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Mark Warner Rallies Va. Delegates

Anne Bartlett

DENVER -- Former Virginia governor Mark R. Warner rallied Virginia Democrats this morning as he prepared to deliver the keynote address at the national convention Tuesday night.

During a breakfast for the Virginia delegation, Warner told the delegates he is "98 percent done" with his speech, which he said would focus on restoring a bipartisan approach to governance and his strong support for Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) presidential campaign.

"I just got to make sure I hit it," Warner said of his speech.

Since arriving in Denver on Sunday, Warner has done more than a dozen media interviews and has visited the convention hall twice to get a feel for the podium.

Despite all the national attention, Warner urged Virginia Democrats also to remain focused on his campaign for the U.S. Senate this year.

"I know we are focused on the presidential race this week, as we should be, but we cannot take our eye off the very important congressional races, and the Senate race," Warner said. "Will you help me become the next United States Senator?"

But Warner received the loudest applause when he informed the Virginia delegates where they would be seated on the convention floor.

In another sign of Virginia's importance this year in the presidential race, the Virginia delegation has been placed near the front of the convention hall near the podium.

"It's [Obama's home state] Illinois and then it's Virginia," Warner said. "We are not in the rafters anymore."

By Anne Bartlett  |  August 25, 2008; 5:37 PM ET
Categories:  At the 2008 Conventions , Tim Craig  
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