Hillary Clinton Super-D/Bill Clinton DNC chair Switches to Obama

By Mark Mooney

May 1, 2008 7:19am

Joe Andrew was appointed to chair the Democratic National Committee in 1999, during the presidency of Bill Clinton.

The youngest DNC chair ever endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid last year, saying,  "Hillary Clinton has the strength and experience to compete and win across this country. I have seen up close her intellect, character, and fortitude, and I am convinced she is the best prepared to handle these challenging times. Her 35-year record fighting for America’s families is as impressive as she is, and demonstrates why she will be a great President of the United States."

"Joe was a strong leader who put the Democratic Party on the right path,” Clinton said. "I’m honored to have his support."

Not so fast, senator.

Today Andrew, former chair of the Indiana Democratic Party, will announce he’s switching to Sen. Barack Obama’s camp, the AP reports.

In an Indianapolis press conference he will so in order to urge his "fellow superdelegates across the nation to heal the rift in our party and unite behind Barack Obama," as he writes in a letter he’s sending to superdelegates.

Andrew writes he’s switching because "a vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote to continue this process, and a vote to continue this process is a vote that assists John McCain….While I was hopeful that a long, contested primary season would invigorate our party, the polls show that the tone and temperature of the race is now hurting us. John McCain, without doing much of anything, is now competitive against both of our remaining candidates. We are doing his work for him and distracting Americans from the issues that really affect all of our lives."

"I am convinced that the primary process has devolved to the point that it’s now bad for the Democratic Party," Andrew told the AP.

"He has shown such mettle under fire," Andrew told the AP. "The Jeremiah Wright controversy just reconfirmed for me, just as the gas tax controversy confirmed for me, that he is the right candidate for our party."

Yesterday in Billings, Montana, meanwhile, former GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee went after his fellow Christian minister, Rev. Wright, saying Obama’s "campaign is not being derailed by his race, it’s being derailed by a person who doesn’t want him to prove that we have made great advances in this country…Jeremiah Wright needs for Obama to lose so he can justify his anger, his hostile bitterness against the United States of America."

We live in interesting times.

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