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Hillary Clinton Needs to Hit a Grand Slam Tonight

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(Denver, Colorado)

She got eighteen million votes, and close to two thousand delegates, but Sen. Hillary Clinton fell just short of her party's nomination. A lot of her supporters feel she was robbed, and some are threatening to stay home, while others are vowing to vote for Republican Sen. John McCain.

So, tonight is a crucial night for the Democratic ticket, as Hillary Clinton addresses the convention and a national TV audience. Unless her support for Barack Obama is unequivocal and passionate, the Democrats may be in trouble.

I spoke with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom Monday night, after day one of the convention was over. Newsom, was a Hillary supporter and a long-time ally of Bill Clinton. He shared his thoughts on what she needs to say tonight.

"What she says matters greatly," said Newsom, "A lot of words were exchanged, and it stung."

But the Mayor believes it's time to heal the party after a raucous primary season. "Everybody needs to remind people what is at stake if we are not unified. If she can point out and remind people what is at stake, she will have the greatest effect," Newsom said.

The healing will take time according to Mayor Newsom. "Let's not expect miracles," said Newsom, "This won't happen overnight."

Perhaps tonight will be a start in that healing process. Bill Clinton addresses the convention Wednesday night, and needs a message as strong and as unambiguous as Hillary's.

Whether that can truly happen remains to be seen. Clinton surrogate Lanny Davis was harshly critical of the Obama campaign this week in the press, saying Hillary was never truly vetted for Vice-president.

If that kind of sniping continues, there could be trouble for Obama in November. A new CNN poll has Obama and McCain deadlocked at 47% each. But 27% of Clinton supporters say they will either vote for McCain, or not vote at all. Hillary needs to bring many of them back into the fold tonight, or it's over.

Stay tuned to www.MarkCurtisMedia.com for more coverage from Denver!

Opening Night Political Theatre and Drama in Denver

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(Denver, Colorado)

The first thing you should know is that politics is great theatre. Some of it staged; some of it scripted; and then there are those spontaneous moments where you don’t know what might happen. Monday night we had them all.

The networks long ago, gave up on gavel-to-gavel coverage. So now, in order to get the attention of TV and the Internet, the show is tightly scripted. I sat behind the stage part of today and watched as the speakers read from a teleprompter. Above it was a bright red digital countdown clock, telling them how much time they had left. It made me wonder if there was a trap door that opened up behind the podium, to swallow any speaker who went overtime.

Monday the Democrats trotted out every Latino lawmaker they could find to speak. “We are coming together to prevent a third Bush term,” said Patricia Madrid, the former Attorney General of New Mexico, and the first Latina to hold that office. One-after-another, members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus gave their three minute stump speech.

Why? Because Hispanic voters are up for grabs. Unlike black voters, who voted almost exclusively Democrat, Hispanic voters are split with some pockets of strong GOP support, especially in Texas and Florida. It is also the fastest growing demographic in America. Expect a similar tactic by the GOP next week in St. Paul.

So much for the scripted and staged. The real gut-wrenching moment of the night came with a tribute to Sen. Ted Kennedy, ill with brain cancer that could well be lethal. Certainly, the film tribute to Kennedy was scripted, with Hollywood polish. But the ending wasn’t. No one knew if Kennedy was healthy enough to speak to the crowd. But he did, and was remarkable for a man in his condition. “It is wonderful to be here tonight,” said Kennedy. And his voice broke when he thanked people who had journeyed with his family’s triumphs and tragedies. “The happiest days, and the hardest days,” Kennedy said, and we all know there have been plenty of both. “For me, this is a season of new hope,” he said, alluding to his cancer and his medical treatment.

I saw a lot of people crying. It was some of the longest sustained applause I’ve ever heard for a political speech. It was a stirring moment; the kind of thing you just can’t make up in Hollywood, or in politics for that matter.

Check in “live” at 7:45 Tuesday Morning. I’ll be “live” from the Pepsi Center in Denver on “Mornings on Two.” Until then, check in often at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com.

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