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Friday, June 13, 2008

 11:17 PM 

Former Clinton campaign official calls defection 'sad'

Heather Colburn, who served as Hillary Clinton's state coordinator in Wisconsin, said she was "a little sad" to see one of the senator's delegates publicly endorse John McCain, saying it ran contrary to the charge the former first lady laid out for this fall of electing a Democrat to the White House.

Debra Bartoshevich made national news Friday when she said she would vote for McCain this fall even though she is a Clinton delegate for this year's national convention. The state party announced that it will file a complaint with the DNC seeking to revoke her status as a delegate.

Colburn said Bartoshevich was "a Clinton stalwart" who had been to Iowa and Ohio to campaign for the senator and "definitely was a great volunteer and very dedicated to Sen. Clinton and I'm assuming that's where the defect comes from, that feeling of being heartbroken and saddened by the loss."

Colburn said she's using a "gentle hand" with some Clinton supporters to get them behind Barack Obama, saying some are ready to embrace him while others say they'll vote for him this fall, though they need some time right now.

She said she was probably still going through the process of accepting that Clinton will not be the party's nominee. But she decided to back him after thinking about how she would feel on the last night of the national convention as Obama accepts the party's nomination.

"I know that I'm going to feel extremely honored to be part of history," she said. "That motivates me to recognize maybe, again, it's not the kind of history that I set out to make, but it's still an amazing piece of history that we're about to write."

Listen to the interview.

-- By JR Ross

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