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President Barack Obama (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
On the first night of the Democratic National Convention, the First Lady set the tone for what was to come by energizing the crowd with a stirring speech
Before First Lady Michelle Obama spoke, Democrats were set to showcase their own diversity and inclusiveness on the opening evening of their convention. Their focus was to lead a chorus of voices meant to energize some of the core supporters of the President and the Democratic Party into wooing undecided voters, and to stymie Republican efforts to make inroads within those groups.
The theme of the convention was ‘Charting a path forward.’
Prior to her speech, Michelle Obama told an interviewer said, “Tonight I'll take the stage in Charlotte to talk about why my husband – and our president – is the right man for the job. I am going to remind people about the values that drive my husband to do what he has done, and what he is going to do for the next four years.”
And during her speech, she laid out her life before she met her “Barack Obama,” and how his character paralleled that of her father who had struggled to pay her and her brother’s tuition despite being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He hardly ever missed a day of work, so determined was he to provide for his family.
She said that she had seen that similarity of character, integrity and determination in Barack Obama as she explained, “Twenty-three years ago, I fell in love with Barack because of his passion, sense of purpose, and his determination to make life better for other people. It's just who he is – and it's who he continues to be every day in the White House.
As chairman of the convention, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s in managing the entire convention was of utmost importance. He gave his version of the other candidate as he said: “Mitt Romney is out of touch, and out of date. His policies look like it’s from another century: he wants to deport 11 million people. No other country in the world has done that.”
Other speakers of the first full day of the convention included Gov. Deval Patrick, of Massachusetts, and Mayor Corey Booker of Newark, New Jersey. They did not hold back; they tore into the criticisms from last week in Tampa and laid the groundwork for the main event on Thursday evening – that everyone there had come to see, and millions of others would observe electronically – President Barack Obama.
After a strong “Good evening, Democrats!” Gov. Patrick went right into the reason for the convention – the re-election of President Obama, saying: “Are you fired up? Are you ready to go? I hope so. This is the election of a lifetime. Because more than any one candidate or policy, what’s at stake is the American dream. That dream--the ability to imagine a better way for ourselves and our families and then reach for it--is central to who we are and what we stand for as a nation. Whether that dream endures for another generation depends on you and me. It depends on who leads us, too.”
And Mayor Booker got thunderous applause when he addressed several states’ delegation. He was described as the most energetic politician: “When your country is in a costly war with our soldiers sacrificing abroad, and our nation is facing a debt crisis at home, being asked to pay your fair share isn't class warfare, it's patriotism,” he said, on the need for tax increases.
Also included was a videotaped message from former President Jimmy Carter, and a video tribute to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, who died a year after speaking at the 2008 convention.
Speakers from California on Wednesday included Attorney General Kamala Harris, and Congresswoman Karen Bass (CA-33). In addition, Former President Bill Clinton also spoke.
Responding to the Republican Convention, Rep. Bass said, “[The Republican] agenda is so far to the right that if Romney were to win as president, I don’t know that we would be able to recognize the United States in ten years. They do not believe in a safety net. They do not believe in Social Security or Medicare. They would put devastating cuts to education. They essentially have a philosophy that believes in the survival of the fittest…”
And Atty. General Harris, one of the brightest stars at the convention was asked the question that the GOP appears to be touting: Are you better off now than you were four years ago?
During an interview, she said, “I feel honored and humbled, and a great sense of purpose representing California … and it’s very exciting and when I look, for example today at the California delegation at a meeting this morning, we have such a group of people who represent the beauty and the diversity of our state … and I take a great sense of pride in California. I recognize, and we all know that California does lead the nation … and our country does look to California for what should be happening.”
Then the interviewer asked A/G Harris the GOP question – that the president often comes to the state for fundraising… the infrastructure is crumbling … there is a foreclosure crisis … the high unemployment rate … and we do not see him working on those issues…
The Attorney General responded, “Going back to the foreclosure issue, he has been very supportive of the work that the 49 attorneys general in the country were able to do … holding the banks accountable and we brought $18 billion to California.”
And the big question: there has a debate now between the two parties, as whether America is better off four years later?
A/G Harris said firmly, “Absolutely, we are better off