Live

Watch CBSN Live

Obama Camp Focuses on Party Unity, Personalizing Obama

From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:

(CHICAGO) - On the first day of the Democratic National Convention, the Barack Obama campaign has laid out two goals: to show that the Democratic Party is unified and to convince voters that Barack Obama is a "regular guy."

On a conference call this morning, strategist Anita Dunn vehemently denied reports that there continues to be a rift between the Clinton and Obama camps. She accused the press of dwelling on the story and making it "popular."

Dunn drew attention to a statement released late last night by the Clinton and Obama advisers, arguing that rumors of controversy are false.

"We understand that some in the news media are more interested in reporting the rumor of controversy than the fact of unity… Senator and President Clinton firmly support the Obama-Biden ticket… Anyone saying anything else doesn't know what they are talking about."

Despite all of the denials, the RNC continues to push the story of an Obama-Clinton rift and has been actively courting her supporters. Tonight, they are hosting a "Happy Hour for Hillary" event in Denver for "open minded Democrats" who support John McCain.

Tonight, Michelle Obama has the task of personalizing Barack Obama as she tries to persuade voters that he is down to earth.

"Michelle will give a personal view of Barack Obama, her husband and Malia and Sasha's father," Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said.

Obama will watch his wife's convention speech from Kansas City, Missouri. He will appear live via satellite at the conclusion of her speech.

He gave reporters a preview of the speech yesterday,

"I can't wait to hear Michelle speak tomorrow. I will tell you I did get a preview of the video they did of her and she was extraordinary and I think you guys will enjoy it very much."