Clinton Die-Hards Vow To Back Hillary
MELISSA BLOCK, host:
About an hour after Governor Warner gives his keynote address comes the last major speech of the evening, Hillary Clinton's. She's expected to call on her supporters to set aside their disappointment and work just as hard for Barack Obama as they did for her.
Whether the Clinton faithful will heed that call is not clear. In addition to that interview with Mark Warner, our co-host Michele Norris has also been talking with some of Clinton's delegates at the Pepsi Center to gauge their mood.
MICHELE NORRIS: It's not uncommon to see huddles of Hillary supporters gathering throughout the convention center. I introduced myself to one group, three middle-aged women all wearing gleaming white tennis shoes and a smattering of red, white and blue Hillary campaign buttons.
When I stopped them in a corner in one of the cavernous hallways, they were leaning in toward each other in a tight little circle. Lynn Wilson(ph) is a nurse at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
She says these chats are cathartic. It helps to talk to others in the same fix - attending a convention built around Obama's barrier-breaking nomination while still feeling the sting of seeing their candidate's chance to make history slip away.
Ms. LYNN WILSON (Nurse, Mayo Clinic): I'm working on finding a way to honor this great woman that I supported and trusted and believed would be a wonderful, wonderful president at the right time for this country. And I'm trying to find a way that we can honor what she has represented and honor the people who have worked so hard for her.
NORRIS: Lydia Pena(ph) of McAllen, Texas knows Hillary has asked supporters to rally behind Obama. But she's not there. Not quite yet. And she bristles when people suggest she should just get over it.
Her delegation chair told her to avoid wearing any Hillary gear into the hall, and yet, here she is with her Hillary buttons and Hillary shirt and Hillary-themed jewelry.
Ms. LYDIA PENA: We were not supposed to bring in any signs. And then, I noticed during one of the Obama songs or whatever, everybody was bringing a sign, so I brought out my Hillary...
NORRIS: Okay. I heard - you know, this is radio so we could hear that, but we couldn't see - you have unfurled...
Ms. PENA: Yes. This is my little...
NORRIS: I've never seen one of these before.
Ms. PENA: ...I'm unfurling my Hillary...
NORRIS: That's - it's a little...
Ms. PENA: And (unintelligible).
NORRIS: Explain what it is. It's...
Ms. PENA: It's a hand-held...
NORRIS: It's two sticks together and you pull them apart...
Ms. PENA: Yeah.
NORRIS: And voila.
Ms. PENA: You pull them apart.
NORRIS: It says Hillary Clinton.
Ms. PENA: Yes. Yes.
NORRIS: Linda Moore(ph) is the third one in this trio. She's from San Antonio. And when I asked if she's going to vote for Barack Obama in the fall, she shrugs her shoulders and makes a face that says she's just not sure. But she plans to cast a ballot for Clinton at the convention no matter what, despite suggestions that to do so would undermine party unity.
Ms. LINDA MOORE: See, we are accountable to our constituents who voted for us to be national delegates. And when they elected us, that was the understanding that we were going to come here to vote for Hillary.
NORRIS: Now, if Hillary does not glean enough votes to become the nominee, and it looks like she probably won't, will you then cast that decisive ballot, that final ballot for Barack Obama?
Ms. MOORE: Every single time I have an opportunity, I will vote for Hillary.
NORRIS: Unity is supposed to be a central theme at this convention. And these three women all say that more than anything, they want a Democrat to win in the fall. And after this week, that Democrat would be Barack Obama.
They all say they will eventually vote for him. But for now, they have a hard time even saying his name.
I'm Michele Norris at the Democratic convention in Denver.
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