The Washington Times - August 27, 2008, 10:24PM

Former Democratic Party boss Terry McAuliffe insists he’s backing Barack Obama, despite plans to leave Denver before the Democratic nominee’s big acceptance speech Thursday.

Reports of Mr. McAuliffe’s early departure from the convention have fanned speculation of a split between the Obama and Clinton camps.

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Not true, he said.

“There never was any disunity.”.

 So why the early flight out of town?

“It’s my daughter’s 14th birthday,” he said.

The longtime Clinton backer spoke after leaving a private reception hosted by VISA and US Bank for freshman members of Congress Wednesday.

Asked if he spotted any new lawmakers inside the private townhouse, which closed its doors to the media, Mr. McAuliffe joked he didn’t think so.

But he said couldn’t be sure he’d recognize a freshman member of Congress, either.
 
Jim McElhatton, investigative reporter, The Washington Times