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Sen. Kerry’s Wife to Address Delegates Tuesday

Illinois State Senator and U.S. Senate candidate Barack Obama will also speak, giving the convention’s keynote address.

“What I’d like to do is focus on making sure that I give voice to the stories that I’m hearing of people across Illinois who are struggling with health care bills that are rising, trying to save or college and retirement at the same time,” Obama told CNN Tuesday.

Obama, who is running unopposed after the Republican nominee dropped out due to a sex scandal, would be the only black member of the Senate if he is elected in November.

Former Kerry rivals Congressman Dick Gephardt, former Vermont governor Howard Dean and former Senator Carol Moseley Braun will also speak Tuesday, as the Democratic National Convention continues in Boston.

Delegates will also hear from Ron Reagan, son of the late former president, who will speak about the importance of ending many of President Bush’s restrictions on stem cell research.

One of Tuesday’s most highly anticipated speakers is Sen. Kerry’s wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry.

The 65-year-old heiress of the Heinz ketchup fortune has become known for frank comments while on the campaign trail. She has talked about using Botox and signing a prenuptial agreement with Kerry — topics most political spouses would try to avoid.

Tuesday’s speech promises to be more scripted than her usual campaign appearances. She has said she will use a TelePrompTer for the first time when giving the speech.

Heinz Kerry recently became the subject of media attention when she confronted a journalist on Sunday and told him to “shove it” for asking her to explain comments she had made.

Speaking to CBS on Tuesday, Heinz Kerry defended her comment by saying, “If someone is really attacking your honor or trying to really be dishonest, really, to try to get you, I think most Americans, most people would say, you know, defend yourself. And that’s what I did.”

Heinz Kerry’s first husband, Sen. John Heinz, R-Pa., was killed in a plane crash in 1991. The couple had three sons, two of whom have been active in their stepfather’s campaign. Chris Heinz, 31, will give a speech introducing his mother Tuesday night.

As last-minute preparations for Tuesday’s speeches continued, Sen. Kerry was campaigning in Norfolk, Va. Kerry called for the September 11 commission to keep working beyond its end date of Aug. 26 to make sure its recommended reforms are put in place.

The bipartisan panel welcomed Sen. Kerry’s proposal to keep the commission working for about another 18 months to assessing the progress made on its recommendations.

President Bush, who is currently vacationing at his Texas ranch, has a task force reviewing the Sept. 11 commission’s recommendations and may act within days on some of them, White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan said Monday.

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