Nation's Democrats Ready To Make Case For Obama
Democrats from around the country have descended on Charlotte, North Carolina for the Democratic National Convention which will be the center of the political universe for the next three days. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
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Last week, it was the Republicans showcasing their candidate in Tampa, Florida. This week, it's the Democrats invading Charlotte. President Barack Obama himself won't arrive until later in the week -- at least not in the flesh. But for now, thousands of the Democratic party faithful are in town buying up souvenirs, and trying to sell the rest of the country on their candidate.
"We'll also recount the last four years, to tell the story of a president who led us through the worst economic cries since the Great Depression. We'll celebrate a president who rescued the auto industry, who passed historic health care and student loan reform," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Organizers say the convention will be the most open and accessible in history. Monday's kickoff festival was free and open to the public; so are the caucus and council meetings where the party's business gets done. Altogether, some 6,000 Democratic delegates are in Charlotte, not to mention staff, volunteers and the media.
Most of the action will take place inside Time Warner Cable Arena. There was no official program Monday, just last-minute touches in preparation for Tuesday when the convention gets underway with headlining speeches from San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and First Lady Michelle Obama. She was there Monday for a dry run. She'll be followed Wednesday night by former president Bill Clinton. Then for President Obama's speech Thursday, the convention moves to nearby Bank of America stadium where attendees can expect an emphasis on his economic plan.
"I think if you're an undecided voter out there, you want to see that vision for creating good paying, sustainable jobs for the middle class. That's what the president will lay out this week," said Obama Campaign Spokesman Ben LaBolt.