December 19th, 2007
12:17 PM ET
15 years ago

Former DNC chairman will endorse Clinton

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Don Fowler, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and husband of current South Carolina Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler, will endorse Sen. Hillary Clinton for president Wednesday, sources tell CNN.

Fowler served as DNC chairman during former President Bill Clinton's administration from 1995 to 1997, a period that included Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign.

Fowler's wife has been state party chairwoman since April. She has said that she will remain neutral in the presidential primary.

The former chairman is a current member of the DNC, and a superdelegate to the 2008 Democratic convention in Denver. Fowler will make the announcement in an afternoon conference call.

South Carolina Democrats will hold their primary on January 26, the final nominating contest for their party before Super Tuesday on February 5.

UPDATE: Fowler said on the conference call he is endorsing Clinton because of her experience and her chances to win in 2008, explaining that she is a "wise leader who understands American government and politics better than anyone in the race."

He also responded to recent poll numbers in South Carolina that show Sen. Barack Obama cutting into Clinton's long-held lead.

"This is a close race," he said. "Anyone who ever thought this was a done deal is a bit mistaken and perhaps naïve."

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • South Carolina
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. AJ, IL

    How this is even newsworthy? A Bill Clinton supporter (and DNC chairperson) during the 1990s is supporting Hillary. If this former DNC chairperson was endorsing someone else other than Clinton, this would be a little more newsworthy.

    December 19, 2007 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  2. Angel, Los Angeles of Anaheim

    Yeah, so who cares?

    Loser endorsing loser.

    December 19, 2007 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  3. Yolanda, South Carolina



    December 19, 2007 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  4. Jesse, Burnsville, MN

    So now even Clinton supporters are stealing Obama's slogan?

    Don't be fooled America? You have very little say in who will be your nominee. These "superdelegates" are establishment folks and can pick whoever they want to be the nominee.

    Someone like Obama, who will create change, scares the hell out of them, because it will take power out of their hands.

    December 19, 2007 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  5. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    OK Yolanda, I will bite.

    What "change" will she bring that is different than the last 20 years?

    What has she actually EVER had the "lead" of up to this point?

    Just curious.

    December 19, 2007 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  6. GRACE


    December 19, 2007 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  7. columbus, Olivette, MO

    Not surprising! She is the establishment candidate. And it is that same establishment that has been in control of the party for nearly twoo decades. Yet, the Clintons failed to give us universal health care, brought us NAFTA, supported open borders, and demeaned the Democratic party thorugh personal failings.

    I don't care much about this endorsement because it is meant to maintain status quo. I have seen what the Demcoratic party of Clinton is: it hates young and progressive leadership, Edwards, Obama – very outstanding candidates. If it is conventional experience, is Hillary more experienced than Bill Richardson – No! But why is his name not being mentioned by the party establishment -He is Hispanic.

    I am seeing the erosion of confidence in the Democratic party, especialy among Blacks, Hispanics, and some of us who are want to rejuvenate the party and return it to its true roots. I am comfortable with any Democrat winning except Hillary.

    If she is nominated after their evil,vicious and hate campaign against Obama I will vote Republican to save the Republic from dynastic rule and force the Democratic party to reexamine itself after losing so that we can have free and frank discussion about the establishment's hold on our party.

    December 19, 2007 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  8. Pixie, Murfreesboro, TN

    And so we have the establishment endorsing an establishment candidate. In other news, the sun is hot.

    December 19, 2007 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  9. John, Euless, TX

    What change is Obama going to bring? When he sold himself out with Oprah that created change. It changed who I thought he was and what type of campaign he was running. Obama's time is in the future. We need a strong, smart, and eager leader in this country NOW. Hillary is by far the best candidate to meet the current needs of the country. It's funny how Obama supporters will say that basically his inexperience in Washington is why they are attracted to him. But then they will try to argue that Hillary doesn't have enough experience to be running for the job. Come on guys...make up your mind. This process isn't about taking power out of anyone's hands. It is about electing the best person for the job for all of us. Hillary will be a great president.

    December 19, 2007 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  10. Salita, SC

    The majority of them voted for the War. Obama wasnt around. However if you look at their voting records almost identical. For those of you who are still upset about the "war" vote..get over it we had an election on that issue WE LOST. NUFF said MOVE ON!

    December 19, 2007 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  11. Katy

    Fired up and ready to go is Obama's slogan! Clinton & Edwards have been using Obama's lines in the debates and in their ads, now Clinton supporters are using his slogan? Its just one more example of Senator Obama's dynamic leadership! Even his opponents follow him. Obama 08!

