Where Will Sen. Clinton's Supporters Turn?

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katie couric speaks to clinton supporters
CBS

As Hillary Clinton inches closer to pulling out the race, Barack Obama must win over her supporters - many of them women. In the Democratic primaries so far, CBS News exit polls showed that Clinton won more than half of the female vote.

Women voters helped propel her to a big win in Pennsylvania. CBS News anchor Katie Couric asked seven Clinton supporters from that battleground state how they feel about the campaign, and what they're thinking now. What follows is a partial transcript of the conversation.



Sandra Miller, former county commissioner: I think from the very beginning she's been mistreated. I know - I watched a lot of interviews and so forth where Sen. Clinton was referred to as "Mrs. Clinton" whereas Sen. Obama was "Sen. Obama."

Meredith Ciambrello, teacher: It bothers me to think with the kind of coverage that we've had, that we're speaking of, that it's influencing the voters. And when I talk to young men or other young women and they say, "I hate Hillary" and just the venom that comes out of them. And I wonder where is that coming from.

Kathleen O'Dell, sales manager: I think we have a little different standard with sexism than we do with, say, racism. I mean there have been people who go to their rallies and stand up - the guy who stood up and said, "hey, iron my shirt." Now consider that if somebody had showed up at an Obama campaign and had a banner saying something about his race or about somebody's religion, we'd be up in arms. Everybody would be like, "how disgusting."

Katie Couric: What do you wish she had done differently?

O'Dell: First of all, I think she underestimated Obama tremendously, the mood of the country. She picked people who were very loyal to her, who weren't maybe as savvy at running caucus states. The Internet. I think she got killed on the Internet.

Couric: Some people have said that, if she couldn't run a better campaign, if she couldn't surround herself with better people ... during the process, what does that portend for her ability to run the country?

Debbie Pellen, stay-at-home mother: I think it's a fair comment but some of the people he seems to be surrounding himself with I think they are great PR people but I don't think that's a good indication of how they're going to be with policy.

O'Dell: I hate to say it. How these campaigns are run I think does give you a pretty good idea of how they're going to be in the White House.

Couric: If Hillary Clinton gets out of the race, what then?

Jennifer Miller, art instructor: I'll vote for Barack Obama if Hillary doesn't get in.

Doreen Ruffe, stay-at-home mom: I am thinking that but I would have to see what happens between now and November.

Daphne Mroz, executive assistant: I will definitely vote for another Democrat in the office.

O'Dell: Right now, I'm staying home. I don't want to be taken for granted. I can't hope that we change.

Pellen: I will definitely vote for Obama, but I don't want her to get out. I respect the fact that she's in and she's fighting and, you know what, people have said, "get out, get out," and, you know what, it even makes her stronger that she's not going to roll over. I mean, this is who I want fighting for me.

Couric: What about your husband, Debbie?

Pellen: My husband will look at it and say, "but we're at wa,r Deb." And you know what? This person is untested. At least somebody has a record. He has a record versus no record.

Couric: And your husband is a Democrat?

Pellen: Democrat, registered Democrat.

Couric: Do you know any Hillary Clinton supporters who would be so angry about the outcome, and about the way she's been treated that they would opt to vote for John McCain, almost as a protest?

Sandra Miller: Absolutely. That anger is just building and building. They have expressed to me that if she is not the candidate they will vote for McCain, just to vent that anger. Will they say that publicly? Probably not.

Couric: What has Hillary Clinton's candidacy taught you?

Jennifer Miller: We still have a long ways to go when it comes to sexism and we will have a female president in the near future.

Sandra Miller: I would disagree that we're going to have another female candidate - or a female president - in the near future if Sen. Clinton is not successful.

Mroz: If she does not win this time, I don't know when - at least it won't happen in my lifetime - when there would be any other candidate as well-qualified.

Ruffe: In terms of the sexism, I try to stay away from that. I try to teach my three kids you can do anything you want. And my oldest wanted to be president when she was six. I keep saying you can.

O'Dell: I think we have come really far. I mean, we are this close. And if it wasn't for this other really great story, she would be the nominee.