Tennessee delivered a majority of its votes to Hillary Clinton in the February 5th Super Tuesday primary, (which to some observers now seems a hundred years ago). But after a summit meeting of party leaders in Nashville Wednesday morning, the state's Democratic hierarchy took a firm unity stand on behalf of Barack Obama.
The move comes a day after the final two preferential primaries of 2008, in South Dakota (won by Clinton) and Montana (won by Obama) and at a time when Clinton has not yet conceded the nomination, despite Obama's having claimed a majority of the available delegates, nationally.
Below is the press release from the Tennessee Democratic Party:
CHAIRMAN GRAY SASSER REMARKS IN SUPPORT OF SENATOR BARACK OBAMA
Nashville- Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Gray Sasser, alongside Governor Phil Bredesen and Democratic National Committee member Inez Crutchfield, gave the following remarks to a unified gathering of supporters of Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Barack Obama at Swett's Restaurant in Nashville:
I am pleased to announce today my support of the next President of the United States, Barack Obama. I am even more pleased to announce that my dear friend and devoted Democratic National Committee woman Ms. Inez Crutchfield also announces her support of Senator Obama.
Last night the votes were counted. All across the country, from Maine to Montana, two superior candidates drew voters into the Democratic fold in record numbers. As a Democratic Party, we are ready to unite. We are ready to work. We are ready to win.
To Senator Clinton and her supporters, I offer thanks on behalf of the Tennessee Democratic Party. I thank you for the enthusiasm, energy, and commitment you brought to this campaign. I look forward to working with you to put Tennessee in the blue column this November.
Senator Clinton inspires me. Senator Clinton speaks for me. When it comes to choosing between John McCain and Hillary Clinton, I would choose Senator Clinton every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
But that is not the choice we face today.
Today, we need to choose between two superlative Democratic candidates, and I am proud to stand with the majority of our party and our Governor and pledge my vote at the Democratic National Convention to Barack Obama.
In the big picture my endorsement matters very little. In the even bigger picture, you could say that my single vote matters even less.
But Senator Obama draws an even larger picture of America. He paints a picture of an America where we no longer define ourselves by our divisions, but define ourselves by what unites us. And what unites us as Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, what unites us as Tennesseans, is the belief that this country can do better.
This country is better than one that borrows and spends at record levels. This country is better than the one that sends our troops overseas without providing them with proper care when they come home. This country is better than one that mortgages our future and sends those borrowed dollars to Middle Eastern oil barons.
Standing alone, as I said, my vote does not carry a single precinct. Standing alone, I can't knock on enough doors. Standing alone, I can't make enough phone calls.
But standing together there is nothing that the Tennessee Democratic Party cannot accomplish. Standing together, we can expand our majority in the Tennessee State House. Standing together, we can elect a majority in the Tennessee State Senate. Standing together, we can make Wolf Blitzer roll his eyes, wring his hands, and check his earpiece as he announces that Tennessee is in the blue column.