This week Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain are fighting hard to win support from independents and uncommitted supporters of Hillary Clinton. At a Philadelphia fundraiser, Obama shared with voters the same sentiment he shared with Clinton during their much-touted (and still quite secretive) private meeting. Obama told Hillary:
"You're the only one who knows what I've gone through and I'm the only one who knows what you've gone through."
And while many Clinton supporters and surrogates have fallen in with the Obama camp since the end of the primary, a few public defectors are making waves. The McCain camp has proudly touted one Wisconsin Democratic superdelegate who has promised to vote against Barack Obama:
In an interview, Bartoshevich expressed lingering unhappiness over the Democratic nominating process, said Clinton was treated unfairly by the party and said she has deep reservations about Obama's lack of experience and his judgment.
"I'm kind of disenfranchised," she said.
She said she planned to vote for Clinton at the convention, but in an Obama-McCain matchup in November, "I will not be voting for Obama. I will cast my vote for John McCain.
Still, to this point, Bartoshevich is the only superdelegate that both sides acknowledge has flipped sides.
Meanwhile, McCain's camp is pushing to the press a Clinton-oriented virtual town hall, as well as a list of "prominent Democratic and unaffiliated leaders" who have joined Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) in a group called 'Citizens For McCain.' In 2000, Bush had great success with a similar organization: Democrats For Bush. Of course, Ben Smith notices that the members of Citizens of McCain come up short in one respect:
What they could use: a bit more prominence. Beyond Lieberman, most are out-of-office local officials; only one, former Rep. Tim Penny of Minnesota, ever held federal office. Some are quite obscure, to wit: Commander of Newport Memorial-VFW Post 1119 Francis Harding Jr. and former State Chair of Environmentalists for Clinton-Gore 1992 Roberta Weisbrod.
And Obama is having his own luck tempting crossover voters, particularly with black conservatives. The Associated Press runs through some of the most prominent officials who are publicly wavering between McCain and Obama, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell and former Oklahoma Rep. J.C. Watts:
J.C. Watts, a former Oklahoma congressman who once was part of the GOP House leadership, said he's thinking of voting for Obama. Watts said he's still a Republican, but he criticizes his party for neglecting the black community. Black Republicans, he said, have to concede that while they might not agree with Democrats on issues, at least that party reaches out to them.
"And Obama highlights that even more," Watts said, adding that he expects Obama to take on issues such as poverty and urban policy. "Republicans often seem indifferent to those things."