Sen. Barack Obama on Thursday reinstated hundreds of California Democrats whom he'd blocked earlier this week from seeking to run as delegates in his name to the Denver national convention.
The Democrats planned to compete Sunday in local caucus meetings where 107 of the state's delegates will be selected for the national convention. But Obama's campaign blocked more than 800 out of 1,400 Democrats who applied to run after some campaign officials raised concerns they were not known to the campaign. By comparison, Sen. Hillary Clinton scratched only about three dozen of 1,000 who applied to become her delegates at the convention.
But after complaints that the act ran counter to Obama's reputation for reaching out to voters outside the political establishment — and complaints to his national headquarters in Illinois — Obama shifted course. "In recognition of this tremendous enthusiasm, our campaign has asked the California Democratic Party to allow all persons who have filed to be a district delegate candidate for Senator Obama . . . to participate in the caucuses this Sunday, April 13, 2008," Obama campaign manager David Plouffe in an e-mail to delegate applicants.
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