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Clinton Supporter John Lewis Has Second Thoughts
By Anne E. Kornblut
Confusion erupted Thursday night amid reports that a prominent African American supporter of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s had changed his mind. Georgia Rep. John Lewis, who is also a Democratic superdelegate, was reported by the New York Times as having decided to switch his superdelegate vote from Clinton to Sen. Barack Obama after Lewis’s district, around Atlanta, went for the Illinois senator.
But the Clinton campaign reported having no word from Lewis on the subject, and a spokeswoman for Lewis, Brenda Jones, said the Times story and a similar one by the Associated Press, saying he was contemplating such a switch, were inaccurate. Both the Times and AP stories quoted Lewis directly after speaking with him; he was not available for comment later Thursday. The Obama campaign also said that Lewis and Obama had not talked recently about a change of heart.
“It is plain there is a lot of enthusiasm for Barack Obama,” Jones said. But, she said, “those things are observations,” not statements of preference. She said Lewis has left the option of changing his superdelegate support for Clinton on the table, but made no decisions. Still, it is clear that Lewis has had misgivings about the Clinton campaign in recent weeks, especially after the racially charged campaign in South Carolina, during which former Pres. Bill Clinton was perceived to have made racially insensitive comments.
Another black superdelegate from Georgia, Rep David Scott, was also reported by the A.P. as having said he would switch from Clinton to Obama; a call to his chief of staff went unreturned Thursday night
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