It's Bill Clinton and Elizabeth Warren's turn to take up the mantle for the Democratic Party on Wednesday evening, after First Lady Michelle Obama and keynote speaker Julian Castro delivered the opening blow on the first night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday evening.
Compared to the RNC, Democrats impressed on Tuesday evening for their first night of speeches. With the exception of Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who may have failed to bolster support for a potential presidential run in 2016 with a disappointing speech, all of the other speakers were quite strong. Contrary to the GOP claim that the Democrats are fresh out of ideas, the Democrats set forward a number of policy positions on a range of issues like women's reproductive rights, healthcare, military families, and the economy. The final night of the RNC seemed intellectually stale by comparison.
Michelle Obama hit a home run with her speech in the 10:00 p.m. hour, cementing her place as a modern-day Eleanor Roosevelt, a prominent activist who will likely not run for office, but most certainly do big things. Michelle emphasized President Obama's character and integrity, describing her husband has full of "wisdom," "patience," "courage," and "grace." She kept the speech focused on Obama, rather than on Republican challenger Mitt Romney, but she took several shots at Romney by emphasizing the extent to which Barack cares about serving and helping other people (as opposed to making money at corporate and Wall Street jobs, like Romney).
The evening also belonged to San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who has been called the next Obama, though as Josh Kraushaar at National Journal has noted the odds of him attaining a statewide seat in Republican dominated Texas are slim indeed. Castro delivered a strong speech which emphasized his immigrant heritage and got the crowd to its feet with references to the importance of the DREAM Act and immigration reform.
Bill Clinton and Elizabeth Warren take the stage before Thursday evening, which Vice President Joe Biden and President Obama deliver their major nomination acceptances addresses.
For a complete schedule of Wednesday's speakers, see here.
PolicyMic will be covering all the events and speeches during the Democratic National Convention live. For live updates bookmark and refresh this page.
UPDATES: THURSDAY For a full summary and live analysis of Thursday's speeches, featuring live updates of all the major speeches, including Barack Obama and Joe Biden, see here.
See Obama's speech here:
Wednesday Summary: Another disciplined convention night by the Democratic Party, with speakers being even more on message today than they were yesterday. Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver III, Rep. Steny Hoyer, Senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren and former President Bill Clinton gave strong speeches tonight. Despite prior concerns, former President Clinton gave a lengthy address that fully supported President Obama and took apart the Romney-Ryan platform piece by piece. The speeches today again highlighted issues such as women's healthcare, the Affordable Care Act, the economy, and immigration. The Obama campaign's attacks on Bain made a roaring comeback tonight, and many business leaders were brought on stage arguing in favor of the administration's economic initiatives.
11:25 PM Exellent speech by former President Bill Clinton. He did the party proud (although I must confess I was worried just where he was going at times).
11:22 PM "Obama's budget passes the arithmetic test and the values test."
11:18 PM Clinton is arguing that, frankly, Romney doesn't know arithmetic. And totally destroys Republican tax-spend policies - the debt rose 8x before I took office and rose 2x after I left. "We can't afford to give the reigns of government to someone who would double down on trickle down."
11:17 PM Ehh, now he's wading into the Simpson-Bowles Commission. This could be tricky.
11:13 PM Now he finally addresses the welfare attacks on President Obama. States that Republican states asked for waivers to the regulation to help people move from welfare to work, and the administration listened and agreed with the condition that there be a 20% improvement. The attacks are just not true. But the Romney campaign doesn't want to be dictated to by fact checkers.
11:10 PM Lambasts Romney for wanting to cut Medicaid by a third over ten years, screwing over poor kids, nursing home seniors, and people with disabilities.
11:09 PM Nails Rep. Paul Ryan's attack on President Obama's medicare savings: "You've got to admit, it takes some brass to attack a guy for doing something that you did."
11:06 PM And now Clinton's rattling off the details of all the benefits we've reaped from the Affordable Care Act. Two nuggets: (1) we've saved a billion in refunds from insurance companies who've had to lower costs to meet the ACA's 85%-of-costs-must-go-to-care regulation. (2) Healthcare inflation is now at 4%, under double digit growth, for the first time in 50 years.
