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Dems announce convention speakers--Warner, Clintons, Pelosi, Bayh

August 14, 2008 | 11:00 pm

All this week, the Democrats have been doling out the nightly themes and speakers for the party's convention this month in Denver, where Barack Obama will (finally!) lose the adjective "presumptive" that's been attached to the words "presidential nominee."

Michelle Obama speaks Monday night.The theme for opening night -- Monday, Aug. 25 -- is "One Nation," with Michelle Obama as the headliner and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Maya Soetoro-Ng (Barack Obama's half-sister) and Craig Robinson (Michelle Obama's brother) in supporting roles. The handkerchiefs will be out for a tribute to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), who's being treated for a malignant brain tumor.

Hillary Clinton is the headliner (but not the keynoter) on Tuesday.Tuesday's theme, "Renewing America's Promise," features Sen. Hillary Clinton as the "headline prime-time speaker" -- but she could be overshadowed by the convention's keynote speaker, former Virginia governor and current Senate candidate Mark Warner. (Remember, it was Obama's performance as the keynote speaker four years ago -- when he too was a Senate candidate -- that brought him to national attention.) Also speaking Tuesday are a gaggle of governors -- Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, Janet Napolitano of Arizona, Edward G. Rendell of Pennsylvania, Ted Strickland of Ohio, Deval Patrick of Massachusetts and Brian Schweitzer of Montana -- along with Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Federico Peña, who was mayor of Denver before becoming secretary of both Energy and Transportation under President Clinton.

Wednesday -- which focuses on "Securing America's Future" -- is the night ...

... when Obama's vice presidential selection will take the spotlight, and among the scheduled speakers are several believed to be on the short list. From today's press release:

Former President Bill Clinton will speak on Barack Obama’s commitment to a stronger and safer America, as well as the history of Democrats making positive change in the lives of all Americans.

Gov. Bill Richardson and Sens. Evan Bayh, Joe Biden and Jay Rockefeller will echo Obama’s call for a new direction in national security and outline his policies and plans to secure America’s future.

One of the greatest security challenges facing the country today is reducing our dependence on oil, especially from foreign sources. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will discuss Barack Obama’s plans to make America more secure by investing in smart energy policies. 

Sen. Ken Salazar, the convention’s home-state senator, and House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn will also speak as part of the "Securing America’s Future" program.

A bedrock component of Obama’s national security plan is increasing our support to active-duty military, veterans and military families. Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) and Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth will lead a tribute honoring those who give so much to secure our nation’s future.

You can ignore the names in the last three paragraphs -- and you can safely assume Bill Clinton is out of the running as well. But take a close look at the second paragraph: Could the future #2 on the ticket be hiding in plain sight? (Or is the Obama campaign trying to fake us all out?)

-- Leslie Hoffecker

Obama photo credit: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images; Clinton photo credit: Bizuayehu Tesfaye / Bloomberg News