Edward Kennedy is preparing to make a dramatic appearance Monday night at the Democratic National Convention, his office said, marking only his second time in the public spotlight since brain surgery in June.Sen. Edward Kennedy, who endorsed Sen. Barack Obama in January, is "itching to go," a source says.
Presumptive nominee Sen. Barack Obama also will address delegates in Denver via satellite Monday night at the conclusion of a speech by his wife, Michelle.
Obama will watch his wife's speech from Kansas City, Missouri, where he's scheduled to campaign the following day, spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in an e-mail to the campaign's traveling press corps Sunday night. Psaki said the candidate's remarks will be brief.
He will formally accept the party's nomination Thursday night at Invesco Field in front of an expected audience of 75,000.
The delegates will make history this week by officially nominating Obama as the first African-American presidential nominee of a major U.S. political party.
Kennedy insisted on appearing Monday over the advice of associates worried about the effects on his health, a Democratic source close to the Kennedy family said.
The 76-year-old liberal icon was "itching to go and pushing back" at those who said the trip was too risky to make, the source said.
"He's truly humbled by the outpouring of support and wouldn't miss it for anything in the world," Kennedy's office said.
The Massachusetts Democrat had surgery June 2 for a brain tumor.
With the exception of one return to the Capitol for a crucial vote, he has been out of the public eye recuperating.
The official program calls for a videotaped message from Kennedy as part of a tribute to him because of the earlier belief he would not be up to traveling to Denver
Kennedy endorsed Obama over Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York during the Democratic primary season. He was an active campaigner for Obama until suffering a seizure that led to the discovery of his brain cancer.
Meanwhile, Republican Sen. John McCain's campaign has released its second ad in two days aimed at wooing Clinton's disappointed supporters.
The new spot stars a Democratic convention delegate who lost her slot two months ago when she said publicly she'd vote for McCain, not Obama. After the party's decision, McCain asked Debra Bartoshevich to join him during a campaign visit to her home state of Wisconsin.
"I'm a proud Hillary Clinton Democrat," says Bartoshevich, a nurse, in the 30-second spot. "She had the experience and judgment to be president. Now, in a first for me, I'm supporting a Republican, John McCain."
She says, "A lot of Democrats will vote McCain. It's OK, really." Watch the ad for McCain »
Senior McCain adviser Carly Fiorina and other top campaign officials are heading to Denver hoping to recruit disaffected Democrats. The Republican National Committee -- which has opened a temporary war room in the city -- has made it clear the effort is a convention priority.
"Typically when parties are split, the other one wins," RNC Chairman Mike Duncan said.
Bartoshevich is among a small group of self-described Clinton-turned-McCain voters who've traveled to Denver this week and organized a kind of parallel counter-convention, with daily press conferences, protests and movie screenings.
On Sunday evening, a few dozen gathered in a former garage-turned-cafe a few minutes -- and light-years -- from downtown Denver for the premiere of a new anti-Obama documentary, "The Audacity of Democracy."
Participants included Will Bower -- founder of People United Means Action, or PUMA, and part of a pro-Clinton group that visited McCain headquarters shortly after the former first lady conceded in June. Also attending was Andy Martin, a conservative activist and author of an anti-Obama book. Martin has been labeled by Obama supporters as the original source of the false rumor that Obama is a Muslim.
Nearly all of those interviewed said they planned to vote for the Republican ticket in the fall. Some insisted Clinton might still stage a convention floor coup and win the nomination Wednesday; others said they believed McCain might tap her as vice president on a "unity ticket."
The convention marks the official end of one of the lengthiest nomination fights in modern history. Almost eight months after the Iowa caucus, more than 4,400 delegates are assembling in Denver for the start of the 45th Democratic National Convention. iReport.com: Are you in Denver? Share your story
Many delegates seem surprised to find themselves meeting in the midst of a tight race for the White House.
McCain is saddled with the burden of an unpopular incumbent president, a sputtering economy, an unpopular war and an electorate looking for change after eight years with one party in the White House.
According to a newly released CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll, Obama and McCain are locked in a dead heat -- each with 47 percent support -- as the Democratic convention gets under way. Increasingly jittery Democrats are hoping the convention will provide the spark needed to recapture a once-powerful sense of momentum that has slipped away over the past few weeks. Watch why the race is so tight »
Monday's kickoff -- which features the theme of "One Nation" -- has a lineup of heavy hitters guaranteed to sing the praises of Obama and his vice presidential choice, Sen. Joseph Biden, while also tearing into McCain.
Among the speakers on the convention's first day are Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Callifornia and Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois.
Sen. Claire McCaskill -- who reportedly was under consideration as a running mate -- also will address the convention. McCaskill, a first-term senator from Missouri, is likely to be a constant presence by Obama's side over the next two months. Her state's 11 electoral votes are hotly contested.
There will be a video highlighting the achievements of the nation's 39th president -- Jimmy Carter.
Also addressing the delegates will be Kennedy's niece, Caroline Kennedy, who co-chaired Obama's vice presidential search committee. Some political observers have argued that her high-profile endorsement of Obama in January gave the senator from Illinois a much-needed boost heading into the Super Tuesday primaries.
The final and most prominent speaker Monday night will be the woman who hopes to be America's next first lady: Michelle Obama. She is expected to add a more personal touch by talking not only about her husband but also by introducing herself to the country.
Polls indicate that many Americans still don't know much about the wife of the soon-to-be Democratic nominee.
DENVER, Colorado (CNN)