The third and final session of the Democratic National Convention commences today in Charlotte, NC. Scheduled primetime speakers include Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), Vice President Joe Biden, and President Barack Obama, who will accept his party's nomination.
On Tuesday, keynote speaker and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, and First Lady Michelle Obama electrified the crowd and set the tone for the convention, though Wednesday brought such impressive follow-ups as Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Chair Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren, and former President Bill Clinton, who formally nominated the incumbent for a second term.
Responses to Clinton have generally been strong. Gary Younge of The Guardian claims Clinton, "in a long, always spirited and occasionally rambling performance ... reminded the country not just who the good guy is but where the bad times came from." The Twitterverse exploded with positive comments, including this pithy comment from Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman: "Ready to repeal 22nd Amendment (presidential term limit) yet?" Meanwhile, this writer thought the brilliant oration was exactly what the DNC (and the country) needed.
But it wasn't a totally smooth day. The DNC almost devolved into chaos as delegates voted to amend the party platform to include mentions of God and Jerusalem, though it's unclear whether the necessary 2/3 voted for amending.
Democratic National Committe Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz called the ommission "a technical oversight" and rejected suggestions of internal discord.
PolicyMic will be covering all the events and speeches during the Democratic National Convention live. For live updates please bookmark and refresh this page.
Here is the video from Obama's speech:
UPDATE 10:04 p.m.
Obama concludes his address triumphantly and is joined by his family on the DNC stage, thus ending this 2012 Democratic National Convention.
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UPDATE 9:58 p.m.
"This democracy is ours...only you can move it forward."
Obama quotes Abraham Lincoln, a rare display of vulnerabilty; jabs at Super PACs.
UPDATE 9:45 p.m.
Earlier, the GOP criticized the DNC of changing venues for President Obama's speech due to lack of attendance. Detroit Free Press indicates thousands of people were displaced and must now watch the address on TV.
Obama continues to articulate his second term goals and first term accomplishments - but it's all a little familiar at this point. Very strong speech, though.
UPDATE 9:36 p.m.
"All they [Republicans] have is the same prescriptions they had 30 years ago."
"We have been there. We have tried that and we are not going back, we're going forward."
"Know this America: our problems can be solved; our challenges can be met."
Obama is speaking with a passion and special quality he hasn't had in quite a while. The wave of enthusiasm and support is pretty strong in Charlotte.
UPDATE 9:27 p.m.
President Obama formally accepts his party's nomination for president. Begins talking about something derided by his enemies and perhaps forgotten by his supporters: hope.
UPDATE 9:23 p.m.
The crowd erupts as President Obama is introduced by First Lady Michelle Obama. Tears, smiles, and cheers widespread as the 44th POTUS makes his way onstage.
UPDATE 9:21 p.m.
Michelle Obama is about to introduce President Barack Obama. The DNC is airing an Obama-oriented video.
Mitt Romney tweets: "At the 2008 #DNC, @BarackObama promised Americans a better future, but it's clear he hasn't lived up to his promises." The Romney camp has been fairly quiet late in the DNC.
UPDATE 8:56 p.m.
"They're for a new plan. It's called Vouchercare!"
"Mitt Romney promised to take a jobs trip. With his outsourcing, it's going to have to be a foreign trip."
UPDATE 8:43 p.m.
It's a familiar talking point, but an important one: Biden harping on Obama saving Detroit and the auto industry. Key qualification: he's not just talking about cars or jobs numbes, but making a personal family connection and putting human faces on the industry.
And far from bumbling or spewing gaffes, Biden is speaking articulately and clearly. The man is a strong speaker indeed.
UPDATE 8:29 p.m.
Vice President Joe Biden takes the stage to great fanfare.
-Biden begins with a heartwarming tribute to his wife, teacher Jill Biden, and a little self-deprecating humor.
-In case there was any confusion, Biden "accepts" the nomination for Vice President.
"We possess that same grit, that same determination, that same courage that has always defined what it means to be an American - has always defined all of you."
UPDATE 8:25 p.m.
As the DNC airs a Biden-oriented video before his address, here's a solid excerpt from his speech (via The Washington Post):
"My fellow Americans, we now find ourselves at the hinge of history. And the direction we turn is in your hands."
UPDATE 8:14 p.m.
Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, takes the stage at the DNC.
UPDATE 7:54 p.m.
Kerry continues to emphasize President Obama's foreign policy successes, including a strong commitment to Israel, ordering the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, and helping oust dictator Muammar Gaddafi from power in Libya.
"It took President Obama to restore our moral authority. It took President Obama to ban torture. The President understands that our values don't limit our power; they magnify it."
"It took President Obama - against the advice of many - to give that order and finally rid this earth of Osama bin Laden."
To Mitt Romney: "Before you debate President Obama on foreign policy, you'd better finish the debate with yourself."
UPDATE 7:45 p.m.
Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committe and the 2004 Democratic nominee for president, takes the stage.
Kerry is focusing on foreign policy and America's standing in the world. He says that while Republicans talk about American exceptionalism, Democrats prove it.
UPDATE 7:42 p.m.
One democratic strategist calls Joe Biden an "asset" and the go-to guy for Obama's administration.
I had different thoughts last November.
UPDATE 7:35 p.m.
