As Howard Wolfson noted this morning support for Hillary Clinton’s candidacy endures with “several members of Congress” releasing a letter today to “other Democrats touting their support for Hillary, saying she is the strongest candidate to have at the top of the ticket in the fall”:
“[W]e are convinced that Hillary Clinton has the vision, skills and commitment to make the changes our country needs. As Democrats who have run and won in competitive Congressional districts and battleground states, we believe that Hillary is best positioned to successfully lead the Democratic ticket in districts and states like ours around the country.”
The text of the letter is below:
We are writing to you because of our shared belief in our Party’s principles and our commitment to ensuring that we have the strongest possible nominee to lead our ticket against John McCain and the Republicans in November.
The decision about who to support to be our Party’s nominee is not one that any of us should take lightly. We haven’t. But, after giving this important decision a great deal of thought, we are convinced that Hillary Clinton has the vision, skills and commitment to make the changes our country needs. As Democrats who have run and won in competitive Congressional districts and battleground states, we believe that Hillary is best positioned to successfully lead the Democratic ticket in districts and states like ours around the country.
As you know, Hillary has racked up victories in bellwether states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and now Indiana that are absolutely vital to winning the White House and maintaining our Congressional majority in the fall. Hillary has won the big battleground states by connecting with voters whose support we must have to win the general election. Her victories in Pennsylvania and Indiana were all the more impressive after being outspent by as much as two or three to one.
Pennsylvania was not just a victory for Hillary Clinton. It was also a wake- up call for superdelegates, forcing us to ask ourselves two essential questions: 1) Which candidate can carry the magic 270 electoral votes to win in the fall? 2) Which candidate is most likely to help our fellow Democrats in down-ballot races? We believe the answer to both of these questions is Hillary Clinton.
On the first question, Hillary has shown she can win the all-important battleground states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida even while being outspent. This speaks to her ability to connect with voters we must deliver in the fall, including blue collar Democrats who can sway this election as they have in the past.
On the second question, Hillary has won rural and suburban districts which we as Democrats must carry to maintain our edge in Congress. Of the fifteen districts rated “toss up” by the Cook Political Report, Hillary has now won ten. Of the 20 districts we picked up in 2006 that had gone for President Bush just two years before, Hillary has now won 16. She is strong in the places we must win to hold and expand our majority.
This is a historically close race. The candidates are separated by a mere percentage point or two and the path to victory for each candidate is the same: win in the upcoming states and secure enough pledged and automatic delegates to get to the number required to win the nomination.
The race now turns to the remaining six contests where the focus will be squarely on the economy. Voters in our states and across the country are voting on issues that affect them, their communities and their children’s future. We believe that they will decide that Hillary is the candidate who best understands those issues and has the best solutions to address them.
We Democrats are justifiably proud of both of our candidates, and if Senator Obama is our Party’s nominee, we will enthusiastically support him. But our responsibility is not to choose simply to support the eventual nominee; it is to help select the nominee who is best for our party and best for our country. Our choice is clear: Hillary Clinton is that candidate. We believe she should be your choice as well.
Thank you for consideration.
Rep. Michael Arcuri (NY-24)
Rep. Shelley Berkley (NV-01)
Rep. Marion Berry (AR-1)
Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY-20)
Rep. Gene Green (TX -29)
Rep. John Hall (NY-19)
Rep. Darlene Hooley (OR-5)
Rep. Kendrick B. Meek (FL-17)
Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (OH-11)
Rep. Silvestre Reyes (TX-16)
Rep. Mike Ross (AR-4)
Rep. Joe Sestak (PA-8)
Rep. Ike Skelton (MO-4)
Rep. John Tanner (TN-8)
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-20)
Hillary Clinton also “received the endorsement of automatic delegate and Congressman Chris Carney (D-PA).”