Will Clinton Delegates Snub Obama For McCain? The Democratic Party hopes to use its national convention to unite support behind Barack Obama. But many of Hillary Clinton's supporters have come to Denver to cast a vote for her — and some say they will not be supporting Barack Obama.
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Will Clinton Delegates Snub Obama For McCain?

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Will Clinton Delegates Snub Obama For McCain?

Will Clinton Delegates Snub Obama For McCain?

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More than 1,600 delegates are pledged to Hillary Clinton, and it may be telling that one of the biggest cheers that Michelle Obama got was when she praised Clinton for the 18 million cracks she put in the glass ceiling.

Tomorrow night, when Clinton's name is placed into nomination under a roll-call vote, that will be in large part to appease those of her supporters who haven't quite moved on. I spoke to two Clinton delegates, both from Colorado - Daniel Kagan and Awilda Marquez. Marquez is a long-time Clinton supporter, and this is her first convention.

Ms. AWILDA MARQUEZ (Delegate): I am totally excited, totally committed. This convention is the correct and the best time and place to celebrate the achievement that Hillary has done and also the Democratic Party.

MONTAGNE: Daniel Kagan, let's turn to you, and you're British-born, but you are now American, an elected delegate for Colorado. I understand you circulated a petition to get Hillary Clinton's name on the ballot. Why was the roll-call vote so important to you?

Mr. DANIEL KAGAN (Delegate): Because the main purpose of the convention is to elect a nominee, and we thought that it would rather a good idea to have the election. There are 18 million people out there who cast their votes and sent delegates to Denver, and they wanted to have their delegates vote for Hillary Clinton, and we wanted an opportunity for those delegates to fulfill their pledges.

MONTAGNE: Now Hillary Clinton has indicated that she is going to release her delegates - that would be both of you, actually - and in that sense ask them effectively to vote for Barack Obama. Are you going to be doing that?

Ms. MARQUEZ: I am not going to be voting for Barack Obama during the convention. I'm going to be casting my vote as those who elected me asked to me to do, for Hillary Clinton. It was an incredibly close race, as you know. Barack Obama just sort of crawled across the finish line, and this is the place to write the history record, and that's what I'm going to do.

MONTAGNE: Both of you must surely know that John McCain and the McCain campaign has its eye on folks like you, those who have supported Hillary Clinton, so much so that his campaign released a new ad yesterday trying to win over disaffected Clinton supporters, and let's play a part of that.

(Soundbite of political advertisement)

Unidentified Woman: I'm a proud Hillary Clinton Democrat. She had the experience and judgment to be president. Now in a first for me, I'm supporting a Republican, John McCain. I respect his maverick and independent streak, and now he's the one with the experience and judgment. A lot of Democrats will vote McCain. It's okay, really.

MONTAGNE: What about it? Are either of you planning to vote for John McCain?

Ms. MARQUEZ: No, never.

Mr. KAGAN: Definitely not voting for John McCain. There is so much anger out there that there will inevitably be some people who will vote for John McCain, but I'm not one of them.

Ms. MARQUEZ: I'm a proud Democrat. I would never even think of voting Republican. No.

MONTAGNE: Does the fact that neither of you say you'll vote Republican, does that translate into you're both going to vote for Barack Obama come November?

Ms. MARQUEZ: I'm not sure yet. He hasn't asked me for my vote. He's asked me for money, but he's not asked me for my vote.

Mr. KAGAN: I can speak for myself. I am going to vote for Barack Obama in November, but I won't be doing anything much more than just vote for him.

MONTAGNE: Daniel Kagan and Awilda Marquez are delegates pledged to Hillary Clinton, speaking to us from the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

Mr. KAGAN: Thank you, been a pleasure.

Ms. MARQUEZ: Thank you.

(Soundbite of music)

MONTAGNE: And you can hear NPR's live coverage of the Democratic National Convention in Denver during the next four evenings on many public radio stations and at NPR.org.

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