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David Boren on his son: a 'puzzling' Barack Obama stance*

June 14, 2008 |  2:30 am

Father's Day may have come early for John McCain, but in the Boren family of Oklahoma, they may just want to let it pass without notice.

Rep. Dan Boren, a two-term Democrat, made a splash earlier this week with his announcement that although he would be voting for his party's presumptive presidential nominee, he was not endorsing Barack Obama.

The Boren formulation struck many as odd ... including, it turns out, his father, a legendary political figure in the Sooner State who is president of the University of Oklahoma.

David Boren, a former governor and U.S. senator who chatted Friday with Chicago-based talk radio host Roland Martin, had this to say about his 34-year-old son: "I have to say I’m puzzled about how much thinking he put into that before he said it. I think he’ll probably be saying some other things."

The elder Boren, 67, continued: “He did say he was going to vote for Barack Obama. He just made the puzzling statement he wasn’t gong to endorse him. Well, when you say publicly you’re voting for somebody I think that means you’re supporting them."

A classic case of father knowing best.

The full interview can be heard here.

The younger Boren is not alone on Capitol Hill feeling a bit betwixt and between about the general election presidential matchup. Following the burst of attention David Boren got for his pronouncement, The Hill reported that at least 14 Republican members of Congress "have refused to endorse or publicly support" McCain.

That includes at least one whom the presumptive GOP nominee would want to steer clear of anyway -- Rep. John Doolittle, the House member from Northern California who is giving up his seat under an ethical cloud.

Then there's Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado, McCain's erstwhile presidential rival, who's adopted Boren's stance -- he's disinclined ...

to utter the e-word, but he has said he will vote for McCain ("reluctantly").

The entire Hill story can be read here.

Nor is Boren the only Democratic lawmaker in Washington keeping a distance from Obama.

We've noted before that Rep. Tim Mahoney* (an earlier version of this post misspelled Mahoney's first name as Tom) may steer clear of the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Similarly, Rep. Gene Taylor of Mississippi is talking about skipping the August gathering -- and he isn't sure about who'll he'll be voting for in November.

Still other Democrats who've shown reluctance to embrace Obama, such as Rep. Heath Shuler of North Carolina, are noted in this story at

-- Don Frederick