Superdelegate suggests Clinton camp tried to ‘buy’ her vote

While voters in Indiana and North Carolina cast their votes, several Hoosier and Tar Heel superdelegates still sitting on the fence shared personal stories with RAW STORY about the pressures and issues that will help them finally decide: Hillary or Barack.

North Carolina superdelegate Dr. Jeannette Council, currently a member of the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners, said her decision will be based on the voters in her district as well as her own conscience.

“I’ve been in politics for 30 years and I’ve paid my own way to the convention since ‘72,” Council said. “I’ll announce my decision tomorrow because I don’t want to influence anyone’s vote. The ‘Wright’ thing has probably cost Obama a few points here though I think he’ll win. What is most important to me is education, health care, and inspiring the kids and that’s what Obama has done. All of my children are for him.”

Dr. Council said that she had been contacted numerous times by both campaigns, though she said the Clinton campaign has been more aggressive. She seemed upset about calls from the campaign.

“They asked me what it would take to get my vote and I said, ‘I don’t think I heard you right,'” Dr. Council told RAW STORY Tuesday. “‘I know I didn’t hear you imply that my vote was for sale.’ ‘Oh no,’ [they said], ‘that wasn’t what I intended to say at all.’ … ‘Then what the hell do you mean?'”

Sounding frustrated by the bitterness of the campaign, Dr. Council said she felt that Obama had been unfairly treated by the press and Senator Clinton’s campaign. She has not participated in any presidential candidate events or met with the candidates swarming around her state for the last four weeks.

Economy is focus of second superdelegate

Another North Carolina superdelegate, David Parker, says he spends time with both candidates and they constantly ask for his vote, but he’s holding out.

“Hillary Clinton told me last night that the ‘elected’ delegates could switch their vote at the convention and I told her that she was talking like a lawyer,” Parker said Tuesday. “Sure, they can change, but the chances are zero that they’re going to change – at least, not on the first ballot.”

Asked if Clinton’s thinking gave him a good idea whether she was planning to stay in the race until the convention, Parker said, “Probably.”

“She’s come up in the polls and the timing has been bad for Obama with the Rev. Wright revelations, but I still think it’s a good thing because he needs to be bloodied up before he goes into the general election,” he added.

Parker also said that he wouldn’t vote until it became clear there was a winner and he wasn’t concerned if the battle went all the way to the Democratic Convention in Denver this August.

“What matters most to me is how the candidates respond to the economy. Everything points to a troubling fall. Whichever candidate can convince the voters they can come up with quick results will win the election,” said Parker.

Asked if he’d be voting for Hillary Clinton because of her gas tax roll-back, Parked laughed and then turned serious.

“I honestly don’t know,” he said. “Remember, there are a lot of guys like me down here – over-educated white males trying to purge the spot of generations of racial inequality – and that will definitely play a part in my decision.”

Three Indiana superdelegates still undecided

In the Hoosier state, only three superdelegates remain uncommitted. One is Rep. Peter Visclosky (D-IN), whose endorsement is highly coveted by both camps.

His First District includes the far northwest corner of that state, which borders the south side of Chicago. The area is largely urban and one of the strongest African-Americans voting blocks in Indiana.

Jacob Ritvo, Communications Director for Congressman Visclosky, told RAW STORY: “The most important issues to determine who will get his superdelegate vote; jobs, jobs, jobs, the economy, the war in Iraq, gas prices, and access to healthcare.”

Congressman Visclosky has received lots of mail urging him to support Obama or Clinton and he’s been wooed and pursued by both, Ritvo said.

“The Congressman doesn’t have any self-imposed timetable,” Ritvo said. “He’ll wait until after our primary and may choose then…or not until this summer.”

Another uncommmitted delegate, first-term Congressman Joe Donnelly from Indiana’s Second District told the Kokomo Tribune, “I’ll vote for the candidate who can do the most to improve health care for Americans and help working families.”

Like most uncommitted superdelegates still hanging out on the sidelines, Donnelly said he didn’t want his decision to influence any voters.

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