Debra Bartoshevich finds herself with a week free in August after getting expelled from the Wisconsin delegation to the Democratic national convention in Denver. Bartoshevich made headlines last month when she announced that she would support John McCain over Barack Obama after Hillary Clinton “suspended” her campaign in June. She has never voted Republican in her life, but now says she’s “done with the Democratic Party”:
Debra Bartoshevich, the duly elected Democratic Party delegate for Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin who vowed undying loyalty to the former first lady, has been dumped by the state party and barred from attending the Democratic National Convention in Denver next month. …
A 41-year-old emergency room nurse who says she’s never voted Republican in her life, Bartoshevich was fiercely in favor of Clinton’s universal health care program. She donated chunks of her salary to the New York senator. Bartoshevich was elected a convention delegate at the county level and was very excited about the trip to her lifelong party’s national convention.
But when Barack Obama won sufficient delegates to capture the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, Bartoshevich was bitterly disappointed. Not unlike a lot of the 17 million supporters who voted for the New York senator. While Clinton has urged her hordes to support Obama, many seem to be hesitating.
Actually, the normally excellent Andrew Malcolm assumes one fact not yet in evidence, which is part of Bartoshevich’s point. Obama has not won sufficient delegates to capture the nomination. Neither he nor Hillary Clinton could reach that point, but Obama has enough pledges from superdelegates to win the nomination, if they don’t change their minds. Hillary’s supporters want a floor vote in Denver with enough debate to give superdelegates an opportunity to rethink their pledges, but so far the Obama campaign has managed to put a stop to it.
Rationally, though, the Wisconsin Democrats could do little else. Bartoshevich made her opposition public, and since the Democrats are a voluntary organization, they can choose the delegates they want for their representatives in Denver. Having her as a member of the Denver delegation would create embarrassing publicity at what Democrats will be a Unityfest.
Bartoshevich will likely get the publicity anyway. She calls Obama “selected, not elected”, echoing the 2000 (and beyond) chant of Democratic protesters. She advises Americans to compare resumés and talks of her “respect and admiration” for John McCain. Bartoshevich might make a great envoy to the other disaffected PUMA voters who will congregate in Denver — unless the DNC and/or state delegations can sniff them out beforehand as well.