11:03 PM Praises President Obama's education initiatives for helping encourage more people to attend school and regear the population for a new economy.
11:01 PM Also praises the President for getting the industry to improve auto mileage will save consumers a lot of money, lower our energy usage, and cut down on greenhouse gases.
Ack, I can't keep up with Clinton. Leave it to a policy wonk like Clinton to leave you in the dust with the details...
11:00 PM Praises Obama's actions on the auto industry; its bigger today than it was during the crisis. Offers a job score for Michigan and Ohio: 250,000 new jobs from Obama, Romney bankruptcy plan: zero.
10:58 PM "President Obama has laid the foundation for a new economy, and if he is elected for another four years you will FEEL it."
10:57 PM "Let me tell you, neither I nor any of my predecessors could have turned this job situation around in four years."
10:55 PM This speech is going a lot better than I expected. Clinton's still got it.
10:53 PM Argues that the GOP has no new ideas and doubles down on what President Bush did. "As another President once said, 'There they go again.'"
10:52 PM Encapsulated the entire Republican National Convention argument as "We left him a total mess, he didn't clean it up fast enough, fire him and put us back in."
10:50 PM Mentions Senator McConnell's infamous "one term president" term and says that they plan to keep the President on the job.
10:49 PM You should vote for Obama simply because he doesn't believe cooperation is dead i.e. he has appointed Republicans to his cabinet, and his primary rivals to VP and Secretary of State.
10:47 PM Argues that Republicans are close-minded and are like a broken clock that is only right twice a day. They hate the President so much that they defeated two Senators in primaries - two leaders with amazingly strong conservative records - simply because they didn't hate the President.
10:45 PM Decries Republican intransigence."What makes for good politics does not necessarily work in the real world. What works in the real world is cooperation."
10:43 PM "I've never been able to hate Republicans like their far right hates our President and a lot of Democrats. That would've been impossible for me (due to Eisenhower, Reagan, and George W. Bush (for PEPFAR, i.e. AIDS relief in Africa))."
10:41 PM Clinton's fact of the day: Since 1961, the country has added 60 million jobs during 28 years of GOP rule and 24 years of Democratics rule - 24 million for Republicans, 42 million for Democrats. Democrats know how to grow the economy.
10:40 PM Mocks Republicans for saying that everyone made themseleves without help from others. "Every politican wants to say that they were born in a log cabin that they built themselves."
10:38 PM Recognizes and praises Michelle Obama's speech last night. I thought it went well, but it seems like most others thought it was a flat-out home run.
10:38 PM Huh, no offense to Clinton, but he is beginning to show his age. He's not exactly the Boy Governor of Alabama anymore that's for sure.
10:36 PM Clinton takes the stage. Oh how will this go? It seems like the popular wisdom is, either really well or really badly.
10:35 PM Ah, it seems like Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, chair of the 2012 Democratic National Convention Committee, only had a few sentences to say. I guess they may be on time tonight.
10:32 PM And she has really revved up the crowd. I wouldn't want to follow that act! Even if she doesn't win this race against sen. Scott Brown, she's got a political future somewhere in the future.
10:31 PM And now she's quoting scripture saying how we need to protect the least amongst us. The party is really reaching out to value voters this year.
10:28 PM Praises President Obama for standing firm and fighting for consumers by establishing the Consumer Financial Protection agency, which apparently just busted a huge credit card company that cheated its customers and made them pay them all back.
10:26 PM "Mitt Romney says that corporations are people. They are not. People live, they fall in love, they have kids, the get sick, and they die." And the crowd goes wild.
10:25 PM Decries Romney and Ryan's willingness to give billions to the rich and level a $2000 tax increase on the poor. "Republicans say that they don't believe in government. Sure they do, they like to use government to benefit themsevles and their friends."
10:23 PM She compares herself to progressives like Theodore Roosevelt, who tried to level the playing field, protect consumers, and fight the interests trying to dominate the system.
