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Unity to be focus of Clinton's speech

Unity to be focus of Clinton's speech



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AP PhotoOnce an opponent, now a supporter, Hillary Clinton puts her full weight behind Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. "I ask each of you to work as hard for Barack and Joe Biden as you have worked for me," she said.

Clinton is set to speak at the Democratic National Convention tonight. Terry McAuliffe, the Clinton campaign chairman said, "She one hundred percent supports Sen. Obama. She is with him."

Democratic party insiders hoped to spend the week selling their presidential candidate to American voters. But convention week in Denver has started off their message. Headlines talk about the rift in the Democratic Party, not about why Barack Obama is the best person to move into the White House. Tonight, all eyes are on Hillary Clinton, to see if her speech will help turn the tide.

Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico said, "She has to unequivocally state that she is supporting Sen. Obama."

Speaking before New York delegates, Sen. Clinton signaled she knows what's expected of her, saying, "And anyone who voted for me will have so much more in common with Sen. Obama than they will ever have with Sen. McCain and the Republican party."

Another thing party insiders hope to see tonight is a change in tone. They don't want anymore warm, spousal sentiment. They're ready to rumble.

One analyst went so far as to say Democrats wasted day one of the convention. James Carville, a political consultant, said "Excuse me but this administration has taken a country that was the most ascended nation since the nation Rome and run it in the ditch. Excuse me, but the surplus is gone, we have a deficit. Look what's happened to health care costs; look what's happened to energy costs; looks what's happened to income growth in this country. I heard none of that last night."

Accompanied by her daughter, Sen. Clinton toured the convention center this morning in preparation for tonight.

Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel and former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner are also on the program tonight, and both plan to define differences between the parties and react to an aggressive GOP.

Tomorrow night, vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden will address the convention for the first time. Former President Bill Clinton will also speak but not during prime time, a slot he is reportedly not too happy about.

E-mail: nwimmer@ksl.com

Deanie Wimmer In Denver

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