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Clinton Backers Face Up to Defeat

By Dan Balz
As everyone awaits The Speech, Clinton supporters here at the National Building Museum are trying to digest her defeat. Not everyone here is ready to sign up immediately for the Obama campaign although there is clear resignation about the inevitable.

"I think we need to support Obama," said a woman who gave her name as Kristine J. But she said ashe's not giving up on Clinton. "I still hope she's going to go again."

She said she does not believe Clinton was treated fairly through the course of the campaign. "It hurts to see how Hillary was treated," she said. "I just hope our society is going to get over the resentment toward a woman president."

A young staffer for the campaign said it will be incumbent on Obama to make it as easy as possible for Clinton loyalists to support him in the fall.

Ellen Moran of Emily's List, which ardently backed Clinton, said she has been surprised in her conversations how many Clinton loyalists are not yet focused on the choice in the general election

Moran said women are the key to victory in the fall and Obama will have to work to get them, but added, "Once the spotlight is on the choice between Senator Obama and Senator McCain, the picture will become clearer."

Ann Lewis, one of Clinton's longtime friends and advisers, pointed to the enthusiasm in the hall. That kind of loyalty, she said, "is not switched with the turn of a faucet."

Jennifer Baker of Maryland, asked whether Obama should pick Clinton as his running mate, said that should be Obama's decision. "I respect Hillary," she said. "I really admire what she's done. But Obama is a strong candidate and I support him now that she's no longer in."

By Post Editor  |  June 7, 2008; 12:30 PM ET
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