The build up that has been mounting all week finally blasted out of the arena last night when President Obama proudly proclaimed “Madam Chairwoman, delegates, I accept your nomination for President of the United States.” As the rest of the speakers have proclaimed all week, President Obama reiterated, the shift of the party’s focus to re-build the middle class. President Obama unveiled several key features of his plan for the future that will help accomplish this goal. The first is revamping the tax code and make those earning over two hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year pay more and bring their tax percentage back to that when President Clinton was in office. This would generate revenue and allow for more opportunities to assist the middle class in opportunities to prosper. These opportunities include lower cost of college tuition, assisting in education expenses, and rewarding companies that keep jobs in America. The second idea that President Obama acknowledged that would help get the middle class growing again is investing in infrastructure. Recently, the American infrastructure was given a D overall. They found that the nations bridges, roads, railroads, electrical grid, and schools were crumbling. Infrastructure is a cause that both FDR and Eisenhower championed, their efforts helped create the highway system across the nation and furthered the economic boom of the 1950’s. If the country can re-invest in roads, bridges, new railroads, electrical grids, and schools then the country can once again become the envy of the world. One issue that needs to be pushed to the forefront of the campaign is the Super PAC problem. This seems to be taking away the voice of the middle class since large corporations are able to donate large sums to Super PAC’s to assure that their particular candidate wins. This leads to the candidate pandering to the wealthy to fund their campaigns rather than pandering to the voters for support. If taxes, infrastructure and campaign financing are revisited, then there is no doubt that the middle class will once again become the backbone of America.
Air Force One took off from the Charlotte Douglas International Airport around 10:20 this morning, marking the culmination of the Democratic National Convention.
The week has been filled with protestors, convention goers, speeches, T-shirts and buttons! The biggest upset, however, was the change in venue for the President’s speech from the Bank of America stadium to the Time Warner Cable Arena. Community credential holders were able to listen to a conference call from the President instead, and encouraged to organize or attend watch parties with friends.
Nonetheless, the President gave his speech and the best quote of the night was: “I recognize that times have changed since I first spoke to this convention. The times have changed – and so have I. I’m no longer just a candidate. I’m the President.” This profound statement defined the difference between President Obama and his opponent-experience on the job.
Some of us may be happy that “this is all over,” others are saddened. If you call Charlotte home today, you’re probably proud. The next step for the nation is to continue to organize voter registrations, then get out to vote.
Day four of the DNC…check.
Last night former President Clinton knocked his speech out of the park. President Clinton was able to communicate to both delegates and the American people about the progress that the economy has made and will make. President Clinton stated loudly “neither he nor any of his predecessors could have fixed the mess that the economy was in within the four years that President Obama has been in office.” It was clear that President Clinton was in rare form as he was able to touch on all the issues that were key to the swing state voters. President Clinton said repeatedly that when President Obama took office he inherited an economic climate that was losing over seven hundred thousand jobs each month. President Clinton went on to say that President Obama was able to put a bandage on that bleeding of job loss and has put together a streak of months with positive job creation. Nevertheless, the second night of the convention was much like the first with President Clinton hammering home the need for change in the way the middle class is treated. Bill Clinton stated that the economy is developed through the middle out not the top down. President Clinton championed the middle class and stated the middle class needed the tax break more than the wealthy. President Clinton then restated an astonishing fact “Who’s right?” Well, since 1961, the Republicans have held the White House 28 years, the Democrats 24. In those 52 years, our economy produced 66 million private sector jobs. What’s the jobs score? Republicans 24 million, Democrats 42 million!” The theme of the night, and for the convention for that matter, was to outline ways to grow the middle class, which has been shrinking for the last 30 years. President Clinton outlined President Obama’s plan of increasing spending in infrastructure and education. President Clinton also said President Obama has encouraged college education when others have called it snobbish. President Clinton’s speech was one of the greatest he has delivered since leaving the office of the presidency. He emphasized the middle class and was able to make the face of the Democratic Party the face of the middle class. President Bill Clinton said it best “ We Democrats think the country works better with a strong middle class, real opportunities for poor people to work their way into it and a relentless focus on the future, with business and government working together to promote growth and broadly shared prosperity. We think ‘we’re all in this together’ is a better philosophy than ‘you’re on your own.’” It is clear that the middle class is the focus of the convention and the campaign for presidency. As James Carville has famously said,“ It’s the Middle Class, Stupid!”
John Stewart taped The Daily Show at ImaginOn tonight. Taping began at 6 pm but apparently, some people were in line at 8 am! Yes, 8 am. Staff handed out tickets just after 2 pm, and by then there were multiple lines of people waiting for a chance to see Mr. Stewart and the production.