10:22 PM She argues that the system is rigged against the worker today, and how these interests that screw over the workers wanted to be thanked for their effort!
10:19 PM Warren relates how her father worked hard for all his years, how she started working when she was 16 and has been fighting constantly since. Seems like she is trying to avoid being associated with Harvard at all cost.
10:17 PM The crowd goes wild as Massachussetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren takes the stage. "Hello, I'm Elizabeth Warren!" Never would've guessed...
10:14 PM He's stating that basically every single policy President Obama has implemented and would implement help businesses grow. "We did not build our company in a vacuum, we built it in the greatest country on earth." Man, the campaign has really made sure to get a lot of businessmen on stage today (the third by my count).
10:11 PM Now Mr. Sinegal is talking about how his company is expanding rapidly now, how does right by its shareholders and its employees at the same time. Not talking much about Romney, but the contrast is pretty obvious.
10:10 PM They're going to be running a bit later tonight than yesterday. And Bill Clinton hasn't even started speaking yet.
10:09 PM Jim Sinegal, CEO of Costco: we need executives that build their companies, not ones that "reap and run."
10:05 PM Yeeeaaa, Rush Limbaugh screwed up big time attacking Fluke and making her just that more prominent. She is really slamming home the discrepancy between the men making the policies in the GOP and the women who would suffer as a result, and how she and women would have freedom and respect in a Democratic future and would be abused under a Republican future. And millions are watching this.
10:02 PM Ah, now they're bringing on Sandra Fluke. I was wondering where she was; she was scheduled to go on half an hour ago. I guess it would've stepped on the party's economic message.
9:59 PM The last 15 minutes have been brutal. The Democratic party isn't letting up on the Bain attacks one bit. They're really trying to turn around the one area in which Romney rates higher than Obama, economic stewardship.
9:55 PM Notes Rep. Paul Ryan's hypocrtical position on the Simpson-Bowles debt commision. "The president doesn't have a debt plan? Here it is, in my hand! You can find it on the internet!"
9:55 PM Notes that at the convention the Republicans had a debt clock by the stage, syaing "If you elect us, we'll fix that. If they were being truthful, they would say, 'we built that!'"
9:54 PM Rep. Chris van Hollen of Maryland (a fellow member of the budget committe Paul Ryan was on) takes the stage, decries Rep. Paul Ryan's descent from being a truth teller to liar, a man who "keeps the fact checkers up all night."
9:51 PM David Foster talks about how Mitt ROmney ran the steel mill he worked at in the ground, firing hundreds while pocketing $12 million in profits. People in their 50's, 60's, 70's saw their pay, pension benefits, insurance, etc. destroyed despite prior promises. This is devastating stuff.
9:48 PM Cindy Hewitt, Dade Behring Medical Supply Co. , attacks Romney for destroying the company while reaping millions, reaping millions while causing hardship for the middle class. The DNC is in full attack mode.
9:45 PM Randy Johnson, a worker from American Pad and Paper fired by Romney. "Romney once said that he likes to fire people; I can say from personal experience that he does." Relates how security escorted the workers out of the factory suddenly one day and wouldn't even let them back in for their personal effects. Tells about how he saw men break down and cry in his office after losing their jobs.
I don't fault him for the company's failure. That happens. "What I fault him for is for making money without a moral compass. I fault him for favoring profits over people like me."
9:43 PM Naturally, King attacks Republican hostility to workers' rights and voices and any sense of justice for workers. I wonder if there ever will be a pro-labor Republican leadership one day.
9:41 PM I must say, as a whole Democrats have really stayed on message tonight, often repeating the campaign's talking points. I know I jinxed myself yesterday, but I wonder how well this will hold up for the last hour. I guess we'll find out once Bill Clinton hits the stage.
9:40 PM UAW President Bob King describes how the bankruptcy would have devastated a whole network of businesses. Praises President Obama for doing the right thing even though it wasn't popular. Decries Romney's history of not building companies up, but by tearing them down.
