Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wyden Gets Off the Fence -- Finally

Sen. Ron Wyden, one of Oregon's superdelegates to the Democratic National Convention, announced his support for Barack Obama today - a day after Obama had

Posted By on Wed, Jun 4, 2008 at 1:38 PM

Sen. Ron Wyden, one of Oregon's superdelegates to the Democratic National Convention, announced his support for Barack Obama today - a day after Obama had clinched the nomination.

The only other Oregon super-D who was still uncommitted, Secretary of State Bill Bradbury, came out for Obama on Tuesday evening after the Montana and South Dakota primaries gave the Illinois senator a majority of convention delegates. Ten of Oregon's 12 supers have announced for Obama, with two - Gov. Ted Kulongoski and US Rep. Darlene Hooley - still supporting Hillary Clinton.

"The voters of Oregon certainly spoke clearly on the subject, and my vote will enthusiastically reflect their decision to nominate Senator Obama," Wyden said in a statement. Obama won Oregon's May 20 primary with nearly 60% of the vote.

Wyden also used the occasion to take a jab at the superdelegate system: "When voters in Oregon and around the country hear the word 'superdelegate,' people start hissing. I never asked to be a superdelegate, and always thought it preposterous that my vote would be accorded greater weight than the vote of the very people who make my public service possible."

Wyden had said earlier that he was delaying his endorsement until June 13 because he hoped to work with either Clinton or Obama to get his health care plan enacted and didn't want to alienate one of them by prematurely backing the other. That prompted one Oregon poster on The Daily Kos to comment: "I just read that my senator, Ron Wyden, is going to endorse on June 13th. Just in time for absolutely nothing. Way to take the bull by the horns Ron! Why is it the females in this party have more cajones [sic] than most of the men?"

And it could turn out that Wyden hurt himself by being just a little bit too coy. The word in late May was that the Obama people were leaning on him to endorse when it would still do their guy some good. With Wyden coming down off the fence only after the nomination was locked up, President Obama might not see much reason to be grateful.

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