Convention Kicks Off in Boston

07-26-04 - BOSTON (AP) Politics, parties and protests are on tap Monday in Boston as the Democratic National Convention kicks off at the FleetCenter. The speeches begin Monday night, with former President Clinton getting the prime-time slot.

Security for the event is extremely tight. A seven foot high line of barriers has been erected around Boston's FleetCenter and police officers, some dressed in riot gear, will be keeping an eye on convention delegates and demonstrators.

Many still regard them as the Democratic Party's power couple, but the Clintons say they don't want to overshadow John Kerry.

New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton will speak at the convention, introducing her husband, the former president. Bill Clinton says he won't try to grab the spotlight, saying his plan is to "give a talk and get out of town."

Analysts say they expect the convention to be routine and there's no suspense with the top of the ticket already decided.

Meanwhile, republicans are monitoring coverage of the Democratic National Convention from a war room near the site of the gathering. From behind what the Republican National Committee's chair calls "enemy lines", the G-O-P will hold daily news conferences, field media calls and generally keep tabs on the Democrats.

John Kerry will not attend the convention until Thursday. The candidate is in Florida Monday, where he plans to visit the Kennedy Space Center with astronaut pioneer John Glenn at his side.