Obama, Other Leaders to Speak at Convention in Mpls

The president and many other political leaders will address the attendees of The American Legion's largest annual convention, which is expected to attract an audience of more than 10,000.

President Barack Obama kicked off a three-day trip through the Upper Midwest on Monday with a stop in Cannon Falls, a small town in southeastern Minnesota.

And another event will have him back in Minnesota before the month's end.

Obama will join U.S. senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Representatives Michele Bachmann and Keith Ellison, Governor Mark Dayton, and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak at The American Legion's national convention in Minneapolis.

The American Legion's 93rd annual national convention will take place from August 29 through September 1 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The American Legion announced last month that Obama had accepted an invitation to speak at the event in Minneapolis-which is expected to attract an audience of more than 10,000. Minneapolis was the site of the first American Legion national convention in 1919.

The Legion on Friday released a tentative list of speakers for the event. Obama, Klobuchar, Franken, Ellison, Dayton, and Rybak are all scheduled to speak on August 30.

The following speakers are scheduled for the remainder of the event:

August 31:

  • U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi of California > ¥ General Norton Schwartz, chief of staff, U.S. Air Force
  • U.S. Representative Tim Walz of Minnesota> ¥ Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki
  • U.S. Representative Jeff Miller of Florida, House Veterans Affairs Committee chair
  • Kevin Schmiegel, vice president, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Bill Simon, president and CEO, Walmart U.S.
  • Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (via pre-recorded video)

September 1:

  • U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota

Several speakers will also discuss issues related to veterans' health care on August 27.

The national convention to be held in Minneapolis is The American Legion's largest annual meeting. Delegates from each of the 50 states, Puerto Rico, France, Mexico, and the Philippines are invited; these delegates alone have the authority to approve changes to the Legion's constitution and bylaws, according to the group's Web site. The delegates also set membership dues and elect leaders for the Legion.

The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919. It is the nation's largest veterans service organization.