Boucher Sticking with Obama
Despite the uproar of Sen. Barack Obama's pastor and his poor showing in communities along the Appalachian Mountains, U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) said today he's convinced Obama is still more electable than Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY)
Boucher, who represents rural Southwest Virginia, endorsed Obama (D-Ill) in January. Since then, it's become apparent that Obama is struggling to win over working class white voters like the ones who make up Boucher's district.
In the Feb. 12 primary, Obama failed to get 15 percent of the vote in several counties in southwest Virginia, even though he beat Clinton statewide by almost 30 points. Obama's trouble connecting with voters in the Appalachian Mountain region was verified in last week's Pennsylvania primary.
But Boucher said he's sticking with Obama, despite his constituents' reservations about him.
"He is the most compelling candidate who has sought the Democratic nomination since Bobby Kennedy sought the Democratic nomination in 1968," Boucher said in an interview today. "Senator Obama is bringing millions of younger participants into the Democratic Party, rejuvenating the party in my view. He is clearly best positioned to win the general election."
Boucher said Obama is just experiencing "some adversity" that is normal for a candidate engaged in a protracted campaign.
But Boucher hedged when asked if he thinks Obama can improve his standing in southwest Virginia in time for the general election if he is the nominee.
"At the end of the day, what matters is who is best positioned to win the general election," Boucher said. "There are parts of the country where he shows greater strength and there are parts of the country where Senator Clinton shows a stronger position, but in that equation he is still stronger and better positioned to win nationwide."
April 28, 2008; 4:23 PM ET
Categories: Election 2008/President , Tim Craig
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