By Matthew Mosk
A number of Sen. Hillary Clinton's top advisers will not be staying in Denver long enough to hear Barack Obama accept the nomination for president, according to sources familiar with their schedules.
Clinton will deliver her speech Tuesday night. She will hold a private meeting with her top financial supporters Wednesday at noon, and will thank her delegates at an event that afternoon. Former president Bill Clinton will speak that night. Several of Hillary Clinton's supporters are then planning to leave town. Among them, Terry McAuliffe, Clinton's campaign chairman, and longtime supporters Steve Rattner and Maureen White. Another of Clinton's top New York fundraisers, Alan Patricof, did not make the trip to Denver.
Robert Zimmerman, a Clinton supporter who is trying now to navigate between the two camps, will be staying for Obama's speech. But he said in an interview that it would be unrealistic to expect there would not still be some tension between the two camps -- he noted that the same was true with supporters of Gary Hart and, to a lesser extent, Howard Dean.
"This convention provides a very important opportunity for the Obama campaign to bond with the constituencies that supported Hillary Clinton," Zimmerman said. "It's not about Barack or Hillary. It's about bringing in the people here who voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton. Senator Obama and Senator Biden are, without question, qualified to do that."