Details are slowing emerging on plans for the upcoming Democratic and GOP conventions — with the latest news coming from the Obama campaign, announcing Wednesday that former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner will deliver the coveted keynote address on the second night of the Democratic event in Denver.
Warner, who is running to represent Virginia in the U.S. Senate, follows in the footsteps of another up-and-coming politician who delivered the high-profile keynote address in 2004 and quickly shot to the national political stage: Obama himself.
“As governor of Virginia, Warner used his experience in business to help deliver jobs and hope to the citizens of Virginia,” Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said in a statement. “Like Barack Obama, Mark Warner is not afraid to challenge the status quo to bring people together and get things moving.”
Virginia is shaping up to be a battleground in the race between Obama and GOP rival Sen. John McCain. The long-time GOP stronghold has seen a wave of renewed attention and an influx of campaign funds as Democrats aim for a chance to push the state into the blue column.
New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Obama’s hard-fought rival during the primaries, is also scheduled to speak on Tuesday night of the convention in Denver. That evening’s theme is economic opportunity.
While details for the Republican National Convention, held from Sept. 1-4 in St. Paul, Minn., are still being confirmed, the New York Times reported that both President Bush and Vice President Cheney will speak on the event’s opening night.
One GOP story drawing attention thus far hasn’t been who’s going to the convention but who isn’t going — according to Politico only three of the 12 Republicans running in competitive Senate races — five of whom are incumbents — have confirmed that they will be attending the event.
Both the DNC and the RNC will have to contend with counter rallies during their conventions. Ralph Nader is planning events in both Denver and St. Paul. Ron Paul supporters are organizing a mini-convention in St. Paul to coincide with the second day of McCain’s GOP event.