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Frank D. Russo

The California Progress Report is published by Frank D. Russo, a longtime observer of and participant in California politics.

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California Super Delegate Crystal Strait Declares for Obama: Why This is Significant

California Democratic Party Political Director and Young Democrat DNC member cites Obama’s ability to build the party with younger voters

By Frank D. Russo

cstrait_th.gif In a move that puts Barack Obama ahead in most, if not virtually all super delegate counts and reduces his magic number to clinch the nomination, Crystal Strait, the Political Action Director for the California Democratic Party, endorsed Obama for President.

Strait, 28 years of age, the immediate past President of the California Young Democrats, and a member of the Democratic National Committee representing Young Democrats of America, is a powerful boost for Obama. She had been cited as an undecided delegate in an article as late as one appearing in this morning’s Oakland Tribune in which she praised the efforts of Chelsea Clinton to secure delegate commitments to her mother, Hillary Clinton. She becomes the 276th superdelegate to endorse Obama in a rare Sunday announcement from the campaign. Sshe has been active both within California and nationally.

Her reasoning mostly had to do with Obama’s strength with younger voters—one of the best demographics for Democrats and his ability to draw this vote out, not only cementing the party’s position this November, but realigning it for the future. As political action director for the state party, her job is to mobilize voters and volunteer efforts.

She said: "While representing the Young Democrats of America at the DNC, my number one priority is to ensure that young people are fully represented at the polls and in the Party. Barack Obama has shown a real commitment to young voters in his campaign and in response young people have overwhelmingly voted and caucused for Obama in these primary contests. We know that if a young person votes three times in a row for a Party, they become a Party voter for life. We know that because of high youth turnout in 2004 and 2006, 2008 is the third and critical election for young voters. And that's why I know I want to pledge my delegate vote to Barack Obama."

Strait had been cultivated heavily by the Clinton campaign. She had a meeting with Chelsea Clinton and has had private conversations with Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton.

Posted on May 11, 2008

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