"Despite Barack Obama's difficulties in April, he has continued to outpace Hillary Clinton in the race for superdelegates who will be crucial in deciding" the nod.
Obama gained five superdelegates on 5/1, most notably ex-DNC Chair Joe Andrew, who was appointed under Bill Clinton and backed HRC's campaign early on. "Andrew told reporters he abandoned [HRC] because Obama is 'literally inspiring and different from anyone I've ever dealt with in this process." Also, he expressed concern that the ongoing primary was hurting the Dems' chances against John McCain, and that Dems needed to rally behind Obama to start attacking him head-on.
Dem consultant Tad Devine "said the Andrew endorsement is particularly significant for Obama because Andrew is a respected party official and party officials make up 120 of the remaining 218 uncommitted superdelegates."
Andrew is also from IN, "and his support could not come at a more critical time as poll numbers show Obama trailing Clinton" in that state (Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, 5/2).
Dem strategist Bob Shrum: "The superdelegates like Joe Andrew are looking at this thing and saying Obama is very likely to win, so somehow or another we have to bring this to a close instead of having a brutal fight between now and the convention" ("Morning Joe," MSNBC, 5/2).
NBC's Chuck Todd, on whether other superdelegates will follow Andrew's lead and switch allegiances: "Look, the Obama campaign was looking for somebody like Joe Andrew to do this. They were searching for somebody to be that person, to say it the way that Joe Andrew said it which is, 'You know what, I was for Clinton but I now think that Obama is going to be the nominee. So, I got to start rallying around the nominee.' ... Particularly this week, which has been an incredibly tough week for Senator Obama, they found somebody to say, 'Hey, you know, it's not so toxic. Come on aboard. This is still a bandwagon, you better get on while the getting is good" ("Countdown," MSNBC, 5/1).
This article appears in the May 2, 2008, edition of Latest Edition.