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Inside The "hillary Suite"

There's lots of argument today over how real or fictional the angry, skeptical-of-Obama Hillary supporter is and what to make of that CNN poll apparently showing that 66% of Clinton backers support Obama, down from 75% in June.

At Broker's Restaurant in Denver today, I met two Ohio delegates who fell firmly into that other 34%, Billie Brandon and a delegate who wouldn't give her name; she told me that Ohio state Democrats had already threatened to take away her convention credentials on account of something anti-Obama she told a reporter earlier in the summer. The two Ohioans had gone to the musty, antique Broker's to retrieve information from 18 Million Voices, the group staging tomorrow morning's pro-Hillary march through Denver. (Not to be confused with the PUMAs, a more extreme pro-Hillary group that verges on performance art.)

Where, I asked the two Ohioans, did the Hillary delegation from Ohio stand as a whole? "Most of them are saying 'It's over,'" Brandon said. "The rest of us are saying, 'Please, let's get a floor vote.'" (Exact plans are changing all the time, but the current idea is to let delegations vote at Wednesday's breakfast, not on the floor with a state-by-state roll call.) "For me, it's all about saying I got to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton for President and I'm proud of that," Brandon added. "It's to heal my heart."

Speaking with the two Ohio women, I got the sense that this angst, too, would pass. That's not to say there isn't a huge range of feelings among the large number of Hillary delegates here that won't be captured by a binary opinion poll. After we left Broker's, the Ohio delegates took me with them to the "Hillary Suite," a plush apartment on Wazee Street brimming with snacks, crammed with Hillary signs and stickers -- and packed to the gills with delegates, male and female, hailing from Maine to California. Thirty or forty Hillary delegates must have passed through during the hour I was there. This suite is Ground Zero for still-not-totally-over-it Hillary delegates: a buzzing place where they can vent; trade frustrations; watch Fox News on the big-screen TV ("we sometimes switch it, but Fox is actually less biased because they hate all Democrats," explains the suite's cheerful organizer, John West); mull over the success of the "300" grassroots petition that, many there said, helped pressure Obama to let Hillary's delegates vote for her this week; and pick up new petition handouts on a floor vote or -- still a cause for a few delegates -- overturning the Biden pick and making Hillary VP. (NB: I don't think this suite is affiliated with anybody from Hillary's official camp, though it has become a go-to spot for delegates.)

It was a fascinating place, and armed with FORA-TV's mini-video-cam, I got a bunch of footage. Stay tuned for a glimpse inside the Hillary Suite and a chat with a California delegate whose "arms are still crossed" regarding Obama, as he puts it.

--Eve Fairbanks