[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/13/art.warner.gi.jpg caption="Warner (here campaigning with Obama in Virginia) is considered a rising star in the Democratic Party."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Virginia Governor and Senate candidate Mark Warner will deliver the keynote address at this month’s 2008 Democratic National Convention.
Barack Obama’s presidential campaign announced Wednesday that Warner will deliver the speech on the convention’s second night, Tuesday August 26 - that’s also the night that Senator Hillary Clinton (D-New York) will also speak in prime time. Clinton came very close to winning the Democratic presidential nomination, dropping her bid for the White House and backing Obama just two months ago, after the end of the primary season.
But Warner gets the coveted role of keynote speaker. Four years ago a little-known state lawmaker from Illinois who was running for the Senate had the same role. His speech at the convention in Boston was highly praised by Democrats. That man, Obama, went on to win his election and now the Democrat’s presumptive presidential nominee.
Warner won election as Virginia’s governor in 2001, the first in a string of statewide election victories by Democrats this decade in a state that was once dominated by Republicans. Warner is now facing off with the man he succeeded in Richmond, Republican Jim Gilmore, in the battle to succeed retiring Senator John Warner (no relation to Mark Warner), a Republican who has held the seat for three decades.
Democrats say the theme of the second night of the convention will be “Renewing America’s Promise.”