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AG Lynch's presidential neutrality explained

Speaking of endorsements, the ProJo's Scott MacKay noted the different dynamic between Rhode Island and Massachusetts when, on Monday, he previewed the Kennedys' backing of Obama.

While many top Massachusetts Democrats, including Governor Patrick, Sen. John F. Kerry and U.S. Rep. William Delahunt, are backing Obama, Patrick Kennedy becomes the first major Rhode Island Democrat to back the Illinois senator.

All of the other top statewide elected Democrats and party officials are with Clinton. Sen. Jack Reed, who is up for reelection this year, is neutral but Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts, Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch, General Treasurer Frank Caprio, Democratic State Chairman William Lynch and House Speaker William Murphy are all behind Clinton.

In fact, as the ProJo noted with a correction yesterday, Patrick Lynch remains neutral in the presidential race. N4N was curious about this, so I asked spokesman Mike Healey for an explanation. Here's what he had to say, via e-mail:

As a super delegate, and particularly in a year when the votes of super delegates could be decisive, Attorney General Lynch feels obliged to remain open-minded as long as possible. He thinks that the nomination process is working to narrow the field, as it should, and that the best candidate will be left standing at the end. He might endorse somebody before too long -- and he's certainly getting his arm twisted about whom he should endorse -- but, right now, he thinks he serving Rhode Island Democrats better by remaining neutral.

Meanwhile, Senator Reed's neutrality remains interesting. Back in November, during an appearance on 10 News Conference, Reed made a favorable reference while mentioning a few of the then-candidates by name (Chris Dodd, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton) and not mentioning another (Obama).

 

Reed is on record in having ruled out his interest in becoming secretary of defense in a Democratic administration.

 

I left a message this morning for the senator's press secretary, asking for an explanation of Reed's neutrality, and will post an update when I hear back.

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