Napolitano to speak at Democratic Convention - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Napolitano to speak at Democratic Convention

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Posted: Wednesday, August 13, 2008 8:39 pm | Updated: 10:03 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Gov. Janet Napolitano is being billed as one of the featured speakers during the Democratic National Convention in Denver later this month.

But she's not going to be the headliner that night. In fact, it's not even clear whether she'll get to speak when the networks are still covering the event.

Napolitano says Obama hasn't vetted her for VP

The party's convention committee announced Wednesday that Napolitano will help outline Barack Obama's economic plans. She actually is going to share that chore with Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius who, like Napolitano, was an early Obama supporter.

Gubernatorial press aide Jeanine L'Ecuyer said the specifics of what Napolitano will say are "still being worked out."

"But I feel very confident that she'll be talking about the middle class, the squeeze that's on the middle class now, that people are feeling this in very difficult ways, and the way the Obama approach is the most meaningful way to get out and solve these issues," she said.

How much time Napolitano will get - and whether network TV viewers will see her - is yet to be determined.

A spokesman for the party said details such as speaking order and time in front of the cameras have not been determined. And the major networks so far have not committed to anything beyond three hours of prime-time coverage for the entire four-day event, which runs from Aug. 25-28.

That could leave Napolitano, Sebelius and most of the others scheduled to speak Aug. 26, addressing only those tuned in to one of the cable channels doing gavel-to-gavel coverage.

The convention committee announced Wednesday that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the "headline prime-time speaker" that evening. And former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner has been tapped to give what the committee calls the convention's "keynote address."

Meanwhile on Wednesday at her weekly press briefing, Napolitano brushed aside speculation that, politically, Obama needs to pick a woman as his running mate. The governor said there are other, more significant, considerations.

"I think it's going to come down to who he feels comfortable with," she said.

"The criteria that he uses, I think, are going to be who he thinks can step into the presidency should he be, for some reason, unable to serve," the governor continued.

She said other factors include "who matches well with his policies, with his values, and who he can govern with."

Napolitano said the party has "a very deep bench (with) a lot of people with different kinds of qualifications from around the country, male and female."

The party's lineup for that night, aside from Napolitano and Sebelius, also includes Govs. Ted Strickland of Ohio and Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania.

They are billed to discuss "how the failed policies of the last eight years have betrayed our values and left an economy out of balance."

Sen. Bob Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick have been tapped to "share how Obama's policies have been directly by the people he has met as he traveled the country."

And Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, along with former Denver Mayor Federico Pena, will talk about the link between energy and the economy and highlight "new and innovative policies" to help working families.

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