R. Keith Roark, chairman of the Idaho Democratic Party, is backing Obama. It's a big switch from his pledged neutrality in earlier weeks (BW, News Shorts, "Super Switch?," April 9, 2008).
The announcement came during a press conference on May 12 and included the promise of a visit from Obama's wife, Michele, following the primary, and a possible return by Obama himself.
Roark said he was on the fence up until he spent some time with the Obama campaign in Chicago, where he was promised Obama would maintain a campaign office in Idaho.
While Roark had strong praise for Hillary Clinton, he had some harsh words about her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
"While I greatly admire Hillary Clinton, I believe strongly that her husband's presidency, whatever it may or may not have done for the nation, was a disaster for Idaho Democrats and for Democrats throughout the Intermountain West," Roark said in a written release.
Roark's acrimony toward the former president might have something to do with Clinton's recent comments about Idaho, stating that the state has more elk than Democrats.
Roark is the fourth of five Idaho superdelegates to commit to Obama. The fifth superdelegate will be selected at the state Democratic convention in June. There are also 15 pledged delegates committed to Obama, while three others will represent Hillary Clinton. These delegates will also be selected at the state convention.