Former GOP Governor Charlie Crist: "I didn't leave the GOP; it left me."
Crist appeals to the memory of Ronald Reagan, saying the deceased Republican would be "too moderate" for his own party in today's political climate.
John Kerry is up soon.
UPDATE 7:29 p.m.
Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, the latest in a line of critical Democratic Governors, brings the hammer down on Mitt Romney's tenure as Governor of Masschusetts, citing the state's poor economic performance, Romney's cuts to education, and fee, a.k.a. tax, hikes.
Hit Line: "Now Mitt, you can't just Etch-a-Sketch away your record."
UPDATE 7:01 p.m.
Caroline Kennedy, daughter of former President John F. Kenny, speaks at the convention, specifically highlighting this election's importance to women:
"Like my father's election in 1960, this is one of those elections where the future of our country is at stake. And women and children have the most on the line."
"There is only one candidate who is on our side: Barack Obama."
Reproductive rights "are under attack."
"[Obama] has put our ideals into action for the next generation."
UPDATE 6:58 p.m.
Former Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was shot in Tucson last year, is helped across the DNC stage by her friend, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. Giffords then lead the convention in the Pledge of Allegiance.
UPDATE 6:32 p.m.
The Foo Fighters are performing now as the big guns gear up for their speeches.
UPDATE 6:21 p.m.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stated Democrats hope to pickup 25 seats in the House of Representatives this election cycle and consider their strategy the "drive for 25."
CNN's Anderson Cooper says "a new generation of Kennedys" are ready to make their way into politics. Sen. Ted Kennedy, brother of the former president, died in 2009 and was honored on the first day of the DNC.
UPDATE 6:15 p.m.
Vice President Joe Biden's son, Beau Biden, is speaking. Beau, who worked in the Justice Department for the Clinton Administration and served in Iraq, formally nominates his father for Vice President of the United States. Joe Biden is nominated by acclamation.
UPDATE 6:08 p.m.
Former Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was shot in the head in Tucson last year, will be on the convention floor soon.
In further excerpts released from Obama's speech, the President makes reference to Franklin Delano Roosevelt and cites the need for bold experimentation during our own economic crisis.
UPDATE 6:00 p.m.
Eva Longoria and Kal Penn aren't the only celebrities hanging out in Charlotte. Also spotted at the DNC were actress Patricia Arquette and actor Wayne Knight, who played Jerry Seinfeld's nemesis Newman on the classic '90s sitcom Seinfeld, although the picture was taken last night.
UPDATE 5:40 p.m.
CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jessica Yellin offered some teasers of President Obama's evening address. Obama is expected to to outline a set of new goals for his second term, including the creation of 1 million new manufacturing jobs by the end fof 2016 and reinvesting money saved from ending wars in the Middle East. He will also criticize the GOP for failing to articulate at Tampa the tough choices it would make in power.
Released Excerpt from Obama's Speech: "Know this, America: our problems can be solved, our challenges can be met."
While the talking heads speculate on virtually everything to fill the hours, performers, including Mary J. Blige, inject some life into the convention. I guess the Dems couldn't notch the Red Hot Chili Peppers this time around. Maybe in 2016?
UPDATE 4:48 p.m.
Mitt Romney, who has been holed up at a campaign retreat preparing for the fall debates, told CNN he does not plan to watch President Obama's speech tonight.
Back at the DNC, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), who is not seeking reelection this year, called Mitt Romney "Myth" Romney for his inconsistent record and blasted the challenger for intending to repeat "failed policies" of the past.
UPDATE 4:40 p.m.
Speeches have begun. Biden and Obama take the stage later tonight.
CNN reports that Joe Biden, who competed with Obama for the Democratic nomination in 2008, will speak about what he has learned from Obama and "ding" Mitt Romney.
Biden was supposed to speak last night but was reportedly bumped to accomodate Bill Clinton - a testament to the lengths the Obama team has gone to remedy the relationship strained during the 2008 primary.
UPDATE 1:22 p.m.
Some early job reports have been trickling in. Although the official August jobs report will not be released until tomorrow, ADP payroll figures indicate the economy added 201,000 private sector jobs last month - almost 60,000 more than the expected 142,000. Meanwhile, unemployment claims are declining. PolicyMic Pundit Michael Luciano discusses these gains and other positive economic trends here.
Friday's jobs report coming just a day after Obama accepts his party's renomination is a potential game-changer. A poor report would seriously harm his credibilty at a time he is working prodigiously to regain the faith of the American people; a good or even better-than-expected report would vindicate President Clinton's remarks last night and complicate the GOP's narrative.
Job Figures, 2009-2012:
UPDATE 12:56 p.m.
Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett spoke on CNN about what to expect from the President's address tonight. She claimed it will be an "inclusive" speech.
UPDATE 12:45 p.m.
It's official: the DNC announced that President Obama will accept his party's nomination indoors. According to ABC News, the original plan was for Obama to accept the nomination at the 74,000-seat outdoor Bank of America Stadium. The new venue seats 15,000 fewer than Bank of America Stadium.
The GOP alleges the Democrats couldn't fill the original stadium, while Democrats cite safety issues related to inclement weather. They also counter that there is a deep waiting list of at least 19,000 in addition to the confirmed 65,000 ready to see the President speak.