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Democrats Prepare to Nominate Party's Vice Presidential Candidate - 2004-07-28


The Democratic National Convention heads into the third of four days Wednesday, as vice presidential nominee John Edwards takes center stage.

The biggest star on tonight's list of speakers is vice presidential nominee John Edwards. He will be introduced to the convention's 4,300 delegates, party dignitaries and other celebrities meeting at Boston's Fleet Center by his wife, Elizabeth Edwards. She told NBC's Today show her husband's speech will have two goals.

"He will be melding the vision that he and John Kerry have for the direction this country needs to move with an introduction of John Kerry to the people of this country,? Ms. Edwards said. ?This is a great opportunity to speak to the country about the John Kerry that my husband and I have seen over the years that we've known him and in particular, in the months of this campaign.

The Democratic Party's presumptive presidential nominee, John Kerry, named Senator Edwards as his vice presidential running mate earlier this month.

Senator Edwards was elected to the U.S. Senate from the state of North Carolina six years ago. Until he abandoned his bid in March, he competed against Senator Kerry for the party's presidential slot.

The son of a textile worker and the first in his family to attend college, Senator Edwards earned a personal fortune during nearly two decades as a lawyer representing ordinary people in claims against large corporations and hospitals.

A key theme for the 51-year-old Senator has been criticism of President Bush and the Republicans for creating what he calls "two Americas" - one for the rich and one for everybody else.

Meanwhile, one of the most talked about speakers Tuesday night was rising Democratic party star, Illinois State Senator Barack Obama.

"I believe we can give our middle class relief and provide working families with a road to opportunity,? Mr. Obama said. ?I believe we can provide jobs to the jobless, homes to the homeless, and reclaim young people in cities across America from violence and despair. I believe that as we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices, and meet the challenges that face us."

Senator Obama, the son of a Kenyan father and a white American mother. He is running for a seat in the U.S. Senate. His chances got a strong boost last month when his main opponent, Republican Jack Ryan, dropped out of the race.

Meanwhile, small groups of protesters continue to demonstrate in a special fenced-in area near the Fleet Center where the convention is being held. Most of them oppose the Iraq war. Some also criticize the Democratic Party of not living up to its pledges of being the party of ordinary Americans. Police have so far reported no arrests.

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