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Exclusive: Montana superdelegate says Hillary 'can't unite us'
Beverly Davis
Published: Thursday May 8, 2008

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Says she doesn't think Clinton can 'unite us'

Updated 3:38 PM ET.

Jean Lemire Dahlman, a rancher and National Democratic committeewoman from Forsyth, Montana told RAW STORY that she will give Sen. Obama her superdelegate vote and explained why discounting much of the argument Sen. Clinton has been using to continue her campaign.

A local newspaper interview published in April said that Dahlman would endorse Obama but she told us this was her formal endorsement of the Illinois senator.

ďWhen youíre in college and you read Platoís Philosopher King, you think, yeah, thatís what I want in a leader; someone who can lead and unite us and Iím not sure Hillary can," Dahlman said. "Sheís smart. Sheís capable, but I donít think she can unite us and thatís why Iím giving Barack Obama my superdelegate vote."

Dahlman said, "When I told the Obama campaign back in April that I would endorse him, I wasn't sure if it was or it wasn't distributed. I didn't read any newspaper stories about it or see it on the news websites and we don't have a television."

The Dahlmans live on a sprawling ranch outside the rural town of Forsyth in a village called Rosebud. Tucked away in the southeastern part of Montana near the Wyoming border and the Yellowstone River, Rosebud is not far from where Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer camped before his ultimate defeat at the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876. Dahlman is predicting a similar defeat for Sen. Clinton should she stay in the race by the time Montana Democrats vote in the last primary of the season June 3.

"There's no 'white working voter' problem for Barack here," Dahlman continued. "Yesterday, I was at the post office and I asked a retired welder - a union guy - if he was going to Billings tomorrow to see Bill [Clinton] and he said he didn't think he should since he's going to vote for Barack. And another guy - a young electrician - told me that he's supporting Barack and working hard for him. The people I see on the street are all white and they have no problem voting for a man whose father is black. It's what he stands for - he's authentic, he isn't pandering and he's telling us the truth - that's why people here are voting for him and that's why he'll win Montana."

There are 8 Montana superdelegates. Two have already endorsed Obama and Ms. Dahlman's vote brings his total to three. None has yet endorsed Sen. Clinton.

"I care about health care insurance, the economy, and the war in Iraq and I also want a person who is unafraid to go against the grain, even when it's unpopular," Dahlman added. "I don't give a dime about [Sen. Clinton] gas roll-back plan. It's not going to do us any good in the long run and when Obama came out against that - that's what I'm looking for. Nonsense issues like the gas roll-back or wearing an American flag pin on your lapel. He [Barack] keeps tells the people the truth."

Dahlman said she was hesitant to make her vote public on a news website even though she had told several active Democrats which direction she was leaning saying.

"I just don't want to influence anyone's vote because there is so much enthusiasm for our primary," she said. "I want everyone to vote their conscience but as a superdelegate I also get to vote that way, too."

She also added, "Oh, and I have friends who are hardcore Hillary backers and I didn't want to offend them. I want to be a National [Democratic] committeewoman again. This is a small town."

Correction: The first edition of this article stated Sen. Obama's total committed superdelegate count in Montana was four. The total is three with Ms. Dahlman's vote.