CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Senator John F. Kerry asked Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday to address the Democratic National Convention on its opening night and introduce her husband, former President Clinton, ending an intense lobbying campaign by the New York senator's backers angered by her non-speaking role.
The Kerry campaign unveiled its first set of speakers for the convention early this week, including former Presidents Clinton and Carter, as well as former Vice President Al Gore, but the absence of Senator Clinton from the speaker list drew criticism from Democrats, particularly women.
Clinton said she was not disappointed, but a lobbying effort quickly got underway on her behalf.
Kerry, who campaigned in Pennsylvania and West Virginia yesterday, called Clinton and asked her to introduce her husband in a speech before the convention. A representative from Clinton's office said the senator was "honored and delighted" to get the opportunity to address the convention.