Convention Countdown: Democrats Prepare for Denver

The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the City of Denver over the site and timing of the protests, which are currently slated to be held 700 feet from the convention. The legal battle will be heard this week.

Party Elite Featured in Nightly Speaking Roles

In keeping with Obama's effort to woo religious voters and highlight his Christian faith, on each night of the convention the official program calls for opening and closing prayers from faith leaders, including a Republican pastor of a Florida Evangelical church.

National leaders from a range of denominations will host the convention's first-ever Faith Caucus meetings during the week.

Each night the party will feature several speakers in the Democratic stable, including Obama's wife, Michelle Obama. The prospective first lady has been tapped to speak on opening night on the theme of "One Nation," touting party inclusivity.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will also speak the first night, as will liberal lion Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., via a five-minute videotaped message.

Kennedy, who lost the 1980 Democratic nomination to former President Jimmy Carter, suffered a seizure in May and was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.

Hillary Clinton is expected to speak on Tuesday night, where the theme for the Democrats will center on economic opportunity. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, speaks on Wednesday night, as will Obama's vice presidential pick. The Democratic theme for Wednesday night is "Securing America's Future."

The keynote speaker for the Democratic National Convention will be former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, a Democratic candidate for the Senate.

Placing Warner in the top speaking role, which Obama held just four years earlier, could help boost his Senate campaign in Virginia, where he is battling to take the seat of retiring Sen. John Warner, R-Va.

On Thursday morning, the DNC is hosting a unity breakfast with Martin Luther King Jr.'s first son, Martin Luther King III, and civil rights leaders including Rev. Al Sharpton.

Rev. Jesse Jackson, who was overheard criticizing Obama before a television interview, does not have a speaking role at the convention for the first time in years, and isn't currently scheduled to come to the unity breakfast.

The convention ends with Obama's acceptance speech on the Thursday night of the convention before a sold-out crowd of 80,000 people at INVESCO Field at Mile High.

Obama, the nation's first African-American to become a major party's presidential candidate, accepts the Democratic Party's nomination on the 45th anniversary of King's "I Have a Dream" speech.

While Republicans have criticized the unprecedented move as an example of Obama's celebrity status, Democrats argue the speech location will allow them to connect with more voters.

"More than any convention in the past, this convention will highlight the people of this country," Backus said. "You''ll see them playing roles that you've never seen them playing before -- prime-time speaking roles every night of the program, and you're going to literally see them surrounding our nominee the night he accepts his nomination."

ABC News' Teddy Davis contributed to this report.

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