In one fell swoop, Brooklyn’s Democratic Congressional delegation – all convention “super delegates” – switched their backing last week from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama.
The delegation includes Reps. Jerrold Nadler, Anthony Weiner, Edolphus Towns, Yvette Clarke and Nydia Velazquez.
“Senator Obama’s message of hope and unity transcend race and culture, and his passion has energized a new wave of Democratic voters that have spoken loudly and clearly,” said Towns, whose 10th Congressional District (CD) voted in favor of Obama in the state presidential primary.
“I believe in Obama’s message of hope and intend to support his efforts wholeheartedly to assure that Senator Barack Obama is our next president,” he added.
Clarke, whose 11th CD also had a majority that voted for Obama in the primary, said that with the Democratic primaries over, the American people have expressed their will and let their voices be heard in the electoral process.
“The people of the Democratic Party have nominated Senator Barack Obama as the candidate who will be our standard-bearer in leading the party forward in the 2008 general election for the White House. I would like to extend congratulations to him and his team on a winning campaign,” said Clarke.
“I am looking forward now to that Tuesday night in November when we will together celebrate Barack Obama as the next President of the United States of America and begin the work of moving our nation in a new direction,” she added.
Weiner, an ardent Clinton supporter, said the Democratic Party is strongly unified behind Senator Obama, and he is now proud to support him.
“Senator Obama will replace the Bush-McCain way with the real change to America needs. He [Obama] is a once-in-a-generation candidate. I am going to do everything I can to help him bring change to this country,” said Weiner.
“I am proud of my friend Hillary Clinton. She ran a historical campaign, and showed leadership, skill and commitment in her work to bring the party together today,” he added.
Velazquez, another big Clinton supporter, said she asked the New York senator if she would be interested in serving as Obama’s running mate. She said Clinton told her that she would be available to do whatever she has to do to elect Obama in November.
That decision ultimately is Obama’s to make, Velazquez said.
“We are all Democrats. When he [Obama] wins, he will have a Democratic House and Senate behind him to push forward his vision for America,” she said.
Velazquez also said she was stirred as a Latino woman to have two extraordinary candidates – one an African-American and the other a woman – face off in the primaries to represent the Democrats for president this election year.
“I’m optimistic in a sense. The greatest resource we have as a nation is its people. We have been slow getting there, but I think we have seen with this almost nomination there is a new era of tolerance in this country and that is good for our nation,” Velazquez said.
Nadler’s office did not issue a statement beyond confirming that Nadler now supports Obama.
Borough President Marty Markowitz also announced his support for Obama last week, despite previously being a Clinton supporter.
“Obviously a number of us in our working lives had an excellent working relationship with Hillary Rodham Clinton, but my party has spoken,” said Markowitz.
“Although it was an exciting and close [primary] race, he won and bested her. There should be no acrimony. We’re all on one side now. The future of our nation rests on the success Barack Obama will receive in November,” he added.