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Powerhouse Speakers to Address Democrats

Following the first day's example, an array of speakers kicked off Day Two of the Democratic National Convention with opening remarks by New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and a packed schedule of Democratic stars.

Shortly after Tuesday's convention opened, John Kerry's vice presidential pick, North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, arrived in Boston from Raleigh-Durham. Edwards is scheduled to address the convention delegates Wednesday night, when he will pick up the nomination after Kerry's arrival in town. Edwards will make an appearance at the FleetCenter on Tuesday night, as well.

In the early goings on Tuesday, several speakers including New Jersey Sen. Jon Corzine, Teamsters President James Hoffa, Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius all spoke about the advantages the Democratic Party has over its Republican rival.

Kicking off the day's events were speakers like Elizabeth Cavendish, interim president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

"This election will determine the choices available to the next generation of American women," Cavendish said. If John Kerry (search) is elected president, "this fundamental freedom will be safe. If he’s not, it will be taken away. It really is that simple, it really is that stark and it really is that important. The choice is clear — John Kerry trusts women, not the government, to determine the course of our lives."

Democrats have argued that if left in the White House, President Bush will fill the courts with conservative anti-abortion judges and would threaten a woman’s right to choose.

"John Kerry would never pack the federal courts with anti-choice judges," Cavendish said.

Corzine, head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (search), said it's the Democratic Party who can claim diversity — America's "greatest strength" — as its hallmark, and that will help them win back the government.

"Between now and Nov. 2, they’re going to have some advantages but we have more," said the senator from New Jersey. "Yes, they have more money, but we have better candidates ... they'll run more ads but we have better ideas."

Around 5:30 p.m. EDT, organizers played a video montage in memory of prominent Democratic lawmakers who died since the last Democratic convention. It featured the late Sens. Paul Wellstone of Minnesota and Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan, Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson and Hawaii Rep. Matsy Mink.

Rep. Jackson vowed that the Democratic Party this year will make sure every vote is counted.

"No more Floridas — never again," Jackson said, referring the 2000 presidential election recount in the Sunshine State.

Tuesday's prime-time schedule will be led off by Kerry campaign chairwoman and former New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen. She will lead the way for speeches by Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, former presidential candidates Gov. Howard Dean (search) and Rep. Dick Gephardt (search), Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (search), Kerry's wife Teresa Heinz Kerry (search), the late President Reagan's son Ron Reagan (search) and Illinois senatorial hopeful Barack Obama (search).

Peter, Paul and Mary will perform shortly before the 7 p.m. prime-time lineup begins. During afternoon rehearsals, sounds of "Puff the Magic Dragon" wafted through the arena.

Obama, who currently faces no opponent for the seat being vacated by Republican Peter Fitzgerald, will be the keynote speaker. He will discuss what the Kerry-Edwards ticket has to offer America and will promote public service as the key to building a stronger nation.

"I'm confident that when people hear not just my message, but John Kerry's message, and John Edwards' message, about what they hope to do with the country, then we're going to be in an extraordinarily strong position come November 2nd," Obama told reporters Tuesday morning.

Reagan is being introduced by Rhode Island Rep. James Langevin, who was paralyzed in a gun accident while a 16-year-old police cadet. Langevin is a strong proponent of stem cell research, an issue that is close to Reagan, whose famous father, former President Ronald Reagan, died last month of complications associated with Alzheimer's. An appearance by Reagan is also a bit of a coup for Democrats, who don't appear to mind stealing the Reagan name out from the Bush campaign.

More High-Tech Glitz on Day Two

Following the itinerary laid out at Monday's convention, the Democrats will beam in satellite addresses from cities across the nation and will play videos and a "photographic biography" highlighting Kerry's service in Vietnam as well as the positive impacts he has had as a senator. The convention will also be packed with musical guests, including a performance by the Children's Voices of Greater Boston (search) and an as-yet-undetermined closing act.

Day Two's theme at the four-day rally will center on Kerry's lifetime of service to the nation and the senator's support for middle-class values.

In Norfolk, Va., on Tuesday, Kerry continued on his tour, dubbed "America's Freedom Trail." He stopped at the world's largest naval base to repeat his pledge that, as commander-in-chief, he would help American military personnel by reducing the strains on them both on duty and at home.

Traveling with several U.S. lawmakers, including House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Jane Harman of California, Kerry called for the Sept. 11 commission to stay in existence for another 18 months after its Aug. 26 expiration in order to follow up on its recommended intelligence reforms.

Kerry aides said the proposal would not be about expanding the scope of the investigation about the government's preparedness to prevent the 2001 terror attacks, but merely to insure the commission's recommendations don't fall by the wayside.

"Now that the 9/11 commission has done its job, we need to do our job," Kerry said. "We understand the threat. We have a blueprint for action, we have the strength as a nation to do the things that need to be done.

"The only thing we don't have is time," Kerry added. "Leadership requires that we act now."

Kerry then headed to Philadelphia, where he was greeted by even more veterans.

In Boston, Daschle, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, outgoing Motion Picture Association of America chief Jack Valenti (search) and others also promoted Kerry's service at a rally atop Bunker Hill, the first major battle site of the Revolutionary War.

At the event, the Democrats discussed the bravery of the battle combatants and compared that to the courage of veterans today. Perhaps intentionally, they omitted the fact that the colonial Minutemen yielded Bunker Hill to stronger British forces.

As Democrats participated in a second day of activities all over town — from sidelined presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich's appearance with actor Sean Penn to promote his Department of Peace, to former Vermont Gov. Dean's rally for progressives with filmmaker Michael Moore (search) — Republican National Committee members remained on scene in Boston, pointing out the seeming inconsistencies and raising red flags about what a Democratic president would bring to the post.

Referring to a guest appearance in the FleetCenter's reserved seating area on Monday night, Minnesota Republican Sen. Norm Coleman said Democrats may not yet want to promote the controversial director of "Fahrenheit 9/11" as defense secretary.

"In the presidential box was Michael Moore, so Moore sits with Jimmy Carter in the president's box. Is that the foreign policy that's going to come out of this convention? I don't think so," Coleman said.

Moore, who could be seen roaming all around the FleetCenter on Monday afternoon, also sent a letter to President Bush on Monday inviting him to the first showing of his film in Bush's hometown of Crawford, Texas.

"If you graciously accept my invitation, I will also have the chance to thank you personally for being one of my Axis of Actors who star in the film (along with your Vice President and your Attorney General)," Moore wrote. "And let's face it — you've got the funniest lines in the film!"

A pre-convention poll by ABC and The Washington Post showed Kerry could stand to benefit from four days of delegates and partisans heaping praise on him. The poll, taken July 22-25, showed Kerry slipping against Bush. Kerry's favorability and likeability have dipped just as the Democratic convention begins to heat up, and Bush has inched into a two-point lead in the poll, which has a 3-point margin of error.

Monday's events culminated with a rousing speech by Bill Clinton (search), who was in his glory as the last big headliner of the evening before songstress Patti LaBelle sang the finale.

Taking the podium to a stadium-shaking round of applause and cheers and Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop" — the theme song of his winning 1992 campaign — the 42nd president said he was serving his party as a "foot soldier" for Kerry.

The four-day convention, held at Boston's FleetCenter (search), will end Thursday with Kerry formally accepting his party's nomination for president of the United States.

FOXNews.com's Liza Porteus, Sharon Kehnemui and Carl Cameron and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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