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Party unity drive at US Democrats' convention

 Party unity drive at US Democrats' convention
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Hoping to heal divisions, Barack Obama will be formally nominated as the Democrats’ candidate for the US presidency at the party convention starting today.

Backed by running-mate Joe Biden, Obama has yet to answer doubts among many Americans about where he will take the country if elected in November. In a bid to clarify matters, the White House hopeful’s wife Michelle will be the featured speaker on the opening night. Her address will be dedicated to highlighting Obama’s life story.

But another woman is on many minds as delegates gather in Denver. Why is Hillary Clinton not on the Democrat ticket, some supporters of Obama’s erstwhile rival are asking. But, the former First Lady herself has endorsed his choice of foreign policy expert, Biden.

“I know him very well,” Clinton told supporters in California. “And I know he has been on the front lines of the fight for social and economic justice his entire time in public service, so I am asking you to work as hard for Senator Obama as you worked for me.”

Protest groups have already been out in force near the convention centre in Colorado. While Obama has always opposed the war in Iraq, some believe he is softening his stance on the timing of a US troop withdrawal.