senator Obama has promised to change the way things are done in Washington and this step is a sure sign of his commitment,” Mr. Dean said. “The American people’s priorities will set the agenda in an Obama Administration, not the special interests.”

The presumptive Democratic nominee is campaigning today in southwest Virginia near the Tennessee border and Northern Virginia.

The campaign announced this morning that Virginia Sen. Jim Webb will join him at the rally this evening.

Mr. Webb, a potential vice presidential candidate, had remained neutral in the Democratic primary.

Former Gov. Mark Warner, now a U.S. Senate candidate, will join Mr. Obama in Bristol to officially make his endorsement.

The Obama campaign believes Virginia can be in the Democratic column this fall for the first time since 1964.

Presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain called Mr. Obama last night to congratulate him on locking down the Democratic nod.

Obama aides described the short conversation as cordial and friendly.

“They said they looked forward to having a civil discussion in the campaign going forward,” said Obama adviser Linda Douglass.

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