Monday, March 17, 2008
Published: March 16, 2008
LONDON — They call themselves residents of the “51st State,” which is a broad territory that covers all continents, counts around six million Americans and displays a passionate interest in the Democratic match-up between Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Democrats Abroad, a branch of the Democratic Party with members in over 100 countries, is in the middle of the same race for delegates and heated debates over who should be the party’s nominee as Democrats in the United States. The only difference is that their politicking may take place in a pub in Ireland or a Starbucks in Thailand.
And with 11 delegate votes that will be under its control at the party’s convention, Democrats Abroad is more than a debating society. It is an increasingly vibrant wing of the Democratic Party, particularly as more Americans fan out across the globe yet seek to maintain their voice in the politics back home.
“Years ago, we were just a small group of people in London and Paris,” said William D. Barnard, chairman of Democrats Abroad U.K. “When we held a primary, it meant that everyone met in a pub or a bar and cast a vote. Now, it’s incredible. With the historic nature of the campaigns and the closeness of it, we’ve changed the way we operate.”...(Click here for remainder of article)