Four 2008 Obama Supporters Explain Why They're Voting for Hillary Clinton


CHARLOTTE, North Carolina —They voted for Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in 2008. Now, they're with her.

Mic caught up with a handful of Obama supporters from eight years ago in Charlotte on Tuesday — where the president and the presumptive Democratic nominee held their first joint campaign appearance of 2016.

The supporters said that, in 2008, they knew and liked Clinton — as well as her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

But in the end, they wanted something new and different. Obama's message of "hope" and "change" appealed to them, and they ultimately chose him in that year's heated Democratic primary.

In 2016, however, these supporters said there was no question whether they'd vote for Clinton.

Obama's endorsement only solidified their support.

Here are four Obama supporters on why they now back Clinton in 2016.

Hade Robinson, 49

Emily Cahn

In 2008, Hade Robinson said, he never wavered in backing Obama.

"He was the only one that made some sense," Robinson said. "His policies and what he planned to do with hope and change during that time made me a supporter."

In 2016, however, Robinson said there was "no question, none, zip, zero" about whether he'd vote for Clinton over Sen. Bernie Sanders in the primary.

"I knew nothing about Bernie. I didn't even know he was in the Senate until he announced he was running for president," Robinson said. "So, Hillary had history, Hillary came with credentials, and she was the only person to me that was truly qualified, if you want to look at qualifications, to be president of the United States."

Robinson said he has friends who backed Sanders in the primary, but he predicted that Obama's endorsement will bring them back to Clinton's side.

"Those folks who supported Obama in 2008 and again in 2012 are going to support Hillary because ... he's supporting her now, too," Robinson said.

Erin Mobley, 48

Emily Cahn

Erin Mobley always liked Clinton.

"My support of Hillary goes back even before she ran, to when Bill Clinton was president," Mobley said.

Still, in 2008, she voted for Obama in the North Carolina primary.

She saw Obama as "an innovator and a change maker, and very relatable to issues that affect me."

In 2016, however, Mobley said she has been with Clinton from the start.

"There's a season for everything," Mobley said of backing Clinton, adding that this year was the "right time."

Shawn Grady, 52

Emily Cahn

Shawn Grady struggled in 2008 about whether to back Obama or Clinton.

He said he liked Clinton's history "fighting for kids and working-class Americans," but in the end backed Obama — even volunteering for his 2008 campaign in Pennsylvania.

"A lot of us were captured by ... the way he spoke of uniting the country," Grady said. "It was just galvanizing."

This year, however, there was "no doubt" he would back Clinton in the primary.

"I didn't have a hard choice," Grady said, adding that while he is a fan of Sanders and "a lot of the things he stands for," he thought Clinton's approach was better.

"I knew the struggle President Obama had because I was with him through the entire thing," Grady said. "And, I just knew a lot of the things that Bernie was saying, it looked good and it sounds good, but capturing the imagination versus doing it are two totally different things."

Peggy Brown, 55

Emily Cahn

Peggy Brown drove two-and-a-half hours, from Fayetteville to Charlotte, to attend Tuesday's event to catch a glimpse of history.

Though she sported an "I'm With Her" T-shirt, Brown was not a Clinton backer in 2008.

That year, she voted for Obama; she said she liked "everything" about the then-Senator from Illinois.

"I liked what he stood for, he stood for the people, the middle class," Brown said.

But this cycle, she said she's "been with Hillary the whole time."

"They've got the same policies," Brown said of Clinton and Obama, and why that led her to back Clinton this time around.

"History is an awesome thing," Brown added. "The first black president, then the first woman president, I'm excited, as you can see."

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