A Clintonite Who Won't Vote For Obama
ALEX CHADWICK, host:
And to another voice at the convention, Will Bower. We met him yesterday in a report by NPR's Alex Cohen.
Mr. WILL BOWER (Hillary Clinton Supporter): Am I allowed to swear on the show? PUMA stands for Party Unity My Ass.
CHADWICK: That's the group that Will Bower's a part of, the diehard Clinton supporters. Will Bower, how are you feeling today?
Mr. BOWER: You know, I know it's a very slim chance for this to happen, but many out of us, most of us, all of us PUMAs, we're still praying that the delegates will wake up today and change their minds and vote for Hillary Clinton, make her the nominee.
CHADWICK: Let me just read you a clip from the speech last night. OK? No way, no how, no McCain, Barack Obama is my candidate. He must be our president. That's Hillary Clinton. Well, are you persuaded in any way?
Mr. BOWER: No. And we went into the speech knowing that we wouldn't be. We greatly admire Hillary Clinton, and we realize that she's doing everything she can, everything that she promised to do on the campaign trail. But at the end of the day, when we go into those booths in November, we're going to be voting as single voters. We're going to be voting our conscience. And this is just one thing where we have to part ways with Hillary Clinton.
CHADWICK: You will vote for Senator McCain?
Mr. BOWER: I went on record back in June as saying, yes, that's what I plan to do, and I'm still leaning towards that. I will say that I'm now - I have a mindset where I want to see John McCain work a little harder for my vote. If you were to hold a gun to my head right now and make me decide, yes, I'd vote for John McCain.
You know, the other part of this is that I'm more resolved than ever that I will not be voting for Obama. You know, being there last night, listening to her speak, it made me realize what the DNC has done these last eight months and what they've thrown away for their preferred candidate.
CHADWICK: She went over a number of issues last night in that speech. She reminded Democratic voters, this is why you are a Democrat, healthcare, concerns for the elderly, concerns for the poor. This is why you're a Democrat, not because of me, because of you, because of what you believe.
Mr. BOWER: Yes, those are issues, but the reason why I'm a Democrat, well, one of the biggest reasons is the democratic principle itself, it's how we elect candidates in this country. You know, in 2000, what we went through in the country at the hands of the Republican Party and the Supreme Court, many of us feel that we went through the same thing in 2008 at the hands of our own party. And the Democratic platform was put forth two weeks ago, and there's not one mention of election reform in that platform.
CHADWICK: I wonder - there's going to be the speech of the campaign tomorrow night, that will be Senator Obama. Is there anything he might say there that would draw you back and say, what the heck, I am a Democrat. I remain a Democrat. I'm going to go with this guy.
Mr. BOWER: No, there isn't. And the way I've been delineating Obama and Hillary is that Obama's the DNC's candidate. I don't see him as the Democratic candidate. Hillary is the Democratic candidate, you know, so I don't feel that I'm working to destroy the Democratic Party. I feel we're working towards reconstituting it. You know, this is a reconstruction. And the only way that we can reconstitute the Democratic Party is to start afresh, and it won't be with Barack Obama.
CHADWICK: Will Bower, a Clinton voter at the Democratic Convention in Denver. He remains one today. Well, thank you.
Mr. BOWER: My pleasure. Thank you very much.