Heath Shuler Endorses Clinton
Always the master of timing, Democratic superdelegate Heath Shuler announced that he would support Hillary Clinton the morning after her poor showing in North Carolina convinced just about everyone that she was toast. This is especially interesting given that the first-term congressman represents North Carolina.
Don Frederick describes the play thusly:
A cynic might note that in announcing his support for Clinton, Rep. Heath Shuler of North Carolina was aping his ill-fated pro football career — joining the roster of a losing team.
But after washing out as a QB from the mid-to-late ’90s with the Washington Redskins, the New Orleans Saints and the Oakland Raiders, Shuler succeeded as a politician by making clear to the constituents of the western tip of the Tar Heel state that although he was a Democrat, he shared their moderate-to-conservative opinions on most issues. That enabled him, in the 2006, to knock off an eight-term Republican incumbent.
In endorsing Clinton, Shuler was hewing to the views of those who sent him to Washington. Although Clinton lost North Carolina to Obama by 14 percentage point, the results in Shuler’s district were almost exactly the reverse: She won it by 13 points.
Actually, this is a perfectly sensible move on his part under those circumstances. It’s still funny, though.
Howard Mortman, who agonized through Shuler’s Redskins days, isn’t the least bit surprised.