Sen. Hillary Clinton Seeks Democratic Convention Voice

Clinton Delegate Gathering Signatures

And party leaders are coming together to help retire her campaign debt, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid scheduled to headline a fundraiser on her behalf Sept. 17.

Still, some Clinton loyalists have complained that Obama hasn't done enough to help Clinton pay off the debt she amassed during the primaries.

Davis said that if Obama won't name Clinton as his running mate, he could at least designate her the convention's keynote speaker. Clinton will get a choice prime-time slot Tuesday night, but no decisions have been announced regarding the keynote address.

"Her supporters want -- after 18 million votes, and the record of success from March 1 through June 1 -- to feel recognized, and I think we should," Davis said.

Clinton is facing pressure from some of her die-hard supporters to request that her name to be placed into nomination.

Several groups of Clinton supporters are organizing marches and demonstrations in Denver. Major events are being planned for Aug. 26, the date Clinton is slated to speak at the convention -- which happens to be the 88th anniversary of the ratification of the constitutional amendment guaranteeing women's suffrage.

Susan Castner, a Clinton delegate from Portland, Ore., is gathering the 300 signatures from delegates that Clinton would need in case she decides she wants to be part of convention balloting.

"We will have this in hand for Sen. Clinton, should this be needed," said Castner, who said that she's already gathered about half the necessary signatures.

Castner said she and many other Clinton supporters will only feel as if their voices are being heard if they are allowed to vote for Clinton on a first ballot.

"It's been a tradition since the late 1800s -- it's a nominating convention, you vote, you nominate someone, and you come out unified. I don't see how alienating 1,800 delegates gives you party unity when we walk out of the stadium," she said. "Hillary delegates feel like we're not welcome, needed, or valued."

"I cannot believe that Sen. Clinton, after putting in that much time, energy and effort, would just say, ' Nah, take my name out,' " Castner said.

Obama Campaign Downplays Reports of Tension

Some Clinton backers have even speculated that a roll call could result in a Clinton victory, though Clinton herself has said such an outcome is nearly impossible. Many Clinton delegates have followed their candidate's lead and are fully supporting Obama's candidacy, so Clinton will likely wind up with fewer votes in a roll call than her delegate total as of the final primaries June 3.

"What we want to have happen is for Sen. Obama to be nominated by a unified convention of Democrats," Clinton said at the California fundraiser last week. "And as I have said, the best way I think -- and I could be wrong -- but the best way I think to do that is to have a strategy so that my delegates feel like they have a role, and that their legitimacy has been validated."

She added: "It's as old as, you know, as Greek drama. You know, there is a catharsis. I mean, everybody comes and, you know, they want to yell and scream and have their opportunity, and I think that's all to the good. Because then, you know, everybody can go, 'OK, great, now let's go out and win.' "

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