This morning, both California and New York delegates had to mark a hastily made paper ballot (not secret--everyone's name and vote was posted on the sheet) and fill in a check mark for either Clinton or Obama. They had to vote before collecting their hall pass for the day. Not all state delegations have voted. Some will vote now, others will vote on the floor at 4 pm. Maybe because the NY and Calif delegations are so large, they had to vote earlier.
At 2 pm, there was a private reception for all of Hillary's delegates at the Colorado Convention Center. There were approximately 1,920 Clinton supporters crammed into one ballroom and a ton of media. I have remarks on tape and will upload her speech on www.btannenbaum.blogspot.com later tonight.
She is now so clearly a national figure, an international figure of consequence. Perhaps that slot held by Sen. Ted Kennedy--lion of the Senate, champion of health care and civil rights--will be passed over to Hillary. Each speech she makes here at the convention is more powerful, more confident, more humorous than anything I've saw during her campaign.
We met this a great African-American delegate from Lancaster in Southern California. She was wearing all Obama buttons covering her shirt. When Hillary spoke last night, she was covered in Hillary buttons. But she changed them out because she promised her friend that she would put on her Obama buttons after Hillary spoke. "I switched my buttons," she said, "but I haven't switched my heart."
There's no doubt that Hillary supports Barack Obama and as she said, "I officially release you to vote your conscious. This morning, I signed my ballot for Obama. But you represent so many different journeys to get here, I cannot tell you what to do. You may represent your constituents back home, you can vote your heart, you can vote for Obama."
She also said, "it may have hurt after the primary. But I'll tell you, if McCain wins in November, it's going to hurt a whole lot more."
[We are working on uploading all the speeches and inteviews I recorded. Hopefully we'll have a link by tomorrow. We're pretty exhausted right now and girding our loins to deal with the endless shuttle and security lines for Invesco Field & Obama tonight. So, coming soon: Hillary's full speech releasing her delegates, Interview w/ Rep. Barney Frank on the housing crisis, No Snakes on this Plane--an intervew with Sen. Barbara Boxer. And more!]
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