• WisPolitics

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

 1:02 AM 

Speech pushes Clinton backers toward Obama camp

Picture courtesy of Uppity Wisconsin

A pair of Hillary Clinton-backing Wisconsin delegates turned to sports analogies to describe their reactions to her Tuesday night convention address.

"I thought it was a home run, grand slam, a touchdown, whatever sport analogy you want to insert -- it was a win," said delegate Shawn Pfaff. "She was magnanimous, confident, and put the team first."

"She really hit it out of the ballpark," said Heather Colburn, the delegation whip.

But Colburn said she and others were waiting to hear more from Clinton before deciding how to cast their votes during Wednesday's roll call. But overall she said "there is not a consensus at this point about how to move forward" among Wisconsin's Clinton backers.

"Some people feel like they were sent here to be a Hillary delegate and that means they will vote for her," Colburn said. "There are others who think this is Barack time and may vote for him. We really will have no idea how the vote will turn out until Hillary talks to us tomorrow and we actually cast our votes."

Saying she was "weighing the decision very carefully in my mind and heart," Colburn said, "I still feel like this is a second chance for me to show her my support by casting my vote for her."

There was no such hesitation for Clinton supporter Brett Hulsey.

"I will be voting for Obama," Hulsey said. "I've become an Obama guy. The drama is over and it's time for us to move on from here, focusing on beating McCain."

Hulsey said he was hearing similar sentiments from other Clinton backers.

"Just in talking to a few people on the way back from the Pepsi Center it seems people are comfortable with the idea of voting for Obama. I don't know how everyone feels, but I am not aware of any overwhelming lingering hostility. Everyone seems to be on board with the idea of an Obama/Biden ticket."

Both Hulsey and Pfaff praised Clinton's selflessness and her regard for the party.

"She unified the party tonight, no doubt," Pfaff said. "Most politicians only think about themselves and are generally pretty selfish. She was clearly thinking about Barack Obama becoming president, putting him before herself."

Adding another sports analogy into the mix, Hulsey said, "Nobody who wins the silver medal likes to stand up and congratulate the gold finisher. That said, she was very gracious and I do believe sincere."

Hulsey also said he wished Clinton's magnanimous side had shown through a little earlier in the process.

"I thought it was a great speech. I wish she would have made it months earlier," he said. "Throughout the campaign both Clinton and Obama found their voice, and obviously hers is a very confident one, but I think there was definitely something in her tone tonight that a lot of people appreciated and maybe would have been helpful during the primary season."

Overall, Hulsey was pleased with the result: "I think the speech helped us realize there is a common mission here, and that we are all after the same thing, which is to put a Democrat in the White House."

-- By Matt Clark and Mike Schramm


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