Barack Obama is receiving the support of another high-profile superdelegate in Indiana, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Joe Andrew, who is switching from Hillary Clinton’s camp.
Andrew, who was appointed DNC chief by Bill Clinton, had endorsed Hillary Clinton when she announced her bid last year. But in a letter to fellow superdelegates, Andrew says it’s time for the party to unite behind Obama so he can take on presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, the Associated Press reports.
‘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,’ wrote Andrew, who plans a news conference today in Indianapolis to urge Indiana voters to support Obama on Tuesday. ‘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,’ Andrew wrote. ‘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.’
In an interview with the AP, Andrew said he was impressed by Obama’s handling of two issues this week, opposing a summer gas tax holiday backed by Clinton and McCain, and repudiating his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.
Andrew’s defection narrows Clinton’s lead among superdelegates to just 20.