9:35 PM And now they have an auto worker from Ohio testifying how President Obama saved the state. Describes how she was terrified when she was laid off: how would she take care of her daughter, pay her mortgage? "Today I am back at work, and we have three shifts at work building the next generation of cars, like the Chevy Cruise."
I really don't see at this point how Romney is going to pull off Michigan and Ohio. He made the wrong gamble with that "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" article, and he's not going to live it down.
9:32 PM Now they're video of how President Obama saved the auto industry; how people in Michigan were dancing around in joy when they heard that the industry was getting the loans it needed to survive; how people came together to make sure that this chance wouldn't go to waste and how the industry has excelled since. Strong stuff.
9:29 PM Praises President Obama for saving the auto industry and a million jobs. I hope the campaign has more of these guys stashed away behind stage. "As a businessman I can tell you that Mitt Romney just doesn't get it."
9:28 PM Austin Ligon, CEO of CarMax, testifies that his company succeeded with the help of its healthy salesforce and cooperative government.
9:24 PM She states that President Obama is devoted to passing comprehensive immigration reform, and is horrified herself thinking what Romney woudl do to make immigrants "self-deport." Given how the DNC has promoted immigration reform over environmentalism these last two nights, it sounds like it is going to be a major initiative if Obama is reelected.
9:19 PM And now they have Cristina Saralegui, an journalist/actress/talk show host, on stage arguing in favor of the Dream Act - the third speaker in a row. The Romney campaign is trying to limit President Obama's advantage among Hispanic voters, and the Obama campaign is fighting them tooth and nail.
9:16 PM And now they're playing a video of the president vowing to do more on immigration. It makes me curious what Bill Clinton's speech is going to be like at the end of the night.
9:13 PM She's hit gay marriage, environmentalism, the Dream Act - she's running all the bases.
9:11 PM Says that Romney's policy of letting the market run its course (e.g. the housing crisis) doesn't count as leadership, but abandonment of the middle class. Nice. I'm surprised that I haven't heard that line more often.
9:08 PM California Attorney General Kamala Harris is up, decries Romney's efforts to roll back the rules that protect the environment, women, and consumers. While I don't disagree with her, Republicans must be thrilled being lectured about regulations by someone from a state flirting with bankruptcy in party due in part to how stiffling those regulations are.
9:05 PM The campaign gets a brewery owner to testify on behalf of the president, opens with the line: "I'm sorry, but I don't have any free beer." And the crowd was sad.
9:02 PM And right as primetime hits the convention dives into the administration's efforts to promote small businesses. I guess they're trying to close the perception gap that would be a better steward of the economy than Obama, or that Obama is hostile to business.
8:57 PM Solid analogy. Talks about how he got an awful phone call about how a refinery was leaving his state, and how he had to take care of workers afterwards. Those workers were his shareholders, and he took care of them and got them jobs. "What would Mitt Romney do if he got that phone call? We know what he would do. Mitt Romney would like to fire people; President Obama would like them hired." The Obama campaign should get Markell out in the field ASAP.
8:55 PM "Policies laying off employees and and cutting pensions may work in the board room, but not in the White House." Nice. They should get more businessmen up there.
8:53 PM Deleware Gov. Jack Markell hits Romney as a fellow Governor and businessman - a unique angle this evening. Argues that Romney doesn't have experience listening to the right shareholders, and making sure that the profits go to the shareholders and not his own pockets.
8:48 PM Strong defense of Affordable Care Act, and from the position of morality - "this a part of my pro-life stance and it is the right thing to do."
8:45 PM Nuns on the Bus walk up to become Nuns on the Podium. They call Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plans immoral - noting that America's Catholic bishops declared that it "fails a basic moral test." It doesn't get much more damning than that. I wonder if any evangelicals are listening in to this?
8:42 PM Ah, dives into his bio, then compares himself to Obama - "Another tall, skinny guy with a funny name." Oh yea, he's running in 2016. No doubt about it.
8:42 PM Hmm, he's continued the line from yesterday about how pioneer history wasn't just about individuals but about communities. This campaign hasn't just been fighting over the history of the last four years, but the last 200 years too.
