Clinton Supporters Split over Biden as VP
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
DENVER — Senator Clinton’s supporters had mixed reactions Saturday to the selection of Senator Biden as the Democrats’ vice presidential candidate.
Some realized a long time ago that Senator Obama, the party’s presumptive nominee for president, was not going to pick Mrs. Clinton as his running mate. Others held out hope until they awoke to the announcement Saturday morning.
Susan Castner, a Clinton delegate from Portland, Ore., said she sees some of Mrs. Clinton’s qualities in Mr. Biden. She likes his experience, especially on foreign policy.
“It really kind of humanizes Barack Obama,” Ms. Castner said. “He has this air of perfection, and Joe Biden is more down to earth.”
“I love his passion,” Ms. Castner said of Mr. Biden. “I like him a lot.”
Mr. Obama announced Saturday that Mr. Biden, a senator from Delaware for the past 36 years, would be his running mate, passing over Mrs. Clinton, Governor Sebelius, Governor Kaine, and Senator Bayh.
Mrs. Clinton issued a statement Saturday praising Mr. Obama’s decision and calling Mr. Biden “an exceptionally strong, experienced leader and devoted public servant.”
Some of her supporters were less charitable.
“It’s a total diss to Senator Clinton, in my opinion,” said Diane Mantouvalos, co-founder of the Just Say No Deal Coalition. “It just speaks volumes about how Barack Obama doesn’t stand for anything.”
Ms. Mantouvalos, of Miami, is part of an Internet movement of Clinton supporters who refuse to back Mr. Obama, regardless of pleas from Mrs. Clinton herself. Ms. Mantouvalos is in Denver, where the Democratic National Convention is scheduled to start Monday, stoking anti-Obama sentiment.
She said the selection of a Washington insider undermines Mr. Obama’s call for change.
“It was a desperate move,” Ms. Mantouvalos said.
John West, a Clinton volunteer during the primaries, said he’s not excited about Mr. Biden, but he had little hope that Mrs. Clinton would get the nod.
“Most people feel that if she wanted to press to be vice president, she would have made a bigger push for it,” said Mr. West, of Chicago.
Mr. West has been working with Clinton delegates to have her name placed in nomination at the convention, with a roll call vote — a vote that was agreed to by both Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton.