SCOTT SIMON, Host:
And to get a flavor for what delegates think, we're joined now by lifelong Democratic activist and mover and shaker Lynn Cutler. She's in Denver for the convention, where she is something rare indeed. She's an at-large delegate pledged to Senator Clinton from Senator Obama's home state. For that matter, it's Hillary Clinton's old home state of Illinois. Good morning, Lynn.
SIMON: Good morning, Scott.
SIMON: Good choice?
SIMON: Oh, yes. It's a great choice. I've been listening to your reporters, and I think that something is really critical about Joe Biden is on the personal side. And I've known him for a very long time. He and I both lost spouses at an early age. He was younger than I, but we met shortly after both the death of my husband, the death of his wife and child, and he is a very wonderful, warm human being. And I know all the stuff that they're going to say but at the core, this is a man who has wonderful values.
He went home every single night from Washington to Delaware to care for his boys in the years and years in the Senate after he lost his wife and daughter. He is a fabulous, good-humored human being, and jokes, and he's going to be a lot of fun for Senator Obama on the trail. He's great. I'm just thrilled.
SIMON: Well, let me ask about this, though. Some Clinton supporters and activists have said in the past few days that they thought it was disrespectful of Senator Obama to apparently not even put Senator Clinton through the vetting process. How do you feel about that?
SIMON: I just never thought that that was going to happen, and I know that many of my colleagues and friends will be angry at hearing me say that. I worked my heart out for her. I wanted very much for her to be our nominee. And it's kind of sad being here at the back of my mind, you know, mourning still. But I never really believed that that would happen.
SIMON: And just in the 45 seconds we've got left, there were so many candidates whose names were being brooded about that were from border states or critical swing states like Pennsylvania or Ohio. Joe Biden is from a very small - a wonderful state, Delaware, to be sure, but a small state. What, from your point of view, does he do for the ticket in some states the Democrats really have to win?
SIMON: Well, I think clearly you heard it in just the last few minutes. I mean, he comes from a working-class background. He identifies beautifully. I've been out on the trail with Joe in Iowa, and he is a great connector with people. He loves people. So I think the geography is less important now than it used to be. And that started with Clinton-Gore: neighboring states, similar profiles. I don't think it's as big an issue as it used to be.
SIMON: Lynn, thanks very much for speaking with us.
SIMON: You're welcome.
SIMON: Lynn Cutler, an at-large delegate for Hillary Clinton with the Illinois delegation, joining us from Denver, where the Democratic convention is set to open on Monday. And this is NPR News.
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