Ex-DNC Chair Switches to Obama Camp

Andrew abandons Clinton, tells superdels to 'heal the rift'
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2008 6:51 AM CDT
Mary Masceri watches as Barack Obama talks on the phone with Mary's husband Frank Masceri during conversations with working families in Beach Grove, Ind., Wednesday, April 30, 2008.    (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – Joe Andrew, a superdelegate and the Democratic Party chair during Bill Clinton's presidency, has switched his allegiance from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama, reports the AP. Andrew had endorsed Hillary on the day she announced her candidacy, but in a lengthy letter to other superdelegates he says they must rally behind Obama to "heal the rift in our party."

The Obama camp had not sought Andrew's endorsement, but the former DNC chair says "he has shown so much mettle under fire," citing the Jeremiah Wright controversy and the flare-up over gas taxes. The change of heart cuts Hillary Clinton's superdelegate lead to only 19; she had previously held as much as a 100-delegate lead over Obama.