An indication of a party still somewhat divided is a new charge being leveled at some Democratic lawmakers from voters and challengers in their district and that charge is "You Supported Clinton."
Despite Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama's public show of unity, Democratic Obama supporters are not quick to forget certain lawmakers that supported Hillary Clinton in the long drawn out primary season.
This brings up a serious question about lawmakers rights. They are voted into their offices to represent their constituency, but what happens when their personal preference is for a candidate that the majority of their constituency does not have as a preference?
One example here is Representative Edolphus Towns, who has been a longtime congressman for Brooklyn’s 10th Congressional District.
That district is home to more African-Americans than any other district in New York and because he personally favored Hillary Clinton during the primaries, his constituency now wants to oust him.
Towns has been voted in to serve in the House of Representatives since 1983 and has defeated his rivals by large margins and/or plurality and served on the Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection, Subcommittee on Health, Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, Oversight and Government Reform Committee and served as chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization, and Procurement.
You can find out more about Edolphus Towns' accomplishments by looking at his bio here.
Because of the charge leveled at him of "You Supported Clinton", he is now facing criticism by the voters in his district that say, "His decision not to back Obama shows he is out of touch with his constituents. And I think the people of this district are ready for a change.”
Towns explains his support of Clinton by saying, "I serve in the Congressional Black Caucus, and he [Obama] is a member. But Hillary Clinton represents New York State, and I’ve worked together with her on many projects.”
That does seem to matter to many of the voters in his district as critics attempt to place motives on Towns for themselves, one being Patrice C. Queen, a freelance writer from East New York, who says Towns support for Clinton is motivated by "Racial self-hatred. It was as if they were saying: ‘We people of color are not ready yet. We’re not ready to be in the White House.’ Self-hatred does that to you.”
Another voter, Kyle Clarke, an elementary school teacher, believes it was simply a political decision, saying, "He’s been in office for 25 years and he’s part of the establishment. How’s he going to go up against the Clintons? He wants to have a career.”
The tensions in the district echo those in a handful of races around the country as Democratic incumbents with large African-American constituencies try to soothe resentments and anger incited by their support for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Even after Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton embraced in Unity, N.H., on Friday and sought to put their divisions behind them, some strains are still evident closer to the ground.
The same goes for Representative Gregory W. Meeks of Queens, NY., who faces a challenger that is attempting to make Meeks' support of Hillary Clinton a campaign issue to be used against him.
Meek's challenger Ruben Wills, says, "I was on board with Obama from Day 1. Meeks had to be dragged across the line.”
Another couple examples are lawmakers from Georgia. Representatives John Lewis and John Barrow, both facing challengers who are using their support for Hillary Clinton against them, saying they were late to shift their support to Barack Obama.
We are left with the same questions we started with.
By accepting a position of lawmaker, congressman or senator, are you giving up your own personal right to vote for who you believe is best in presidential primaries and elections?
Do lawmakers give up the right to their vote as to who they will support for the position of President of the United States of America they day they win their respective elections?