Brooklyn’s two superdelegates whose districts voted overwhelmingly for Sen. Barack Obama in February’s New York primary say they’re still backing Sen. Hillary Clinton — though one of the ubervoters admitted that he was “bothered” by the trailing candidate’s use of the race card last week.
Even as Clinton’s chances of winning the Democratic nomination grow thinner, Reps. Ed Towns (D–Fort Greene) and Yvette Clarke (D–Park Slope) said they remain committed to New York’s junior senator.
“The process is not over,” said Towns, whose district gave Obama 57 percent of the vote in the Feb. 5 primary. “[On Tuesday], she won West Virginia by a 2–1 score. If she does that from here on in, she can still win.”
That said, Towns said he was “bothered” by Clinton’s recent suggestion that Obama could not be elected because he did not have white support.
After her narrow victory in the May 6 Indiana primary, Clinton outraged many Obama supporters — and helped create a mini-parade of superdelegates to the Illinois senator’s team — when she said that “Sen. Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again. … Whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.”
Many pundits, including apparently Towns, believed that Clinton was playing the race card.
“It bothered me because that’s not what I’m about,” Towns said. “This nation is about ability and performance. That’s why I’m backing Hillary Clinton — and I’m still backing her, even though that comment bothered me.”
A spokesman for Clarke, whose district was won by Obama with 59 percent of the vote, said the congresswoman “has not changed her position” in support of Clinton — though last week, Obama stopped by her chair as he took his “victory lap” through the House of Representatives.
The pair conversed amiably, and Clarke even handed Obama a copy of a Daily News headline that read, “It’s His Party,” yet the congresswoman was not indicating a change of heart.
That doesn’t mean some of her constituents aren’t demanding that she change her vote.
“What are you waiting for?” asked Arthur Piccolo, a writer and longtime Clarke critic. “Had you … endorsed Obama, you would be the political queen of New York State.”
If Clarke and Towns eventually flip for the likely nominee, they would be at the end of an ongoing trend towards Obama.
This week, the Obama campaign trumpeted that he had not only closed the superdelegate gap, but actually passed Clinton, who now has 266 confirmed superdelegates to Obama’s 283.
Back in March, Clinton led Obama 247–199.