The Note: Camelot in the Mountains


Michelle will be the evening's star, and Hillary and Bill will always be good for the drama -- but only Ted is the inspiration.

This is one of those rare cases where Sen. Barack Obama won't mind seeing his message overshadowed -- even though it's opening night of his convention, and even though the marquee player is supposed to be his wife. (Every Kennedy moment is a Clinton moment that isn't.)

Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., will provide an emotional lift, an all-time convention highlight, a room full of tears, an ovation delegates will never want to end -- plus a cementing of the ties between the Kennedy legacy and Obama.

Kennedy is in planning on being on stage Monday night -- and right there you'll have your event for the evening, maybe for the week.

Says Kennedy spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter: "Senator Kennedy is in Denver and plans to attend tonight's tribute to him. He's truly humbled by the outpouring of support, and wouldn't miss it for anything in the world. Right now, Senator Kennedy plans to attend, not speak."

"Expect a thunderous reception when he takes the stage at the conclusion of the video," per ABC News. "It's likely to be the emotional high point of the evening -- if not of the entire convention."

"The senator has recently told people that he has a speech written for the convention and that he badly wants to come, pending a final medical consultation," Susan Milligan reports in The Boston Globe. "Buzz has built among Massachusetts politicos that Kennedy would come, and yesterday a Bay State Democrat close to the family confirmed that Kennedy has decided to travel to Denver, probably for an opening-night address."

Said Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I.: "If he's up to it in the 11th hour and can get the green light from doctors, he might be able to pull it off."

You think that's dramatic? Check back in with the Storyline That Will Not Go Away -- the one not even delegate talking points can subsume.

The peace offerings are nice and genuine; in truth, convention disruptions may hurt Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton even more than they hurt Obama, and the Clinton folks have begun to realize that.

There's the symbolic "release" of her convention delegates, full representation for Florida and Michigan -- and amid the final negotiations, perhaps even a shelving of the roll-call vote Obama never wanted, ABC's George Stephanopoulos reports.

"She's the question of the convention," Stephanopoulos said on "Good Morning America" Monday. Clinton folks "don't want to get blamed for a bad convention."

Too late for that?

Welcome to Denver: "Mistrust and resentments continued to boil among top associates of presumptive nominee Barack Obama and his defeated rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton," John F. Harris and Mike Allen report for Politico.

It's pettier than you think: "One flashpoint is the assigned speech topic for former president Bill Clinton, who is scheduled to speak Wednesday night, when the convention theme is 'Securing America's Future,' they write. "The former president is disappointed, associates said, because he is eager to speak about the economy and more broadly about Democratic ideas -- emphasizing the contrast between the Bush years and his own record in the 1990s."

"Top Clinton advisors privately complain that Obama never even seriously discussed the vice presidency with Senator Clinton," Jonathan Karl reported on ABC's "World News" Sunday.

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