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Angry Floridians

From NBC's Mike Viqueira
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A small but very fired up group of Floridians rallied in the street outside the Democratic National Committee's headquarters here today, demanding that their primary votes be counted and threatening to literally block the doors of the Democratic Convention if they aren't.

"We will shut down the convention!" exclaimed Rep. Corrine Brown. "If we are not seated, then nobody is going to be seated!"

Brown, a superdelegate pledged to Clinton, addressed a crowd of about 150 who had been bused up to D.C. from Florida this week under the auspices of LULAC, an Hispanic advocacy group. Though Brown and another super who spoke -- Rep. Hilda Solis -- are in the Clinton camp, organizers went out of their way to remove any hint that they favored one or the other Democrat in the race. Many in the crowd wore T-shirts with the name of each Democratic candidate, from Kucinich to Dodd to Richardson to Obama, printed across the back in the shape of a rainbow. There was but one Hillary '08 shirt or button to be seen.

"We're not supposed to talk about that," confided Harriet Meltzer, 83, a member in good standing of the Del Ray Democratic Club, though she allowed that she was, in fact, a Clinton supporter. "What's he going to do when he goes to the Middle East?" she asked of Obama, who she deems to be lacking in experience. "Charm them?"

But others were adamant that this was about right and wrong, not Obama and Clinton. "We've been robbed. I didn't get a say," said Glenda O'Laughlin of Clearwater. "This is a betrayal of our rights as citizens," added Branford Fambro, also of Clearwater.

Protesters eventually turned their ire on Howard Dean, literally calling him out with taunting chants of, "Be a man, Howard!" and "Where is Howard!?"

After organizers went inside to meet with DNC officials, who they got outside to address the crowd was not Dean but Luis Miranda, deputy communications director for regional and specialty media. His promise of Florida representation in Denver was greeted with shouts of "When?" and "How?"  He had no details to offer.

Meanwhile, Clinton campaign official Harold Ickes made a closed-door appearance this morning before Clinton supers in Congress, where he told them that HRC would end up winning the popular vote by 300,000, according to a Democrat in attendance. He also told the group the Obama was "writing off Florida" and that the only hope to win the state in November was with a Clinton nomination. Ickes comes up regularly for these outreach sessions.