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Hillary Clinton Expected to Rally Support for Obama During Convention Speech

VOA LIVE from the DNC:

0100-0300 UTC nightly.


Senator Hillary Clinton will seek to convince her ardent primary supporters to fall in line behind presumptive nominee Barack Obama on the second day of the Democratic National Convention in the western U.S. city of Denver. After an emotional first night with speeches by ailing Senate veteran Ted Kennedy and Michelle Obama, wife of the Democratic candidate, Tuesday's focus will shift to renewing America's promise to those voters who are struggling with economic and health care worries. VOA Correspondent Cindy Saine reports from Denver.

After coming so close in the protracted battle for the Democratic nomination, emotions may still be raw for Hillary Clinton and some of her supporters, who are still disappointed that she did not win and that she is not on the ticket as the vice presidential candidate.

Her task Tuesday will be to rally those voters to cast their votes for Barack Obama in November, and to make clear that she herself believes he is fully qualified to be president and commander-in-chief. Polls show that a significant number of Clinton supporters say they may vote for Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain in November.

Convention day 1 focuses on Obama, family values

The first night of the convention focused on the unusual life story of Barack Obama and his values. His wife Michelle sought to paint a more personal picture of her husband. She told a cheering audience that they both come from similar working class backgrounds, with shared values of hard work and public service, and that they share the same hopes and dreams millions of Americans have for their children.

"Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values and pass them on to the next generation," she explained. "Because we want our children and all children in this nation to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them."

Michelle promised that if her husband is elected president, they would both feel obligated to fight for, as she said, "the world as it should be." She also sought to dispel criticism from some Republicans that she is angry and unpatriotic, saying she loves her country for the opportunities it has given her and Barack and many others.

She was joined on the stage after her speech by her two little girls, who spoke to their father via a remote video link and charmed many in the audience. The images gave voters a chance to see what the first African-American "first family" would look like if Obama is elected in November.

Energetic Senator Kennedy revs up crowd

Another emotional highlight was a tribute to U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, a veteran fighter in the Senate for universal health care and other issues that affect working class families. The senator is the last surviving brother of late President John F. Kennedy and late Senator Robert Kennedy.

Ted Kennedy was diagnosed with brain cancer several months ago, and it was not clear if he would be able to address the convention. But he spoke with characteristic vigor, passing the torch to Obama.

"I have come here tonight to stand with you, to change America, to restore its future, to rise to our best ideals and to elect Barack Obama president of the United States," he said.

Tuesday night's speakers will also include former Virginia Governor Mark Warner and several "ordinary Americans" who are facing daunting medical bills or other challenges.