“I’ve been very impressed with the campaign of Senator Obama,” Mr. Lewis said. “He’s getting better and better every single day.”Not only is Rep. John Lewis a super delegate, he is a prominent, if not the most prominent, civil rights leader in Congress.
Though Mr. Lewis had praise for Mrs. Clinton and for her historic candidacy, he said he would decide within days whether to formally endorse Mr. Obama.
Mark Halperin's (the author of The Page) take on the ramifications of Lewis' defection is blunt:
Take whatever you thought Clinton’s chances of winning the nomination before Lewis’ decision and divide that number by as much as two — those are the odds of her winning now.At the time Lewis endorsed Clinton:
Bill Burton, Obama spokesman says, "Barack Obama has great admiration for John Lewis and understands his long relationship with Bill Clinton. He looks forward to his support when Barack Obama is the nominee."Obama features a speech he gave at Rep. Lewis' 65th birthday party back in 2005. Just two days ago, the New York Times, in a piece about how, Seeking Unity, Obama Feels Pull of Racial Divide, provided an overview of how Obama navigated that divide and at times built bridges (with the likes of Princeton scholar Cornel West, with a tale of a 2 hour phone call I'd already read of)
By the fall, however, while Mr. Obama’s campaign was still trailing Mrs. Clinton among white voters in Iowa, the loss of the endorsement by Mr. Lewis, the Georgia representative, made clear that he faced troubles among black voters as well.
“He told John that that he felt like a father was stabbing him in the back,” an aide to Mr. Obama said. “Barack sees himself as an extension of the civil rights movement, and so it hurt him deeply when a leader of that movement told him he wasn’t ready.”
I had gotten wind in rumors on the net of Lewis' wavering, but honestly I did not believe it.
In related bad news for Hillary Clinton and defecting super delegates, see this Associated Press piece.