The Last Hold-Out

Posted July 10, 2007 at 6:38pm

Freshman Rep. Yvette Clarke (N.Y.) on Tuesday became the last Democrat in the Empire State Congressional delegation to endorse home-state Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) for president. [IMGCAP(1)]

“After careful deliberations and discussions with the diverse base of my constituency, I am convinced that Senator Clinton is best able to win and bring much needed change to the White House,” Clarke said in a statement. “I support Hillary because she is a leader who has been a forceful and tireless advocate on behalf of New York’s families, especially concerning the needs of those most affected after 9/11. The depth of Hillary’s experience will allow her to hit the ground running on her first day in office.”

By her own admission, Clarke’s decision to withhold her endorsement was less about Clinton’s merits than it was about her pique with one of Clinton’s top advisers, Howard Wolfson. During Clarke’s hard-fought Democratic primary win last year, Wolfson was a consultant to one of Clarke’s primary opponents, City Councilman David Yassky (D) — the lone white candidate in the majority-black 11th district.

Clarke beat Yassky in the primary, 31 percent to 27 percent.

In 2004, when she was a member of the New York City Council, Clarke endorsed then-Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) for president.

— Josh Kurtz