DNCC - Democrats Add New Speakers, Announce Gavel Times for Opening Three Nights in Denver


DENVER – The Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) and the Obama for America Campaign today announced new speakers and gavel times for the opening three nights of the 2008 Democratic National Convention, to take place August 25th – 28th in Denver.

Joining the program on Monday, August 25th will be Former President Jimmy Carter; Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar; Miami Mayor Manny Diaz; Illinois state leaders Alexi Giannoulis, Dan Hynes, Lisa Madigan, and Tom Balanoff from Illinois SEIU; long-time Barack Obama mentor Jerry Kellman; NEA President Reg Weaver; AFT President Randi Weingarten; and NARAL Pro-Choice America President Nancy Keenan. The theme of Monday’s program is One Nation.

New speakers added to the program on Tuesday, August 26th are Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy; West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin, Chair of the Democratic Governors’ Association; Iowa Governor Chet Culver; Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle; California State Controller John Chiang; Change to Win’s Anna Burger; AFL-CIO President John Sweeney; and Planned Parenthood of America President Cecile Richards. The theme of Tuesday’s program is Renewing America’s Promise.

On Wednesday, August 27th, new speakers addressing the theme of Securing America’s Future include Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed, and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.

Organizers stressed that new names were being added daily to the Convention program and that there would be several major announcements on the program yet to come, including the program for the final night of the Convention and the names of the first-time delegates and everyday Americans who will be central to the Convention program. 

Also today, Convention organizers announced that the Convention will gavel open at 3:00 PM Mountain/5:00 PM Eastern and gavel down at 9:00 PM Mountain/11:00 PM Eastern, Monday through Wednesday, August 25th –27th.


Monday, August 25 – One Nation.
Barack Obama’s story is an American story that reflects a life of struggle, opportunity and responsibility like those faced by Americans everyday. The opening night of the Convention will highlight Barack’s life story, his commitment to change, and the voices of Americans who are calling for a new direction for this country.

Monday’s headline prime-time speaker will be Michelle Obama.

Other Monday night speakers include:
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi; Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri; Barack Obama’s sister Maya Soetero-Ng and Craig Robinson, Michelle Obama’s older brother; Jerry Kellman, mentor and long-time friend of Barack Obama;  Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr.;  former Indiana Representative Lee Hamilton; Tom Balanoff, President of Illinois SEIU; Nancy Keenan, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America; NEA President Reg Weaver; AFT President Randi Weingarten;  Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan; State Comptroller Dan Hynes; Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulis; Chicago City Clerk Miguel del Valle; and Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper.

Monday night will also feature a tribute to Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

Tuesday, August 26 – Renewing America’s Promise.
Millions of Americans are struggling to get by. The failed policies of the last eight years have betrayed the country’s values and left an economy out of balance. Barack Obama believes a strong economy is unattainable with a weak middle class. Tuesday’s Convention program will feature the voices of Americans who share Barack’s concerns and strongly support his detailed economic plan to grow the economy, create jobs, restore fairness, and expand opportunity.

Senator Hillary Clinton will be the headline prime-time speaker and former Virginia Governor Mark Warner will deliver the keynote address on Tuesday night. Pay Equity pioneer Lilly Ledbetter will also address the Convention on Tuesday.

Other Tuesday speakers will include:
Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana; Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts; Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas;  Governor Janet Napolitano of Arizona; Governor Joe Manchin of West Virginia; Governor Jim Doyle of Wisconsin; Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania; Governor Ted Strickland of Ohio; Governor David Paterson of New York; Governor Chet Culver of Iowa; Senator Bob Casey, Jr., of Pennsylvania; Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont; former Secretary of Energy and Transportation Federico Peña;  House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer; House Democratic Caucus Chair Rahm Emanuel; Representative Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Assistant to the Speaker of the House; and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Chair Chris Van Hollen, who will use his time to showcase his top candidates for change.

Representatives Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Mike Honda (D-CA), California Controller John Chiang, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, Change To Win’s Anna Burger, and AFL-CIO President John Sweeney will also speak.

Wednesday, August 27 – Securing America’s Future.
Barack Obama offers a new, tough foreign policy that is neither Republican nor Democratic, but is a strong, smart American foreign policy to make our country more secure and advance our interests in the world. Wednesday night’s Convention program will feature the voices of Americans who share Barack’s vision of making America stronger and safer.

The headline prime-time speaker on Wednesday will be Barack Obama’s Vice Presidential Nominee.

Featured speakers will include:
Former President Bill Clinton; former Senator Tom Daschle; Governor Bill Richardson and Senators Evan Bayh, Joe Biden, John Kerry and Jay Rockefeller. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Convention home state Senator Ken Salazar, House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, and Congressman Robert Wexler (D-FL) along with Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. Representative 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 – veterans, active duty military and their families.

Thursday, August 28 – Change You Can Believe In.
On Thursday night, the DNCC will throw open the doors of the Convention and move to INVESCO Field at Mile High so that more Americans can be a part of the fourth night of the Convention as Barack Obama accepts the Democratic nomination.  Obama will communicate the urgency of the moment, highlight the struggles Americans are facing and call on Americans to come together to change the course of our nation.  Additional details of the program to precede Barack Obama’s acceptance speech will be announced later this week.