• WisPolitics

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

 12:19 PM 

Top Clinton backers already behind Obama

Barack Obama doesn't have to do anything to win over Hillary Clinton supporters Barbara Lawton and Kathleen Falk.

They're already on board.

With the Dems' primary season now over and Clinton preparing to throw her support behind Obama tomorrow, the party's presumptive nominee is now starting to work on winning over his rival's supporters after a bitter campaign that exposed some rifts in the party. Polls in recent primary states showed a significant portion of Clinton's backers unwilling to vote for Obama this fall, while images of Clinton supporters outraged over the handling of the disputed primaries in Michigan and Florida dominated cable news last weekend.

But the lieutenant governor, who was co-chair of Clinton's Wisconsin and Midwest campaigns, and the Dane County exec, who was one of the first Wisconsin public officials to back Clinton, say they're already prepared to do what they can for Obama this fall.

Lawton admitted disappointment among Clinton supporters. But she said it's time to move on.

"I just have a very clear sense of purpose that I need to get to work, and I have already in talking to people and saying, 'Get over it, let the swelling go down and come to work,' because we simply must ensure that the havoc that has been wrought in our state and other states across the nation by eight years of a Bush administration doesn't continue under the name of John McCain," Lawton said.

Falk, who often acted as a surrogate for Clinton in the week leading up to Wisconsin's Feb. 19 primary and campaigned for her in Iowa, said while Dems are passionate, she hasn't met any Clinton supporters so upset over how the primary-caucus season played out that they won't back Obama. She also said the prolonged nomination fight energized Dems like never before.

Falk said she'd be thrilled and excited if Clinton were tapped to be Obama's running mate, but she expects the New York senator to be involved in this fall's campaign regardless of who gets the nod for the No. 2 spot on the ticket and said she continues to focus on the positives of Clinton's prez campaign.

"She has shattered a really big glass ceiling. I am grateful for that," Falk said.

See more: http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=128393


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