May 28th, 2008 5:33 pm | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics, CLEAN UP

Two More Superdelegates Come Down off the Fence


After our post last week comparing Oregon's undecided Democratic superdelegates to weasels, two more today came out of their holes.

Democratic Party of Oregon Chair Meredith Wood Smith endorsed Barack Obama in an Oregonian editorial this morning.

And Wayne Kinney, DNC Committeeman for the DPO, just announced in a news release he's endorsing Obama as well.

Kinney's decision is mildly surprising even after Obama won the Oregon primary handily on May 20. Kinney is an aide in Sen. Ron Wyden's office in Bend. Josh Kardon, Wyden's chief of staff, is Hillary Clinton's Oregon campaign director. And Wyden, who is also a superdelegate, has indicated that he's staying neutral in order not to stifle support for his Healthy Americans Act.

In an interview with WWire this morning, Smith defended her decision not to decide until this week, saying as head of the state party she was still proportioning delegates to Clinton and Obama and needed to stay neutral. Kinney told WWire last week he was holding off for the same reason.

The DPO announced yesterday Obama got 31 of Oregon's 52 committed delegates. Clinton got the remaining 21.

Smith said she made up her mind over the weekend to support Obama — a difficult choice for a 65-year-old who believes it's crucial to see women take leadership in politics.

"It was a real soul search for me, until I finally felt that there were enough things in place," Smith said. "This is huge. I recognize what my decision means. And I want to do it with the most thoughtfulness."

She said she was under pressure from the Clinton campaign to hold off her announcement, but she did not delay out of concern new dirt will surface about Obama. "That wasn't in my consideration at all," she said. "I think we've probably vetted just about everything out there."

Smith's and Kinney's announcements today leave only four of Oregon's 12 superdelegates undecided. They are Wyden, Secretary of State Bill Bradbury, and DPO officials Gail Rasmussen and Frank Dixon.

We're waiting...

[Image from May 17 Portland rally by Nilina Mason-Campbell. EDITOR'S NOTE: This photo replaces an image posted earlier, in which a photo of Obama and Clinton was Photoshopped with the iconic image of Che Guevara in the background. No aspersion was intended on Clinton, Obama, or the Movimiento 26 de Julio.]
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