Who's a Hoosier? Mitchell Turns Wolfson Jab Back on Hillary

It's turning out to be a red-letter day for Hoosiers. This morning, Joe Scarborough tricked Mika Brzezinski into agreeing that the famous coach of the Indiana basketball team was Bear Bryant, of all people, rather than Bobby Knight. This afternoon on MSNBC, when Howard Wolfson questioned the Hoosier bona fides of a superdelegate who today announced he was switching from Clinton to Obama, Andrea Mitchell turned the Clinton aide's gambit back on Hillary with a vengeance.

Superdelegate Joe Andrew, who in the 90s was elevated to DNC chairman with the backing of Bill Clinton, and who had earlier endorsed Hillary, today announced that he was switching his support to Obama. The timing is critical since it comes just days before the Indiana primary, and Andrew hails from the Hoosier state.

Mitchell, hosting her regular 1 PM ET politics show on MSNBC, mentioned that fact to Wolfson. When Wolfson tried to undercut Andrew's Indiana affiliation, Mitchell riposted in spades, citing the multiple states to which Hillary has claimed connection. Andrew later appeared himself, setting the record straight.

View video here.

ANDREA MITCHELL: Let me ask you about Joe Andrew, who President Clinton supported for Democratic National chairman. He is a superdelegate from Indiana, as you know, and switched today from Clinton to Obama, saying that a vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote to continue this process, and a vote it continue this process is a vote that assists John McCain. What is your response to that?

HOWARD WOLFSON: Well, I'm not sure, by the way, that he's actually from Indiana, I know he's originally from Indiana, but --

MITCHELL [in sarcastic sing-song]: Well it's sort of like Hillary Clinton being from Illinois or New York, or Scranton [PA] or Arkansas.


WOLFSON: No, she lives in New York, and she's a senator from New York, so she's from New York.

When Andrew appeared later in the show, Mitchell gave him a chance to reply.

MITCHELL: We talked to Howard Wolfson a bit ago, and he said you're not really from Indiana. Do you want to tell us the truth of where you're really from?

JOE ANDREW: You have to talk to my grandmother, my mother and my kids, who were all born in Indiana as well. This is the old political theater, Andrea, that is exactly what I'm talking about. The idea is to try to take someone and try to destroy their individual credibility of whatever they're saying. I'm not going to engage in those politics. My birth certificate says here, I was born here, I own a house here and I happen to work in Washington just like every United States senator and congressman does as well.

The pair circled back to the issue in closing.

MITCHELL: Thank you very much, Joe Andrew from Indiana, your home state we should point out, you say, a superdelegate who has switched over.

ANDREW: Well, obviously, you know, I think your home state is where you're born, where you grew up, where you spend your time as well. So I think as I was sitting around talking to my mom this morning, she would certainly think that everybody who I went to high school with here and everybody who I spent a lot of time working with here would say this is my home state.

Mitchell seemed to side with Andrew over Wolfson.

MITCHELL: OK. A Hoosier in fact, Joe Andrew, who has endorsed Barack Obama today.

Note: It looked like Andrew was appearing from a set with the spires of Kentucky's Churchill Downs in the background. Might have been a good day for him to have spoken from inside Assembly Hall.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.