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Clinton Supporters Rally at Rules Committee Meeting

Buoyed by the sight of Reds rookie phenom Jay Bruce scoring the game winning run at Fireworks Night in Cincinnati last night, we lept outta bed this morning and headed to the stately environs of the Mariott Wardman Park Hotel in northwest Washington, where the Democrats Rules & Bylaws Committee was meeting. As surrogates for the Obama and Clinton campaigns as well as representatives of the state Democratic Parties of Florida and Michigan debated the fate of their state delegates, people gathered in the hotel bar, cheering like they do at this city’s Bengals Bar–the Bottom Line–on Sundays in the fall. At the bottom of the hill, Clinton supporters had gathered doing what protesters do–holding placards ("Nifty is Fifty." "No nomination Without Representation." "Count and Honor our Votes."), chanting slogans like "We Will Not Fall in Line."

Chicago-1968 it wasn’t. One event supervisor wandered up and down between the group divided on both sides of the street asking protesters to stay on the sidewalk. Policemen, standing in the street occasionally glared at the crowd, but mostly hurried people as they tried to cross from one side of the street to the next.

Coming all the way from as far as, um, Northern Virginia, Carol Kearney and her daughter Meghan stood in the midst of the crush of people. Said the elder Kearney: "These rules weren’t etched in stones."

"In Florida it was the Republicans who moved up the [primary]," said her daughter, a 31-year-old elementary school teacher from Alexandria, her sunglasses perched on the top of her head with a digital camera dangling from her left wrist. "It’s not our fault."

As people on the street debated the strengths of the Obama campaign, Judy Herzog, an insurance claims examiner said in response to a question about the outcome of the day, "Am I optimistic? No. We want all the votes to be counted and it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen."

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