One of Hillary Clinton’s top supporters in the Rio Grande Valley appeared at a Barack Obama rally Friday and said the presidential primary was the Illinois senator’s race to lose.
State Rep. Aaron Peña, who, in print and on TV has been a leading outreach activist in the Valley for Clinton, shocked many Friday morning when he sat down with his family in the stands behind the stage at an Obama rally at the University of Texas-Pan American.
Guardian video-journalists were sitting opposite in the press riser. Contacted by phone while he waited for Obama to arrive, Peña told the Guardian he was at the event to see history being made.
“First of all my son, Aaron Peña III, is working for the Obama campaign. Second, I am here with my family to see history being made,” Peña said. ...
Asked if he had now flipped over to Obama, Peña said: “I will maintain my commitment but it appears to me that the decision will be made by the public on March 4. I made a commitment to Hillary Clinton and I must maintain it. I gave my word. However, as an observer, it appears to be increasingly evident who is going to win.”
A switch by Peña to the Obama camp will come as a major disappointment to Clinton and her campaign in Texas. Clinton introduced Peña at a rally in McAllen last week.
I'm obviously no supporter of Senator Clinton's but this is just ridiculously sorry of Peña. He's shown more lasting support for Tom Craddick. He could have just switched his endorsement, or let his family go to the Obama rally without him, or re-declare himself "undecided" and any of those would've looked less stupid than sitting in the stands behind Barack Obama after standing in a crowd of Hillary supporters in the same week.
Aaron Peña is in a contested primary for the HD-40 seat with Eddie Saenz, who would be a much more effective representative in the Texas House.