It was well worth the wait. Before the show John entertained questions from the audience. His political correspondents “complained” about how tight the security in the area is, in their feature at the top of the show. John’s special guest of the night was Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Senator Gillibrand put out a call to women to “get off of the sidelines and into the game.” She argued that if more women were in Congress, Congress could focus on crafting solutions to America’s problems rather than engaging in partisan bickering. John was not convinced!
As usual, John took a not so funny subject-politics-and made it entertaining yet informative.
Day three of the DNC…check.
Well, as expected First Lady Michelle Obama and Mayor Castro brought down the house last night with their speeches. First Lady Obama was able to show a contrast between her husband, President, Obama, and his political counter part Governor Romney. Mrs. Obama explained how she and President Obama grew up. Within the stories that she reflected last night she explained how their families worked extremely hard every day to ensure that they would have a better chance at success. One of the most forceful lines of the speech she gave was when she said “ 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.” This line exemplifies the shift in the Democratic Platform in the sense that it seems to be shifting towards building a stronger and bigger middle class. Mayor Castro nailed his speech last night as well when he talked about his life as a grandson of a Hispanic immigrant who worked as a housekeeper just to insure that her child would have a better life. His most touching line last night rang loud when he said “ My grandmother didn’t live to see us begin our lives in public service. But she probably would have thought it extraordinary that just two generations after she arrived in San Antonio, one grandson would be the mayor and the other would be on his way to be a U.S. Congress man.” Another line of his speech that elicited a loud cheer was “My grandmother never owned a house. She cleaned other people’s houses so she could afford to rent her own. But she saw her daughter become the first in her family to graduate from college. And my mother fought hard for civil rights so that instead of a mop, I could hold this microphone.” Mayor Castro’s words showed the true American dream how each generation hopes for a better life for the next and with the door left open for these opportunities to prosper and advance, this American Dream will survive!
The gavel came down, marking the start of official DNC business.
Not long after, the Honorable Bev Perdue welcomed all to the great state of North Carolina. Governor Perdue, North Carolina’s first female Governor, shared a message of support for her party’s nominee. A staunch education advocate, Governor Perdue praised President Obama because “[he] gets it on education.”
Madame Governor, you “get it” on tenacity. For women on both sides (or neither side) of the aisle, Governor Perdue has been an example of commitment and courage, particularly over the past two years. During that time, she vetoed 19 bills passed by the General Assembly-an assembly largely made of men.
With all due respect, Governor Perdue appeared to struggle at times to get her words out above the crowd’s roar-understandably. Perhaps she was thinking of a dear friend she lost less than two months ago. After all, NORTH CAROLINA was hosting the Democratic National Convention and her mentor and friend-the late Honorable William L. Wainwright-was not there with her to experience such an historical event.
Madame Governor, I “get it.”
Day two of the DNC…check.
In Loving Memory of North Carolina State Representative William L. Wainwright, D-12.
This evening marks the official kick off of the DNC and it will be kicked off in true fashion with 48 speakers on tap for this evening. Three speakers that should garnish most of the media attention this evening are Former President Jimmy Carter, who will give a video address endorsing President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama who is likely to give a rousing speech to illustrate President Obama as a ordinary man and explain why he deserves a second term, and Julián Castro, who will give the keynote speech. President Obama said today in a campaign stop in Norfolk Virginia, which is his last stop before heading to Charlotte, that he will watch his wife’s speech with their two children and he hopes his girls will not notice him tearing up. The third speaker, the keynote speaker, is Julián Castro. If you have not heard his name before you likely will after his speech tonight. President Obama was the keynote speaker in the 2004 DNC and used the keynote address to propel himself into the forefront of the 2008 presidential race. Julián Castro for those who have not yet heard is the Mayor of San Antonio, Texas and was reelected in 2011 with over 80% of the vote, an astonishing margin of victory. It will be interesting to hear what he conveys in his speech tonight and if it will propel him in the same manner the role propelled President Obama 8 years earlier. Just do not get Julian confused with his twin brother, Julián Castro, who will be introducing him tonight. Overall, it looks to be a memorable night both for Charlotte and the country as the Democratic Party will show the past, present, and future faces of the Democratic Party.
It’s here! The Democratic National Convention (DNC) has finally began! For those who didn’t scurry out of town to avoid the mayhem, this convention promises to have at least one event for you.
Festivities for the public kicked off around 10 am today, and boy could you tell! Though today was my first time riding the Lynx light rail, from what I heard, it has never been that packed! The rail cars were stuffed with those sitting, standing, and sliding! Next stop…Carolina Fest-The DNC’s family-friendly festival, complete with music, information booths, fun activities and more.
The highlight of the event may have been Fuel Pizza’s booth. Led by a Fuel chef, children were able to make a pizza from scratch using fresh, locally grown vegetables. After crafting their pizzas, children stood by patiently waiting for their numbers to be called, the sign that their pizza was ready! As an added bonus, Fuel served ice cold water for everyone. The booth quickly became a popular stop!
Day one of the DNC…check.