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THE NATION

Clinton wants her delegates heard at the convention

August 07, 2008|From the Associated Press

DENVER — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is seeking a way for her delegates to be heard at the Democratic National Convention, telling supporters such a step would help unify a party that split between her and Sen. Barack Obama during their hard-fought nominating contest.

"I happen to believe that we will come out stronger if people feel that their voices were heard and their views respected. I think that is a very big part of how we actually come out unified," the New York senator told supporters last week at a California fundraiser.

A video clip of her remarks was posted on YouTube.

"Because I know from just what I'm hearing that there's incredible pent-up desire, and I think that people want to feel like, 'OK, it's a catharsis, we're here, we did it, and then everybody get behind Sen. Obama.' That is what most people believe is the best way to go," she said.

The former first lady did not rule out having her name placed into nomination at the convention, which will be held Aug. 25-28 in Denver. But her advisors said that was unlikely.

Clinton, who suspended her White House bid on June 7 and endorsed Obama, is expected to deliver a prime-time address to delegates on the second night of the convention.

A joint statement released late Wednesday by the Clinton and Obama campaigns said: "We are working together to make sure the fall campaign and the convention are a success. At the Democratic convention, we will ensure that the voices of everyone who participated in this historic process are respected and our party will be fully unified heading into the November election."

Clinton advisors said she would almost certainly not ask to have her name placed in formal nomination, avoiding a divisive vote on the night Obama is expected to become the Democratic Party's first black presidential nominee.

Meanwhile, Democratic officials announced Wednesday that more than half of the 75,000 tickets for Obama's acceptance speech on Aug. 28 will go to residents of Colorado, a key battleground state in the November election.

Obama will speak at Invesco Field at Mile High, home to football's Denver Broncos.

In other campaign news, a lawyer who volunteered to help Obama improve relations with Muslim and Arab Americans has resigned amid questions about his connection to a fundamentalist imam.

Mazen Asbahi started as the campaign's outreach coordinator July 26. He resigned Monday, saying in a letter that he was stepping down "to avoid distracting from Barack Obama's message of change."

The campaign of Obama, who is Christian, has been fighting Internet rumors that he is a Muslim.

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