The Note: Kennedy Crowds Out Even Clintons on Opening Night

By Hope Ditto

Aug 25, 2008 10:16am

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports in Monday’s Note:

DENVER —

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.

“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.”

Read the rest of The Note — and get all the latest on the 2008 election, Congress, the White House and the wide world of politics every day — from Rick Klein by bookmarking this link.

“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.”

Continue reading today’s Note by clicking HERE.

ABC News’ Hope Ditto contributed to this report.

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