8:39 PM Oooh, mentions the expansion of natural gas development. Crowd didn't jump up with that one.
8:39 PM He is certainly bragging about his state like a future candidate, although bragging about how well a battleground state's economy is doing could still support Obama's campaign (which is ahead).
8:37 PM Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado is up; I wonder how this speech will pan out. There has been some talk on Politico about him being a 2016 candidate, but I know from covering the local political blogs that he's considered something of an odd duck.
8:35 PM Hmm, no talk of the Bush administration. That's a shame, I think he would've been a good person to compare Romney and Bush's foreign policy.
8:35 PM "We are on track to end Veterans homelessness by 2015." Wow, I hadn't heard that.
8:32 PM Ah, and now they are bringing out former Gen. Eric Shinseki (he of "we have nowhere near enough troops for Iraq" fame) and current Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Obviously he will cover military families and veterans, but I wonder how much he will touch on Bush's foreign policy?
8:30 PM And at the bottom of the hour, there is a sharp turn to military veterans. Strange, I thought Rep. Barney Frank was next on the scehedule. What happened to him? Will they be covering financial reform/gay marriage later tonight?
8:24 PM And now Rep. Hoyer's is annihilating Rep. Paul Ryan's spending record under the Bush administration and the lies he told in his speech last week. He is really going after Ryan's reputation as a truth teller here.
8:24 PM We are on the "29th consecutive month of job gains." We have had a turnaround of a nearly a million jobs a month today from what it was in January 2009. "Surely even Mitt Romney thinks that we are better off today than we were four years ago."
8:21 PM "They wish to drown the captain and are prepared to sink the ship to do so."
8:20 PM Rep. Steny Hoyer is up. "Mitt Romney said that he had hoped that President Obama would succeed; if so, then he was the only one in his party." Mentions McConnell's line about making Obama a one-term president. Boy, that one is going to live on in infamy.
8:15 PM "As they say in Texas, you dance wit tha one that brought ya. Well, Barack Obama brought women to this dance and we're going to (support him for 2012)."
8:11 PM Ahh, first Mad Men reference of the night. "Why in 2012 are we talking about birth control?" Though in his defence, Romney is a better person than just about everyone on the show.
8:08 PM President of Planned Parent Cecile Richards announces her support for President Obama and lists Republican affront and affront on women's healthcare. Rep. Todd Akin is taking a lot o f heat tonight, though I've yet to hear anyone call the Republican Party's abortion stance in its party platform "the Akin plank."
8:06 PM An activist defends the work of Planned Parenthood, for listening to her complaints of pelvic/abdomidable pain and diagnosing her properly after so many other hospitals turned her away. Shocking story.
8:04 PM And now they're playing a video of President Obama defending the Affordable Care Act and its impact on women's health. Probably the strongest argument in favor of the bill I've heard from him in some time. Its amazing how so many years after the bill passed it's still so unpopular.
7:57 PM Gov. Hunt properly recognizes President Obama as the greatest President for community college education. What is Romney's policy for students in America's lower college tiers? He also condemns the GOP for its magical thinking on economics, to paraphrase: Growth didn't just happen, we MADE it happen.
7:54 PM "We raised teacher pay by 35% in just four years!" Wow, haven't heard many people bragging about that lately.
7:52 PM Former North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt is up, emphasizing the state's strong history supporting civil rights during the 60's and education today. Time to chalk up education as another major theme of the night.
7:50 PM "Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan want to cut the Pell Grants that made my future possible." Man, I'm beginning to feel for budget cutters everywhere. This is the kind of thing that makes cutting politically difficult.
7:48 PM And now they're playing a video supporting Pell Grants. I wonder how many college students are really watching this? If the administration was really fighting for their vote, wouldn't this be playing in primetime?
7:45 PM "Under the Romney-Ryan budget, the education budget would be cut 20%...In order to cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires, Romney-Ryan will cut education for our nation's children." Great line, "think of the children" is a tough line to beat.
7:44 PM Education Secretary Arne Duncan steps up to promote the administration's education policy.
