Group tries to keep Hillary's pres. candidacy alive

Hillary Clinton will be a major player at the Democratic Convention in Denver in August even if she's not Barack Obama's running mate. But that's not enough for some of her hardest-core supporters on the East coast who've set up a lobbying organization called the Denver Group. The group is raising money and running ads in newspapers like the Chicago Tribune demanding an open convention with a showdown vote on the floor between the two Democratic heavyweights.

Hillary Clinton endorsed Barack Obama in June. And since then, they've campaigned together. But some of her most militant supporters still believe the Democratic National Committee steered the nomination to Obama by, among other things, dividing delegates from the disputed Florida and Michigan primaries unfairly at a raucous DNC meeting in May in Washington D.C.

Calling themselves the Denver Group, the Clinton activists are launching an ad campaign that includes a message to party leaders Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi in Wednesday's Chicago Tribune demanding an open convention like the one that elected Franklin Roosevelt in 1932 on the fourth ballot. So delegates can choose between Clinton and Obama because the primary race was so close.

"We don't want to see a coronation of a nominee. We should hold an authentically democratic convention so that it legitimizes whoever wins, be that Senator Obama or Senator Clinton," said Heidi Li Feldman, the Denver Group.

Clinton delegate Kevin Conlon says that Hillary appreciates their commitment but doesn't want a convention fight.

"It's nice that they have those passions but she has made it clear she respects the nomination process and Senator Obama has won it fair and square and she will be behind him," said Conlon.

Meanwhile, the campaign of presumptive Republican nominee John McCain is so frustrated by the saturation media coverage of Obama's overseas trip, it's passing out fake IDs to the "junior varsity reporters left behind to report on McCain in America." And the campaign is releasing a YouTube video of media fawning over Obama set to the tune of a Frankie Valli oldie that says "you're much too good to be true."

"The media's love affair with Barack Obama is all consuming," said Shawn Healey, Young Professionals for McCain. "We don't think there is some scheme out there or anything of that nature, but cover our stuff, too, more than anything."

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