Matheson still not ready to choose a presidential candidate

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Richard Piatt reportingThis week's developments may make the Democratic nominee seem obvious to most people, but some superdelegates, including Utah Rep. Jim Matheson, are still officially uncommitted.

In the political world, protocol means a lot, and today Matheson's spokesman said the congressman isn't going to rush his announcement and he doesn't have to.

At this year's state Democratic convention, Matheson gave a talk big on party unity. "I'm gonna run harder than I have ever done! I'm gonna raise the money! I'm gonna work for votes!" he said.

Today, Matheson's spokesman says it is in the interest of party unity that's keeping this superdelegate mum on his pick for president, even now.

In a statement from Washington, D.C., Matheson writes: "Superdelegates should not rush this very important 'coming together.'" In other words, even though some may be in a hurry to get all Democrats on the same page, others are willing to wait until the right time.

All along, Matheson expressed concern about possible lopsided superdelegate influence.

Dan Jones
Dan Jones

"Superdelegates should only vote on the very, very final analysis in determining who should be president," political pollster Dan Jones said.

In addition, Utah Democratic Party Chair Wayne Holland says there is protocol for a person in Congress to follow. "They're definitely going to give more respect and time to Senator [Hillary] Clinton to let her make the first move, an indication that the party's unifying. That's respect that I think she has earned," he said.

Matheson still not ready to choose a presidential candidate

Both party officials and Matheson's staff say there is not a lot of pressure on Matheson to announce his support. In fact, pressure may be increasing to do the opposite: save it for later since the ongoing primary season still has the Democratic Party precariously divided.

Most Utah delegates have already come out to support Sen. Barack Obama. But the superdelegates really don't have to make a decision until the convention in August.


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