The Significance of Joe Andrew Switching to Obama

May 01 2008 Published by under Featured News

According to the AP, Joe Andrew who was Chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1999-2001, will announce today that he is switching his support from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama.

Andrew has written a letter to other superdelegates, which says in part that he feels, “a vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote to continue this process, and a vote to continue this process is a vote that assists (Republican) John McCain.”

“While I was hopeful that a long, contested primary season would invigorate our party, the polls show that the tone and temperature of the race is now hurting us,” Andrew wrote. “John McCain, without doing much of anything, is now competitive against both of our remaining candidates. We are doing his work for him and distracting Americans from the issues that really affect all of our lives.”

I am interested in seeing more of this letter once it is released to the public. I don’t think the big news here is Andrew switching sides, but that he is trying to unify party support around Obama. All you have to do is watch television or surf the Internet for a few minutes each day to get a sense of the negative tone of this race.

Both candidates blame the other for this tone, but the truth is that this is typical of most elections where the two candidates have very little difference in policy.

Both sides have fueled this tone. Obama earned the wrath of Clinton supporters by criticizing her judgment, and in essence, calling her a corrupt old school politician. Clinton has earned the scorn of Obama supporters by trying question his experience and readiness.

Her attempts at political exploitation though have backfired and reinforced Obama’s point that she is an old school politician. This race is hurting the Democratic Party because it has gotten intensely personal.

People often focus on the length of this primary as the problem, but it isn’t. If this was a positive primary there would no issue here, but the race has gone negative, and that can only serve to hurt the Democratic candidate in November.

AP Story:

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