Clinton Takes Center Stage in Denver | NBC New York

Clinton Takes Center Stage in Denver

Call for unity expected, but division foreseeable

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    Hillary Clinton (D-NY) speaks to reporters at a press conference on the first day of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) at the Pepsi Center August 25, 2008. (Photo by Max Whittaker/Getty Images)

    Sen. Hillary Clinton stands to be either the life of the Democratic Party in Denver or the spoiling gate crasher that hosts just can't wait for to leave tonight.

    The New York Senator, former first lady, and defeated candidate is scheduled to be the key speaker at the Democratic National Convention tonight. Party officials will likely be blue-state in the face until she's finished for all the baited breath at Denver's Pepsi Center. It's no secret that a good portion of Clinton supporters are disgruntled that Hillary did not get the party's nod as and presidential nominee. Many are insisting that they'd rather sit out the election than vote for Sen. Barack Obama, who defeated Clinton in a heated nomination race. Some Clintonites have even expressed that they would vote for McCain rather than support Obama.

    The purpose of tonight's address is supposedly for Clinton to call for party unity and urge her supporters to back the Democratic candidate, something she's been doing for several weeks with what many view as a notable lack of enthusiasm. Clinton reportedly agreed to trade her political capital to Obama in return for help in paying down several million dollars in campaign debts that she owed to herself. The elephant in the Democrat's convention hall, however, remains the discord between Clinton and Obama.

    Presumptive Republican nominee John McCain is currently running neck and neck with Obama in national polls and the Democrats need all the votes they can muster. Lack of voter turnout among embittered Clinton backers could be a deciding influence in November's election.

    Later this week, former President Bill Clinton will follow his wife to the podium and even that is causing ripples of tension between Democratic factions. Bill Clinton is reportedly unhappy that he's been asked to restrict his remarks Wednesday to the topic of national security. The two-termer from Arkansas was hoping to be more expansive and talk about domestic issues as well.