Dr. Marie Dolly Strazar sets a standard that all super delegates would do well to follow. For the past thirty years, she has volunteered her time, energy and wisdom to the Democratic party. She has held unpaid positions from local precinct officer to secretary of the state party to her current position as Democratic national committee woman for the state of Hawaii. At one time, she worked tirelessly every weekend to maintain the party's headquarters and their data base. It is her status as national committee woman that makes her one of the nine independent super delegates for Hawaii.
"My extensive involvement helped me to learn how citizens can affect the political process...even at the lowest levels," states Dr. Strazar. Dr. Strazar believes that grass root involvement in the political process can impact legislation on a national and state level.
Despite the election results favoring Senator Obama in Hawaii on February 19, Dr. Strazar remains uncommitted regarding her selection of a Democratic nominee for president. "I really like the top two candidates. Our problem is that we have two really good candidates." Dr. Strazar is closely watching both candidates. She wants to see how the American people, not just Hawaiians, respond to the candidates despite the fact that the state House has a resolution that urges Hawaii's super delegates to follow the results of the state Democratic caucus. According to Dr. Strazar, her ultimate choice will depend upon how the America people respond, not just Hawaiians. She believes she will be able to make a decision after the elections in Texas and Ohio, but she will not decide until she feels stronger about one candidate over the other. Dr. Strazar takes her decision seriously and has her eye on the ultimate prize. "I want us to win come November," she said.
Both Senator Obama and Clinton's campaigns have contacted Dr. Strazar, but not the candidates themselves. She has not been "barraged" with telephone calls, having received eight to ten calls since December. "I was impressed with how polite they were," indicated Dr. Strazar. "They wanted to educate and inform me about the candidates and to make themselves available for any questions I may have."
When asked about whether the delegates from Michigan and Florida should be allowed to vote at the national Democratic convention, Dr. Strazar indicated that she sat in on the rules committee meetings from the very beginning. There were extensive discussions regarding the formation of the rules for the DNC and they should be followed. "Every effort was made to be fair," she said. "I am a rules person. You don't change the rules in the middle of the stream. When confusion arises, look to the rules." She applies the same principle to the rules related to super delegates and doesn't believe they should be changed either.
Dr. Strazar has worked on every presidential campaign for the past thirty years, whomever the Democratic nominee. "I am not a big financial contributor, but I give a lot of time."
This piece was produced as part of OffTheBus's Superdelegate Investigation. Click here to read more superdelegate profiles.