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John Edwards to Address Convention Leading Up to Kerry Acceptance Speech

Edwards’ wife Elizabeth said Wednesday on CBS, ”He’ll be talking both about the big themes of this campaign, optimism, searching for a better tomorrow that this nation has always represented.”

“He’ll be talking a lot about Sen. Kerry and the attributes that he brings and will bring to the office of the presidency.”

Edwards, who has been nursing a hoarse voice, visited the Fleet Center in Boston late Tuesday night to view the podium and hall where he will address the more than 4,000 delegates, many of whom will be seeing him in person for the first time since he accepted the number-two spot last month.

Edwards has said his speech will run about a half-hour long and will be a “positive” message with “specific ideas” about his and Kerry’s vision for the country, according to the AP. His wife, who has spent months campaigning with her husband, will introduce him.

Following Edwards’ speech, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Columbus, Ohio Mayor Michael Coleman and 21-year-old mother of one Eimy Santiago will speak on behalf of the Democratic Party to officially nominate Kerry for president. A state-by-state roll call vote will follow the speeches.

Kerry arrived in his hometown of Boston around noon on Wednesday, riding a water taxi across the harbor to a rally at Charlestown Naval Yard. His arrival ended a six-day campaign tour of the country, during which he visited key election states including Colorado, Virginia and Florida.

On Tuesday, Kerry asserted himself as the man for the job of president. “I will and I can fight a more effective war on terror than George Bush is,” he said, according to the AP.

So far, those who have taken the podium at the Democratic Convention have given speech after speech touting Kerry as a leader and friend of the people.

“John Kerry offers hope, not fear,” said senior Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy. The Republicans, he said, “divide and try to conquer.”

Newly-minted Democratic star and Illinois Senate candidate Barack Obama, who delivered the keynote speech Tuesday night, said Kerry embodies, “the best this country has to offer.”

“John Kerry understands the ideals of community, faith, and sacrifice, because they’ve defined his life,” Obama said. “From his heroic service in Vietnam to his years as prosecutor and lieutenant governor, through two decades in the United States Senate, he has devoted himself to this country.”

Republicans, who have set up a quick response media operation office close by the Democratic Convention center in Boston, said they plan to release an 11-minute video Wednesday that captures Kerry shifting positions on the Iraq war issue, the AP reported.

The Republican strategy so far has been to try to limit any jump in the polls Kerry may get as a result of the convention.

“They will get a bounce out of here, anywhere between 8 to 12 (percentage) points,” Republican Party Chairman Ed Gillespie told the San Francisco Chronicle. But, he said, the Republican convention should even the race between Kerry and Mr. Bush.

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