TOPICS > Politics

Pa. Clinton Delegate Frets Over Switch To Obama

August 27, 2008 at 6:00 PM EDT
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Because Pennsylvania went for Hillary Clinton in the primaries, delegates are still debating how the delegation will vote. While many are honoring Clinton's endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama, some are still conflicted on the eve of the roll call vote.

JUDY WOODRUFF: We want to talk with two delegates from the battleground state of Pennsylvania.

They are Colleen Cooke, who is from Pittsburgh, and Carol Hunt, who is from Lancaster, Pa.

Now, Carol, you supported Barack Obama from the very beginning.

CAROL HUNT, Pennsylvania Delegate: That’s right.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Is that right? And, Colleen, you’ve supported Sen. Clinton…

COLLEEN COOKE, Pennsylvania Delegate: Yes, since 2000.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Today you went to — you came to Denver supporting her, and today you went to a tea, a briefing, a reception. And what did she say?

COLLEEN COOKE: She released us. She released her delegates and then said that she had voted for Sen. Obama this morning, but said that we ought to vote our hearts.

She said a lot of us spent a lot of time, a lot of energy, and a lot of people voted for us, and we could do what — you know, if we wanted to vote that way, we could.

She also said that some of us wanted to work toward party unity, and so we might vote that way if we wanted to. She really didn’t tell us what to do. I wish that she had.

JUDY WOODRUFF: What did you — what did you want her to say?

COLLEEN COOKE: I wanted — I just wanted her to tell me what to do, you know? I got a lot of votes in Allegheny County, and I felt that I had to follow through, which is the reason I was elected.

JUDY WOODRUFF: So you’re casting your vote for her, for Hillary Clinton, is that right?

And to you, Carol, what do you think when you hear Sen. Clinton is still saying to her delegates, “Vote your conscience”?

Delegates transition to Obama

CAROL HUNT: I think -- this is my first time and experience. And we were talking earlier that there is a sense of responsibility.

And I completely understand Colleen's position, that there are -- you know, thousands of voters who cast their ballots to send her here to represent their candidate of choice. So I respect her decision immensely, because -- and I'm proud to cast mine for Barack Obama.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Does this in any way weaken or lessen Barack Obama's position going into this fall campaign?

COLLEEN COOKE: I certainly hope not. I fully intend to support Barack Obama. He is our candidate; he is our nominee. Sen. Clinton supports him, and I intend to be on the campaign trail for him as soon as I get back to Pittsburgh. It's a matter of kind of principle for me.

JUDY WOODRUFF: I see you're wearing an Obama button.

COLLEEN COOKE: I've been wearing it since I got to Colorado. I also have an Obama placard in my window at home.

JUDY WOODRUFF: So you're starting to make that transition?

COLLEEN COOKE: And it's a very difficult transition.

JUDY WOODRUFF: A difficult transition?

COLLEEN COOKE: Well, yes, because I've supported Sen. Clinton since she was a first lady. I've had a bumper sticker on my car since 2000 saying, "Hillary '08."

Obama's way to win voters

JUDY WOODRUFF: What is it -- you're from Lancaster. How tough a job does Sen. Obama have to win the state of Pennsylvania?

CAROL HUNT: I think that it has turned very purple in the last couple of years. And we are hoping that all the Democrats in Pennsylvania are going to come out in full force this November to cast their ballots. And hopefully some Republicans will also cross over and vote for Obama.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And what do you want to hear from him this week that will help you as you go out to seek votes for him?

CAROL HUNT: I'm just hoping that he just invigorates all these people that have worked so hard this season and just gets everybody excited, that this is such an important election for all of us this year. It's about international policy, it's about national policy and it's an important decision that we all have to make this fall.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And a final word of advice to Sen. Obama, if he wants to win?

COLLEEN COOKE: Get Hillary stumping for you. I think, if he can get Hillary out there talking to people who aren't really sure yet, she has convinced me, you know, to honor her. I didn't change my vote here, but I am going to -- there's only one candidate for Pennsylvania at this point. It's Barack Obama.

JUDY WOODRUFF: All right, well, Colleen Cooke, we thank you very much.

And, Carol Hunt, we appreciate it.

CAROL HUNT: Thank you.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Thank you, both.