    December 19, 2007 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  12. Jason, Atlanta, Ga

    Some of you people sound so dumb. Like this person who says she is going to vote republican if Hillary is the nominee...GO!! Why are you calling the attacks on Obama racist? Because you support him? You need to be real...I'm black and I see nothing racist about the attacks against Obama. By the way there are a lot of blacks supporting Hillary they know the deal with Obama.

    December 19, 2007 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  13. Jimenez - Texas

    Clinton 08.

    December 19, 2007 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  14. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    His tenure on the DNC was so corrupted by the issues of the time, quite frankly, I wouldn't look at this as a "good endorsement". My 2 cents. Elephants may never forget, but us Donkey's have pretty good memories too.

    December 19, 2007 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  15. Thomas, Covina, CA

    What you right wing fanatical Republicans refuse to accept is that the Clintons gave us the most prosperous country in the history of America and you rocking chair Republican warriors gave us the most dangerous and UN-American President and Congress in the history of this great nation. Keep up the good work, you right wing fanatical Constitutional burning Republicans, because Hillary will be your leader whether you like it or not.

    December 19, 2007 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  16. tony, Mount Vernon, NY

    CNN should also report on this endorsement:

    The Clinton Campaign today announced the endorsement of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. The IUPAT represents more than 160,000 members and retirees in the finishing trades.

    "Our members have spoken and they have overwhelmingly chosen Senator Clinton as the IUPAT candidate for president," said IUPAT General President James Williams. "They told us that they want retirement security, health care reform and a leader in the White House who can deliver the change this country needs. Senator Clinton, the members of the Painters and Allied Trades believe in you, and we're ready to help you win in 2008."

    Williams said the IUPAT undertook the most extensive polling of its members and retirees ever conducted, mailing out ballots to every member nationwide, with Hillary the overwhelming winner.

    "I am honored to have the support of the hard working men and women of the IUPAT," Hillary said. "Together, we will ensure that America's working families are no longer invisible to the President of the United States."

    Hillary has been endorsed by more than a dozen unions representing 6 million working families nationwide, including: Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union; International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers; Transportation Communications Union; National Association of Letter Carriers; International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers; American Federation of Teachers; the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers; Amalgamated Transit Union; Office and Professional Employees International Union; and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts.

    I think this speaks volumes. Go Hillary!

    December 19, 2007 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  17. Mike, Iowa

    What evil, hateful comments towards Obama? That he used drugs? He was the first to mention this in his book. Everyone knew about it because of HIM.

    What's so frustrating is that Obama is becoming like George can't say anything critical of him or people will get mad and offended. He, like Bush, is becoming like a child; don't say anything or he might cry. He's running for President...either he can take the heat or he can't...which is it? He's a grown man and politics is not fun and not always positive.

    Everything that has been said about him has been out there for sometime, mostly coming from his mouth. It's nothing new and it's not hateful or evil. It's just the facts.

    People grow up. If he wants to be President then he needs to take the criticism. What happens if he becomes President when other countries may criticize him?

    I'm getting so tired of listening to these reporters talking about how mean people have been towards him. This isn't an election for senior class's the US Presidency.

    December 19, 2007 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    I thought CNN was the political news network? Cynthia McKinney just announced her presidential bid for the Green Party and CNN is doing endorsements from who?? Pitiful political biased news network is more like it..

    December 19, 2007 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  19. Chuck, Miami Fl

    Hillary is up in a NH poll so all the Hillary haters are having a bad day.

    December 19, 2007 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. Go Obama, Daytona Beach

    To Jason,
    You are native to think that Hillary Clinton is going to be the best hope for African-Americans. Just take a look at some of the things Bill Clinton is saying about Obama. Remember Bill Clinton did some things that effected African-Americans. Why should we think that Hillary Clinton is going to be like Bush? Why we would somebody that voted for the war and all of a sudden she has had a change of heart? Why would we want somebody that doesn't answer questions when asked? America needs a change and Hillary Clinton is not a change, she is the extension of Bush.

    December 19, 2007 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  21. Mark, Shreveport, LA

    Fowler was up to his neck in illegal fundraising for Bill Clinton, so this is an appropriate endorsement!

    December 19, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  22. Kojo, MN

    If its for Obama, then great but if its for Hillary, then Obama's supporters go ballistic. Obama will NEVER be the next president!

    December 19, 2007 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  23. Corey, Bloomington, IN

    Fowler's a jerk. He told students supporting Colbert that they were being foolish and didn't know how to write.

    December 19, 2007 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  24. CHill, Portland, OR

    I agree on her views on the war in Iraq. We have no reason to be there. Let's bring our men and women home.

    December 19, 2007 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  25. theo, Manorville, ny

    Is this the same guy still sporting the Jimmy Carter and Mondale/Ferraro bumper stickers??? Oh yeah, he probably has a Dukakis button on his lapel............ what an idiot

    December 19, 2007 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
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