US & World

Many Hillary Clinton supporters are not ready to move on just yet

Listen to story

Download this story 1.0MB

New York Senator Hillary Clinton's supporters still think her name should be on the ticket. KPCC's Special Correspondent Kitty Felde talks with KPCC's Shirley Jahad about Hillary and the Democratic National Convention, which she will address tomorrow.

Shirley Jahad: Hundreds of California Democrats are in Denver among the delegates there at the convention. Hillary Clinton is speaking tomorrow night. She was supposed to talk to the California delegation today.

Some of her supporters took to the streets in Denver, while party leaders there trying to convey the message that everything's all right. KPCC Special Correspondent Kitty Felde has been covering the story, and joins us now live. Hi, Kitty!

Kitty Felde: Hi, Shirley!

Jahad: So, I understand Hillary Clinton was to address the California delegation at breakfast time this morning, but didn't. So what happened there?

Felde: Well, it's interesting, because they've housed the New York and California delegations in the same hotel, so the thought was that she would go to the New York delegation breakfast, and then jump across the bridge and speak to the California delegation.

And I don't know if she was running late, or what the story was, but she didn't come. So I snuck over to the New York hotel, where she gave this very rousing speech at the New York delegation breakfast.

Hillary Clinton: Every one of us could stand up and recite all the reasons why we must elect Barack. The Supreme Court is at stake. Our educational system needs the right kind of change. We've got to become energy independent. We have to create millions of new green collar jobs.

We've got so much work to do around the world. None of that will happen if John McCain is in the White House. I just want to make it absolutely clear: we cannot afford four more years of George W. Bush's failed policies in America, and that's what we would get with John McCain.

Jahad: Sounds like she got a lot of support for her backing of Barack Obama. Are there still some disgruntled folks, though, and what do they have to say?

Felde: Oh yes there are, and they're out in the streets carrying placards and orange balloons. I ran into a great big long protest this afternoon, and this is what the chanting sounded like.

Protesters: This is what democracy looks like! This is what democracy looks like! This is what democracy looks like!

Jahad: And sooo... what, what is it that they want? What we've been hearing are some murmurings that there's some deal making going on, some agreement that's gonna be worked out, what's going on there?

Felde: Exactly, exactly. Well, what they want is, everybody who was a pledged Hillary Clinton supporter, they want those votes to count. And as you remember, it's fairly close in the end. But what's likely to happen is, they will count up the votes until they get to New York, and then Hillary Clinton herself will stand up and call for a unanimous nomination of Obama, and everyone will cheer. At least, they hope so. At least, that's what we're hearing the plan is, but we don't have any official announcement yet.

Jahad: What are the party leaders saying right now?

Felde: Well, Nancy Pelosi did speak to the California delegation. She, of course, the most powerful woman in America, I suppose you could say; third in line for the presidency. She talked a little bit about, you know, this whole getting behind Obama, and it's not gonna be a bad thing.

She was asked about a new USA Today poll that shows that almost half of Hillary supporters still aren't ready to back Barack Obama, but Pelosi said you have to take polls that only talk to "likely voters" with a grain of salt this year.

Nancy Pelosi: We have a situation where, you know what "likely voters" are. People who voted in the last two elections. Most likely, with a hard line. That's not what this campaign is based on. This is about attracting, and Senator Clinton is part of it.

Senator Clinton, Senator Barack Obama attracted millions of new voters, who didn't vote in the last two elections. And then people return to voting who hadn't voted in a long time. So those numbers, I'm confident of a Democratic victory.

Jahad: The House speaker expected to give her address at the convention in the next hour or so. What else is up for tonight?

Felde: Oh, it's, tonight it's a very moving tribute to Senator Ted Kennedy, who actually will be appearing. Jesse Jackson, of course, is making a speech, and the highlight of the evening is the end, and that's the candidate's wife, Michelle Obama.

Jahad: And KPCC Special Correspondent Kitty Felde, thank you so much.

Felde: You bet, Shirley.