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. Jesse - San Antonio TX

    Like Lemurs to a cliff....

    February 21, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. Kendall

    Chelsea is on losing streak with the rest of the family.

    February 21, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  3. Chris, Atlanta, Ga

    You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him THINK!

    Vote for Ubama cause he's all about change.....and hope........and change.......and.........and...........hope........and change. McCain has him pegged.......eloquent, but EMPTY!

    February 21, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  4. Richard

    Well Veronica, that what you accuse the Republicans and independents of is exactly what Registered Democrats were up to in Michigan.

    As for the Democrats self-destructing, your are correct as they do not seem to do well in long term planning. As well, having super delegates in the first place is begging for corrupt election results.

    While I may not be super proud of the Republican, at least they have not been up to the election shenanagans that the Dem's have been throwing in the face of the voters.

    February 21, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. angry white man voter

    So what pushed you over to his side? His record of non-accomplishment or his wifes shame in america for 44 years?

    February 21, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  6. Ted Turner

    Hey guys. Just wanted to let you know you're doing a bang up job.

    Oh, and all these knobs supporting Clinton are trapped in a web of lies. Not to mention they probably have weak spots for things such as jazz fusion and Red Lobster. Open your eyes you hangers on of that one guy that she is married to! Obama don't take no junk from nobody.

    -T. T.

    February 21, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  7. Ryan

    Veronica: "I guess if Superdelegates back Obama than it's okay. What a double standard! The Superdelegates backing Hillary Clinton are thwarting the will of the people, the those backing Obama are voting their conscience. It's interesting that the "will of the people" includes Independents and Republicans voting in the Democratic primary."

    1st – Superdelegates backing Obma IS ok...it always has been.
    2nd – This kid is following the will of the people...Obama won in WI, remember?
    3rd – Independents and Republicans voting for Obama is a sign of the times, not some vast Right Wing conspiracy to nominate the weaker candidate. It's a sign that people from all sides of the aisle want change, want something new.

    February 21, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  8. Marcus, KC KS

    Looks like Mr. Rae has gotten it wrong twice.

    February 21, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  9. Jen

    I think he is confused. He is trying to support Obama because of his own political future. He Obama loses, he is also finished politically. All of them are making political calculation. YOU WILL ALL LOSE!

    Go Hillary!!

    Hillary for president!! !

    February 21, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  10. Alex

    He is doing the right thing– he's going with how his state voted, which is what they should be doing.

    February 21, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  11. Jen

    I think he is confused. He is trying to support Obama because of his own political future. If Obama loses, he is also finished politically. All of them are making political calculation. YOU WILL ALL LOSE!

    Go Hillary!!

    Hillary for president!! !

    February 21, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  12. Media Balance

    Democrats, look at what your party ha done to you. Its not the votes of the millions out there that matter, but the designated elite few. What a sham the process has become.

    February 21, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  13. brian

    "Hey, thanks for the breakfast Chelsea it was great, but your mom's a sinking ship."

    February 21, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  14. steve

    Rae made a good decision. McCain would beat Hillary. It's that simple.

    February 21, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    The question I'm wondering is how this guy got to be a superdelegate. That would have been a useful question to answer.

    February 21, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  16. Brad Woodruff

    I think that for a young man, he showed considerable poise and self restraint to not cave to all that high profile arm twisting and lobbying on behalf of the Clintons. It gives insight into the frantic behind the scene manueverings to secure the nomination by both camps...while this campaign has been fascinating to watch, we are now getting to the point where we are watching the proverbial "sausage being made" and its becoming a bit distasteful,

    February 21, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    veronica you are right!! i am voting obama in ohio even though i will vote a str8 repub. ticket in november. dukakis sans the tank ride picture!!

    February 21, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  18. Ben

    Considering that the majority of super delegates are probably still in Hillary's corner, I don't find Rae's vote too disturbing. Obama is actually turning out the young vote, which has always been notoriously absent. I think that if he can continue to do so, the Democrats can win the general election by a strong margin, and stave off another republican theft of the presidency. I'm still on the fence myself, but I can say that in the least I like both of my options for a change...

    February 21, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  19. James

    This whole super-delegate process is disgusting. Why does our party go to such great lengths to sidestep the will of the people? Does the party "of the people" not trust the voters? This smacks of the worst kind of third world political influence peddling...we should all be ashamed of our party right now and work toward revising this vulgar process.

    February 21, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  20. eboto

    I'm pro Obama, but superdelegates should not exist.

    February 21, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  21. Austin 4 Hillary!

    What a arrogant jerk. He knew all along who he was going to support. It was obvious when he was interviewed the other night. I believe we are headed in big trouble because all these uninformed young voters who are just going with BO because he's young, blah, blah, blah! Oh well, the truth always comes out in the wash–in this case the truth about BO will come out.

    February 21, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  22. BP - Chicago

    Its encouraging to see young people get involved which will eventually pave the way for future policy. However, you don't have to be young to be blinded by charisma and rhetoric. That is a triait any age can posess.

    Let the Dems beat each other up....

    McCain 08

    February 21, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  23. reality check

    These are the superdelegates? He looks like he just got his drivers license! The same generation that force feeds us American Idol and Britney Spears, now will choose who will be the Presidential nominee for Commander in Chief. God help this country. We are doomed.

    February 21, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  24. Phil

    Veronica:

    Jason Rae's not voting the will of the people? Didn't Obama win Wisconsin 58-41?

    February 21, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  25. Al C.

    I have been a Republican since 1978. Yesterday I changed my party affilation to Democrat just to vote for Obama in the Pennsylvania primary.The Clinton dynasty must end. Some of my friends have done the same.

    February 21, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
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