George McGovern defects, calls for Clinton to drop out
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Ex-Clinton consultant cheers McGovern's 'guts'
Former South Darkota Senator George McGovern has reversed his endorsement of Senator Hillary Clinton and urged her to drop out of the race for president following her showing in Indiana and North Carolina.
McGovern says he now endorses Barack Obama. He was the Democratic nominee in 1972, when he lost to then-President Richard Nixon.
McGovern himself was instrumental in the current nominating process, which weighs caucuses and primaries more heavily than superdelegates. The 85-year-old Democrat was named chairman of a Democratic Commission on Party Structure and Delegate Selection in 1969. In part, due to his urging, the commission cut back the power of party officials and insiders and increased the roles of caucuses and primaries.
Ex-Clinton White House strategist lauds call
"Bully for him [McGovern] for having the guts, wisdom, and leadership to say it because that's what's on the minds of a lot of people in the party these days and they don't have the guts to say that they don't want Hillary to be the Democratic nominee," Kitty Kurth, a former Clinton White House consultant and Democratic strategist from Chicago, told RAW STORY Wednesday. "That doesn't mean that we like Bill or Hillary any less. It's just that different times call for different leadership."
Kurth, who now runs a strategy firm called Kurth Lampe, is busy working on the 6th District Congressional race in Illinois, Rep. Henry Hyde's old district. She says she's neutral in the presidential race this cycle.
"I'm officially neutral," Kurth said. "I was very lucky when I worked with the Clintons and the Gores when they were in the White House. I am personally thankful for all the opportunities they gave me but it's time to move on."
Kurth said that McGovern is showing the kind of leadership others in the party need to demonstrate and the math is all pointing to Obama.
"The math was done by Jonathan Alter and Slate.com months ago and it's only gotten worse for Hillary," she said. "Her speech last night was schizophrenic. At one point she was almost going to concede and the next second, she's saying she's on to West Virginia. She needs to end this but the longer she waits, the harder it's going to be for her and for the party. It's a tough decision."
Kurth added that she didn't think it was a bad idea to let other states normally not involved in the presidential primary to get a chance to organize and vote this time around.
"Keep the primary going but take the gloves off," she said. "Let's make this more of a boxing match rather than a street brawl like it has been for the last couple of weeks."
Correction: Kurth's last name was incorrectly spelled in an earlier edition.