A week after those attending the Republican National Convention the Democrats opened theirs in the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte in North Carolina, they met for three days during which they nominated President Obama for a second term, they adopted their party platform, listened to a long list of speakers which included the first lady, ex-president Clinton and on Thursday night they listened to President Obama accepting their nomination as their choice to face the Republican nominee exactly two months before the November 6 election which already looks like a very close and tight race ahead. Cheering delegates also heard plentiful criticism of Republican challenger Mitt Romney as they launched their response to last week's GOP convention, which sought to frame the November election as a referendum on Obama's presidency amid high unemployment, sluggish economic growth, and mounting federal deficits and debt. Facing a tight race and Republican attacks that they have made things worse while in power, Democratic organizers responding by trying during their three-day convention to emphasize the tough decisions Obama has made so far and the additional steps needed to bolster the middle class.
The primary season for the Democrats was a much less hectic affair than that of the Republicans, there was never any doubt about their choice for a candidate to face Mitt Romney, but by a well-established tradition of American politics a sitting president can have the nod without opposition if he so desired, so on Tuesday September 4th they started their convention in Charlotte. Charlotte is one of the largest city in the U.S. The city is a major financial center; Bank of America is headquartered there. The more than 70,000 attending Democrats including the 6,000 delegates who assembled in the Time Warner Cable Arena on the first day of the convention nominated by an overwhelming vote president Obama and adopted their party's platform which was to bring chaos to the meeting the next day there was no mention of GOD and neglected to repeat their last time’s commitment to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, because even before the day’s end the Republican’s created a storm of protest about those two omissions from their opponents platform, so on the next day they put the document for a new vote which had to be repeated three times before the article was updated and the two controversial items were corrected with the behind the scenes efforts of the president himself, but the controversy was to outshine the meeting until its end in spite of the great efforts which were spent to resolve the controversy.
During the three days the convention heard a flood of talks which derided Romney and the Republicans, accusing them of being out of touch and politically divisive at a time requiring national unity. Seeking to further strengthen Obama's advantage with women, Hispanic Americans and young voters, the Democratic speakers hailed the president for promoting health care reforms, supporting gay marriage, and ending deportations of some young illegal immigrants. There were some very interesting names amongst the speakers, one was the democratic nominee for the senate seat of Scot Brown who was able few months ago to win the seat vacated by the death of Ted Kennedy who died August 2009 from a brain tumor, MS Warren astounded the convention when she described the middle class now as being chipped squeezed and hammered and there was the young women’s rights advocate Sandra Fluke who was attacked very harshly few months ago by Rush Limbaugh because of her position on the use of contraceptives for women but there was three star speakers, on the first night it was the first lady, on the second it was ex-president Clinton and the last one was the president himself who during his acceptance speech made a strong and a very passionate defense of his performance during his presidency.
First Lady never once mentioned Mitt Romney's name. But in her speech before the Democratic National Convention speech Monday night, she offered a dramatic contrast between her husband and his Republican opponent, insisting he understands the struggles of average Americans because he's himself lived through those tough times.
"Barack knows the American Dream because he's lived it, and he wants everyone in this country to have that same opportunity no matter who he is where he is from, or what he looks like" Michelle Obama said. "He believes that when you've worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed."
It was a speech meant to bolster her husband's performance as president and it did, as the first lady touted the president's push for health care reform, the auto industry bailout and efforts to keep down student loan interest rates.
With tears in her eyes, she spoke of her father, a pump operator at a Chicago water plant, and how her husband was raised by a single mother and by his grandparents.
She added, "We learned about dignity and decency, that how hard you work matters more than how much you make, that helping others means more than just getting ahead yourself. We learned about honesty and integrity, that the truth matters; that you don't take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules, and success doesn't count unless you earn it fair and square," she said. "We learned about gratitude and humility; that so many people had a hand in our success, from the teachers who inspired us to the janitors who kept our school clean, and we were taught to value everyone's contribution and treat everyone with respect." Her husband, she said, "is thinking about folks like my dad and his grandmother" and is "thinking about the pride that comes from a hard day's work which offered a subtle contrast between her husband and Romney, who came from a well-off background. He just keeps "getting up and moving forward," she said. "He reminds me that we are playing a long game here, and that change is hard, and change is slow, and it never happens all at once," she said. "Many of us stand here tonight because of their sacrifice, and longing, and steadfast love because time and again, they swallowed their fears and doubts and did what was hard."
She finished by saying, that has been the story of the American dream, "That is what has made my story, and Barack's story, and so many other American stories possible."
On the second night it was ex-president Clinton who is frequently described as perhaps the most prominent Democrat after the president himself, in his speech he was charismatic and serious and he brought the crowds alive For years now, conventions have been carefully organized for television without any real energy or excitement, one of the reasons that so few people are watching them anymore
But Clinton turned the convention into a real conversation about policy, about politics, and about the future. His viewers might not agree with much of what he says, but his speech was still an event of the campaign. But it is not clear whether his speech will lead to a more honest way of arguing about ideas and policy. In the end Bill Clinton's speech reminded many Americans why he remains the country's most beloved and naturally talented politician, for all his faults.
On the third night it was the president. He said after almost two minutes of uninterrupted applause: "With profound gratitude and great humility I accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States" and then went on acknowledging his debts to his mentors friends and colleagues and then he followed by telling the story of his own simple family whose son was able to reach the highest office in the land because of the American dream, but he also said that our country at the moment is passing through a defining moment with very serious economic hardships and war which he blamed on what he called the failed policies of George Bush, he went on to talk about his wife and the great sacrifices she suffered walking with him the long journey. The speech lasted 40 minutes and 8 seconds which he ended by saying this election is not about me it is about you, it was a very interesting talk but it is difficult to imagine to what extent is it going to influence the choice of the American people on November 6.
Sunday, September 9, 2012