For the first time in 40 years, Oregon Democrats had a presidential primary that mattered. Presidential campaigns had offices in places that had never seen them before. It seemed as though you couldn’t turn around without seeing a candidate, or at least a member of the family. Turnout was the highest it’s ever been.
It’s going to be a really good year for Democrats. Oregon Democrats will be right in the thick of it. We have Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton to thank for that. They have run hard in the longest, toughest presidential contest Democrats have ever seen. There is no other Democratic presidential primary contest that even compares with this one.
Senator Obama wasn’t supposed to be able to get this far. One member of Congress from Illinois said that for Sen. Obama to win the nomination, he’d have to be perfect. He’s been pretty damned good. The fact that this nomination is still inches from being decided is a testament to the abilities of both Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton.
While there are a few primaries left to go, it’s now over for Oregon. Sen. Obama won our state by almost 18 points. He is very close to winning a majority of the delegates he needs to be our nominee for President.
But there should be more to my decision than that. After all, we automatic, “super” delegates are not automatons. We are not here to ratify. We’re expected to use our judgment. Here’s mine: After watching Sen. Obama for more than a year, it’s clear that he offers an ability to lead and inspire that’s been sorely lacking in this country.
Senator Obama will win our nomination, and will be our President. It felt good to write that sentence.