Hillary Clinton's Speech is Emotional Moment for Her Supporters

KPCC's Kitty Felde is in Denver and told Morning Edition host Steve Julian that Hillary Clinton's supporters reacted emotionally to her speech at the Democratic National Convention.

Kitty Felde: Well it was almost as if there were two different speeches being given last night. The delegates who are already supporting Obama thought she hit a home run, and the delegates who were supporting Clinton were very, very emotional.

After the speech, all of the Obama side left the hall in a kind of celebratory manner, and then I caught up with a few delegates, still sitting on the floor, after the band had gone home, who were literally crying there in the stands. One of them was Robin Torello of San Leandro, and I asked her whether she was finally ready to support Obama.

Robin Torello: Maybe Thursday. (laughs) I am, I mean I, I'm a Democrat first, and always, and I have to do what I think is right, and– by the people, and get out there and work for Barack Obama, because the alternative is a... a nightmare, actually.

Felde: And then there was Angela Ramirez Holmes, who's also from the Bay area.

Angela Ramirez Holmes: You know, the thing that gets left out, and what the media wants to portray as non-unity, is really just the culmination of work that we've done for years, for Hillary. But more than for Hillary. For women, in America.

Felde: Well as you know, Steve, yesterday was the anniversary of the ratification of the amendment, the 19th Amendment that let women vote, and that was a theme throughout the day yesterday. And a lot of women, especially of a little older generation, really feel this. And that was what came through with these two young women. They aren't that young, but these two women.

Steve Julian: Did you talk to any Obama supporters? And did they feel that Clinton did enough to distance herself from some of the things that she had said in the primary about Obama's lack of experience?

Felde: Well that wasn't even brought up. I mean, that was not what the Obama people were really there to do. They were, they're marching to victory right now, and there was no animosity on the Obama side towards the Clinton side, other than "Get over it!"

But the Clinton side are actually sort of talking about, you know, "Well, he should thank us, because we did so much to get him in this position." So, I think the hard feelings are more still on the Hillary Clinton side, but I saw progress last night, so it'll be interesting to see what happens tonight and tomorrow.

Julian: Hmm. Kitty, Barack Obama's vice presidential choice, Joe Biden, will speak tonight, and so will former president Bill Clinton. What are they supposed to say?

Felde: Well, Biden will, of course, set the table. There's a kind of a military thing going on this evening, so there'll be a lot of defending the country, and trying to make people feel secure in America, and all of that sort of thing. President Clinton got into a bit of a kerfuffle yesterday.

He was speaking to some foreign leaders, and he said something that could be taken very benignly, but apparently, the Obama folks didn't take it that way, and tonight, supposedly, the Clinton camp is saying "Tune in," and saying "Anyone who doubts President Clinton's commitment to electing Barack Obama should tune in Wednesday night."

Julian: Hmm. You had a tough time getting on the floor last night.

Felde: I have to tell you, Steve. Pepsi Center is way, way too small. I mean, I've seen conventions in Philadelphia, New York, and of course in Los Angeles. It got so bad– and I have to tell you, there's a whole bunch fewer media, because of media consolidation, so there's not even enough reporters to make it bad. The fire marshal closed the hall down, and wouldn't let reporters on the floor right before Hillary Clinton's speech. I had to sweet talk my way in, and once I did, I got into a scrum I've never seen before.

You could hardly breathe, and the fire marshals wouldn't let you anywhere near where you needed to go, so I ended up right next to the stage, and got to see Mrs. Clinton's speech right there. Wasn't where I needed to be, near the California delegation, but, it was– it's not a happy place to be, so I can see why they moved Thursday's speech to Invesco Field.

Julian: Any good photos?

Felde: (laughs) I happened to get stuck as the Secret Service was trying to move in Joe Biden and Michelle Obama, and took a picture of Michelle Obama. But, you know, those digital cameras, they don't take the picture when you want it, so there's kind of a three second delay. I have the worst picture of Michelle Obama that has been taken this campaign, and I'm hoping she's gonna pay me a lot of money to keep it off our Web site.

Julian: Yeah, that's where you'll see this, KPCC.org.

Felde: (laughs) That is correct, Steve.

Julian: Kitty, thanks so much.

Felde: You're welcome.