DENVER—-Today is Hillary Day at the Democratic National Convention, with New York senator and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton set to take the podium tonight.
LL sat down this morning with Peter Rosenstein, one of the few delegates pledged to Clinton and the D.C. delegation’s Clinton whip, to talk about the candidate he preferred to get the Democratic nomination.
Rosenstein acknowledged that some Clintonians are still lukewarm in their support of the presumptive nominee, and he says the Obamans realize that. “They still see it as a little bit of a process,” he says. “They realize not all of Hillary’s supporters are there yet.”
“My comment to the Obama people is the phrase they have to stop using is, ‘Get over it.’ That just gets a lot of the Hillary people madder,” Rosenstein says. “The way the need to put it is, ‘You did really well, but we did better.’”
As for the local delegation, Rosenstein says he expects that “the vast majority” of the unpledged “superdelegates” who had once supported Clinton, many of whom are leaders of national organizations, will cast their votes for Obama. But some, he says, have pledged to him privately that they will stick with Hillary; he declined to give a number or name any names.
Rosenstein himself, pledged to Clinton, will stick by his woman with his vote, though he has already publicly expressed his support for Obama, writing an op-ed in the Washington Blade telling Hillary supporters it’s “Time to heal.”
Regarding his support for Obama, Rosenstein is somewhat circumspect. “I am excited about the potential for us to win,” he says. “I’m also realistic: This is going to be a very close election.” The unspoken subtext: Perhaps if Clinton were the candidate, with all of her supposed white blue-collar support, it wouldn’t be so close.
But Rosenstein doesn’t see John McCain’s efforts to target Clinton supporters as a winning strategy. “It’s a great campaign tactic,” he says. “If I were a Republican, of course I would want those voters.” But in the end, he says, Democrats will end up voting for Democrats.
As for Clinton’s speech, Rosenstein said he had gotten details of a draft circulated among New York’s Hillary supporters. “I think it will generally be, it’s time for the party to unite and she will give a ringing endorsement of Barack Obama,” he says. “And I think she will ask all of her supporters to join her.”
By Thursday, Rosenstein says, “We’re going to walk out of here united.”