Is He or Isn't He?
Council member Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5) became the latest Democrat to be elected a "superdelegate" - that all-powerful title that could make it or break it for Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama in their bid for the presidential nomination.
During the Potomac Primary in February, Thomas said he was in Clinton's camp. After Obama stomped Clinton 3 to 1 in the District, he hedged a bit.
Last week, he narrowly beat Obama supporter Miriam Sapiro 24 to 22 to become an unpledged delegate who would represent District Democrats at the national convention in Denver in August. Council member Yvette M. Alexander (D-Ward 7) was the clear winner among 12 candidates for two superdelegate spots. She garnered 31 votes. She also has been in Obama's camp from the beginning.
So the question remains: Is Thomas for Obama or isn't he?
Did local Democrats who clearly favor Obama elect someone who will just cast his vote for Clinton because he can?
"I didn't know being an unpledged delegate would make me so popular," Thomas said in an interview this morning. "I've gotten a hundred, two hundred calls, and e-mails from the listserves from Obama supporters."
The local committee sent out a news release last week, saying Thomas was pledging himself to Clinton. Thomas asked for a correction, which was sent out yesterday. "I'm unpledged," Thomas said. "It's not political gamesmanship for me. I'm really undecided."
"I, at least, want to meet with the candidate (Obama) and see what he has to say," Thomas said. "I take this very seriously."
He said he will also listen to his constituents. That would make him for Obama, right?
"I will make a decision...before the Pennsylvania primary," Thomas said.
Nikita R Stewart
April 8, 2008; 8:46 AM ET
Categories: D.C. Council
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