New York Delegation Doesn’t Know What the Clintons Want

DENVER—The New York delegation to the Democratic convention still doesn’t know whom it is supposed to vote for.

Four days before Barack Obama’s official acceptance of the party’s nomination for president, New York delegates are checking into the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Denver and saying they have not received any guidance on whether to cast a symbolic vote for Hillary Clinton during roll call or whether to vote for Obama.

When I asked City Comptroller Bill Thompson, who supported Clinton in the primary, whether the Clintons expressed a preference, he said, "At least not that I’ve been made aware of. We’ll find out in next couple of days."

State Senator Tom Duane said, "We’re going to talk about it. I don’t know if any decisions have been made."

In the absence of instructions from the Clintons, some delegates have made up their minds independently.

Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith, standing in a different line, was chatting with some other delegates. "I haven’t gotten anything yet on the first ballot," he said. But he added, "I’m voting for Barack Obama."

City Councilman and delegate Albert Vann of Brooklyn, who supported Obama in the primary, said he thought the issue had been settled, and that they were all supposed to vote for Obama. "I thought it was understood," said Vann.

UPDATE: Congressman John Lewis, who switched his support from Clinton to Obama and was walking along 16th Street this afternoon, said it wasn’t clear how the Clintons want the delegates to vote. But he was optimistic things would work out.

"I’m sure Hillary or somebody will say what to do before Wednesday night," he said.

New York Delegation Doesn’t Know What the Clintons Want