February 21st, 2008
10:15 AM ET
15 years ago

Superdelegate schmoozed by Chelsea backs Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/21/art.jasonrae.cnn.jpg caption="Superdelegate Jason Rae heard from Bill and Chelsea Clinton, but picked Obama."] (CNN) - A few weeks ago, 21-year-old Wisconsin superdelegate Jason Rae was taken out to breakfast by Chelsea Clinton in the runup to that state’s Democratic primary.

Two days after the vote, the college junior – who will be the youngest superdelegate at this year’s Democratic National Convention - is undecided no longer: he’s backing Barack Obama.

“The Democratic Party is fortunate to have two very talented individuals running for President this election,” said Rae in a statement released by the Obama campaign Thursday. “It is a difficult choice for anyone, but in the end, the choice for me has become clear. I am proudly supporting Senator Barack Obama.”

He cited Obama’s support from an overwhelming majority of young voters as the major reason for his decision.

The Democratic Party’s roughly 800 superdelegates – who can cast their votes for any candidate they choose, regardless of their state’s primary or caucus results – have been at the center of a fierce lobbying effort by the campaigns of both Barack Obama and Chelsea Clinton’s mother, Hillary Clinton.

Rae, a Marquette University history and political science major, talked political strategy and electability over a half-hour breakfast with the former First Daughter a little more than a week before his state’s February 19 primary.

He said then he had also been called by former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who tried to convince him to vote for Clinton, and by Sen. John Kerry, who urged him to back Obama. He also spoke with Barack Obama's wife, Michelle Obama.

Related video: Watch Jason Rae on Anderson Cooper 360

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

soundoff (141 Responses)
  1. Alex

    There is a reason Obama's supporters are mostly college graduates, Clintons' lies won't work on them.

    February 21, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  2. Karen, NYC

    Smart young man!

    February 21, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  3. Brian

    Isn't it amazing that such a young man, new to the world of politics, knows that the right way for a super delegate to vote is with the majority of the voters in his state. Shows how jaded Clinton truly is and a thing of the past. For all of Bill's "Political Machine & Inside Knowledge" I don't see it....behind the times. People want honesty and up front dealings and the Internet demands it or you get caught with your pants down, looking like a fool...which would not be a new position for either Clinton.

    February 21, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  4. John

    This is a great example...a superdelegate voting his conscience. That is ALL we should expect from each of the superdelegates. Regardless of all of the speculation and discussion around the topic of superdelegates and their role at the convention, superdelegates do not represent their constituents...they represent themselves.

    I support Hillary, but am happy Jason has made up his own mind.

    February 21, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  5. lisa

    from the mouths of babes speaketh truth. obama '08

    February 21, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  6. Corey, Maryland

    I saw this kid being interviewed a few times by CNN, and MSNBC and I always knew he was a smart guy. To be a super delegate at 21 must be quite the opportunity.

    Obama Richardon 08!!!

    February 21, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  7. no, I had a hunka pipe

    The Clintons are trying to steal the delegates, who, are not locked in to any candidate, despite their initial pledges. They could still pull this thing off, depending on what they are willing to do, despite the popular vote. Research the party rules, NONE OF THE DELEGATES ARE LOCKED IN TO THEIR PLEDGES. I don't support Obama, but, I do support Democracy. This Democrat is voting for McCain.

    February 21, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  8. Kathy

    Well OK then . . . this does mean you've 'got it', in spite of your age! Have to admit that, now that you're backing Obama! 🙂

    February 21, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  9. Lisa

    Thank you Jason Rae. This college, double major thanks you. I wnat change. I wnat it now. I want my college expenses to go down.

    OBAMA!! for my president!

    February 21, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  10. John Dignan

    Rae has no insight to what will happen if Obama wins the primary's. Obama is "empty". He's not a gentleman. He has no back up for his ideas. Where's the substance? What a shame we have to rely on an uneducated 21 year old.

    February 21, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  11. VIRGINIA VOTER

    Clearly people see she is becoming unelectable. Going negative is the worst mistake her advisors have given her. Hillary should have gotten rid of Penn a long time ago. Apparently, she likes his style.

    February 21, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  12. bexleybest

    Great job, Chelsea.

    It's time to go back to your hedge fund job.

    February 21, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  13. Shun

    Not a fan of older women...?

    February 21, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  14. Steve

    It's almost laughable to see how much bending and scraping Hillary is doing for these so called super delegates. That quote about her pimping out her daughter looks fairly accurate. I do not see how either she or her husband can pretend to be so outraged by that comment. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

    February 21, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  15. SecondSage

    It looks like he wants to go the direction of the country, and wants that direction to favor the democrats.

    Right now, if Clinton wins the superdelegates despite the momentum Obama is getting will force me to vote green in November.

    If Clinton pulls out Ohio and Texas on the way to a comeback for the nomination I'll hear what she has to say.

    February 21, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  16. Ron, TX

    Slap in the face to Clintons! They really just need to embrace the future and give up. It's only going to make them look worse and worse to keep losing.

    February 21, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  17. Texasboo

    Good for you Mr. Rae! Thank you for looking to your heart to support Sen. Obama who will bring integrity and character back to the U.S. This is great news!

    GOBAMA!!

    February 21, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  18. Docta

    Hillary..you sent Chelsea???????????????

    February 21, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  19. Timeline

    Anderson Cooper interviewed this young man days ago when he was still undecided. He also met with Michelle Obama. Strange that his interview with Cooper happened after his meeting with Chelsea (unless there were many meetings between the two that aren't being reported here). It's seems CNN's timeline here is a little off.

    February 21, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  20. brenda

    I have watched cnn for a long time, but with all the bad reporting about Hillary Clinton and pro reporting for Obama I and going to stop watching cnn. I am very upset because cnn was my resting and relaxing time. I am very disapported with your reporting.

    February 21, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  21. David

    I am for Obama, but the fact that this kid has this position as a superdelegate frankly just scares me. Granted my only knowledge of him comes from two CNN interviews, but the fact that the formr leader of the free world had to suck up to a college junior to pull for his wife - it just scares me that this kid has this power.

    February 21, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  22. DrFill

    The youngest superdelegate goes with the youngest candidate.
    His momentum is becoming monumental!
    DrFill

    February 21, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  23. MI DEM

    Come on CNN.....schmoozed by Chelsea, this proves CNN is just as bad as MSNBC when they said "pimped". BE FAIR!

    February 21, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  24. Ed Russell

    I have no problem with this kid, he took his vote seriously and stood up and said the supers should have their own say

    Im just concerned about the title. Chelsea schmoozes Super? All the suregets called this guy both Obama and Clinton.

    Just another story with spin for Obama

    February 21, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  25. Tom, Houston

    "He cited Obama’s support from an overwhelming majority of young voters as the major reason for his decision."

    This is unfortunate. Obama has been hypnotizing most of the kids, young adults, and quite a large number of naive Democratic older voters. Here's a superdelegate that's no different. The Democratic party should get rid of this super delegate concept. They're nothing but superordinary.

    Rhetoric aside, there's no guarantee Obama, Clinton, or McCain can do anything special if elected. McCain probably most deserves to win because he'd given more to his country than the other two. The good thing is anybody, even a fool, elected to the White house will not be able to do much damage because of a very careful thought out process of check and balances. Hats off to the original founders of this country.

    February 21, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
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