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After everything the nation has endured this primary season, the Democratic National Committee announced Wednesday that "two presidential winners" will attend the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.

Before supporters of runner-up candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton get all excited, however, the DNC explains that the pair of presidents are essay-contest winners, each of whom wrote about the future of the Democratic Party.

Keystone politics

Once upon a time it was newspaper, magazine and broadcast reporters who got handed credentials every four years to cover the national political conventions.

Now, the official 2008 Democratic National Convention Web site shows that a record number of Internet blogs have received credentials to cover this summer's convention in Denver. Given this is a family newspaper, we cannot print some of the more risque names, but among several dozen blogs actually credentialed by the Democratic Party: Bitch Ph.D, HorsesAss, BlogHer, Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis, Cotton Mouth Blog, Crooks and Liars, Democratic Underground, Digby's Hullabaloo, Doc's Political Parlor, HummingbirdMinds, Jack and Jill Politics, Keystone Politics and Raising Kane.

"Never before have blogs been included in such strong numbers and provided with resources that will enable them to be the eyes and ears of so many at the convention," insists a convention posting.


Just what the Democratic National Committee wanted to hear. Not.

Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney is visiting Virginia Thursday to campaign with Republican candidates running for state and federal office.

HillaryGrassroots Campaign.com, which claims upwards of a half-million supporters, vowed Wednesday that it is "committed to breaking ranks with the Democratic Party and supporting Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in the general election - regardless of her status as the party's nominee."

The organization says it is "filled with disaffected supporters who are ready to be 'former' Democrats because of the contempt and disregard that has been shown to the many party faithful" who still support Mrs. Clinton.

Said Robin Carlson, the group's campaign representative: "The treatment from the Democratic Party and the media of this historic candidate has energized voters across our nation. To throw that support away with such contempt and disregard would be a huge mistake ...

"If the DNC behaves like they don't need the Hillary Clinton supporters, so be it. We will go elsewhere."

Early career

Turning to the 2008 Republican National Convention to be held this summer in Minneapolis-St. Paul, we're told that Rachel Card Kahler has just been appointed director of official proceedings. And who is Mrs. Kahler?

"A lifelong Republican, Kahler began her career in politics at the age of four, gathering signatures for her father, former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, in his run for the Massachusetts State House of Representatives," according to the convention organizers.

Mrs. Kahler will manage a staff of more than 50 that will ensure the proper parliamentary procedures in the presidential nomination of Sen. John McCain and his ultimate pick for vice president.

Romney power

Speaking of contenders to become the Republican nominee for vice president, former presidential candidate and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will be in Virginia Thursday to campaign with Republican candidates running for state and federal office.

Mr. Romney, among those being considered as a running mate for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain, will hold a press briefing at the Ritz-Carlton in Arlington Thursday afternoon with U.S. Senate candidate and former Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III, who faces another former Virginia governor, Democrat Mark Warner. Later in the day, Mr. Romney will stump in Glen Allen at a "Burgers with Bill" fundraiser for Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling.

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