On the fence
no more, U.S. Rep. David Wu, one of Oregon's dozen Democratic super-delegates, announced this morning that he will back Sen. Barack Obama for his party's presidential nomination.
"He's the embodiment of change," Wu said this morning on a conference call with reporters.
Wu went on to say that he's comfortable with the positions taken by Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton on domestic and international affairs. The closest Wu got to outlining any actual distinction between the two candidates was when he lauded Obama as having "brought the temperature down" in the campaign, a sign of both Obama being thoughtful and a "natural conciliator."
Asked whether that meant he considered Clinton to be more divisive, Wu said, "I didn't say that."
Wu also kept the window open—by the smallest of cracks—to changing his mind, saying in response to a question that he'd obviously think about his decision if Clinton were to win his congressional district by 25 percentage points. "But I don't think that's going to happen," he said.
As for whether there's any point between now and June that Clinton should drop out if she still trails Obama among delegates, Wu said, "Senator Clinton has the absolute right to stick it out as long as she wants."
And that leaves these eight folks
on the hot seat.
As the May 20 Oregon primary looms, Wu now makes four of the state's 12 super-delegates who have now committed to a a candidate. Oregon's super-delegate scorecard before Wu's decision had U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer for Obama; and Gov. Ted Kulongoski plus U.S. Rep. Darlene Hooley for Clinton.
Meanwhile, Obama's Oregon campaign just issued this news release I've tacked on below. Two things to note, both of which I've put in bold: 1) It's all about Clinton's war vote; and 2) The Obama campaign must be picking up these super-delegate endorsements so fast that they don't have time to change the template on their press releases:
PORTLAND , OR — Today U.S. Congressman David Wu from Oregon announced his support for Senator Barack Obama for president, citing his ability to make real change:
"I think we are blessed to have two strong candidates for president," Congressman David Wu said. "I am endorsing Barack Obama for president today because I believe that he is best suited to turn the page on this sorry episode in American history. He and I both had the judgment to oppose the Iraq War from the very beginning.
"Every dollar that we have spent in Iraq—which adds up to over $500 billion so far—is a dollar not spent at home, a school not built, a bridge not repaired," continued Wu. "We need new policies both at home and abroad. Like Americans, the international community wants to see real change in America and I believe that Senator Obama embodies that change."
"I thank Congressman Wu for his support, and look forward to working with him to bring this war in Iraq to an end, strengthening our economy and addressing the issue of climate change," said Senator Barack Obama.
Congressman Wu is in his fifth term representing Oregon's 17th First Congressional District.