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Convention books Bill Clinton

August 08, 2008|Peter Nicholas | Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Former President Clinton will speak at the Democratic National Convention this month, settling a lingering question about the role he will play in Barack Obama's nomination.

A senior Democrat familiar with convention plans said Thursday that Clinton would address delegates on Wednesday, Aug. 27, the day before the Illinois senator is to formally accept the nomination.

Since Hillary Rodham Clinton ended her presidential campaign in June, it has been unclear whether her husband would even appear at the Denver event.

Bill Clinton campaigned actively for his wife and was angered about the way they were treated during the primary season.

Though he was a favorite of the African American community, the two-term president was criticized by some black leaders for seeming to marginalize Obama.

At one point, Clinton likened Obama's victory in South Carolina to that of Jesse Jackson two decades before.

Aboard his campaign plane Thursday morning, Obama said that he had spoken to Bill Clinton earlier this week -- while negotiations were underway over the role the Clintons will play at the convention.

Hillary Clinton will address the delegates Aug. 26.

"He's been very supportive," Obama said of the former president.

"I couldn't ask him to be any more gracious than he has been, and supportive, since the campaign ended."

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peter.nicholas@latimes.com

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