7:41 PM Sen. Mikulski is continuing the strong defense of healthcare reform they started yesterday and futher advocacy for women's rights. If the Obama campaign doesn't rack up the women's vote after all this it'll be political malpractice. I've only been watching for an hour and its been way up front.
7:37 PM Sen. Barbara Mikulski: "we work on the macro issues and the macaroni and cheese issues."
7:35 PM And now they're bringing out all of the women Democratic Senators, with probably the edgiest music I've heard tonight. Practically screams "we're strong, don't screw with us."
7:32 PM Singer/songwriter Jessica Sanchez: "A women's voice is sure and strong\ it can touch your soul and clear your skies\it can sing battle hyms, or lullabies." They are really pulling out all of the stops for the women's votes.
7:28 PM Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack of Iowa is delivering a paen to rural voter values. In a convention dominated by mayors and urban constituencies, I haven't been hearing this much.
7: 27 PM And their playing U2's "Beautiful Day" over the speakers. Least surprising playlist song ever. Now, if they'd been playing "Sunday, Bloody Sunday" THAT would have been interesting.
7: 25 PM Ah, besides social security and women's reproductive rights she also brought up overturning Citizens United and eliminating SuperPACs. I'm surprised that doesn't come up more often here.
7:20 PM Not to bash Pelosi much, but why is she still House leader at her age?After you reach your 70's shouldn't you perhaps step aside and let the next generation of leadership step up? Republicans have the Young Guns, but Dems seem to be stuck with the Grandparents.
7:19 PM And now House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California is up again. Will she be making an appearance every night?
7:16 PM Hm, after spending time on education now she is covering President Obama's Native policies, and even his Blackfoot (?) name: "One who helps people throughout the land". You don't hear that one talked about very much. The party is really fighting for the minority vote amongst all groups.
7:12 PM Denise Juneau is up. Apparently she is the first Native American to win a state-wide office. That is shocking to me. Did we really only accomplish this in the last few years?
7:11 PM "We love America, we fix it when its broke, we wake it up in the morning... we put it to bed at night." Solid line on behalf of workers.
7:08 PM Calls workers rights a fundamental human right. "Shared prosperity is the only kind that lasts, and we will have that under President Barack Obama."
7:05 PM Ooooh, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is up. If it is anything like his 2008 speech supporting Barack Obama, this should be great!
7:04 PM Gov. Malloy continues yesterday's theme of attacking the GOP's abortion/birth control policies. He is also attacking their voterID laws. Could this be a major theme tonight? I guess we'll find out after 9pm.
7:01 PM The governor is emphasizing how the Romney-Ryan budget isn't a conservative, but a radical budget. I wonder how much they are going to emphasize this fact tonight; that seems too subtle for your average viewer just tuning in.
6:58 PM Gov. Dannel Malloy of Conneticut is up. Hah, even he knows he can't follow that up!
6:54 PM Wow, the DNC definitely had the feel of a religious revival going there for awhile.
6:52 PM Lots of advice for Obama: "When everything is gone, you continue to hope!" "Mr. President - Hope on! Hope on!" "When everything is gone, hope on!" I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Rep. Cleaver is a pastor on the side.
6:50 PM "If being a Democrat means being concerned about being concerned about seniors in the subset of life, call me a Democrat! Call me a Liberal!" And the house goes wild. Rep. Cleaver definitely has an ear for alliteration.
6:49 PM Rep. Emanuel Cleaver III of Missouri: "We can be tought without being toxic." Nice. "We cannot do better without being better."
6:46 PM I wonder, does Rep. Al Green of California sing Al Green? Someone should ask.
6:42 PM Rep. Karen Bass of California is delivering the party's line on various voter fraud bills being pushed by the GOP across the nation. Can't say I'm surprised they're doing this before primetime though, it is one of the few issues Democrats are on the wrong side of popular opinion.
6:40 PM "Mitt Romney's idea of a foreign policy accomplishment is sending jobs there."
6:38 PM And now the Senator is talking about Obama's Iran policy, which got short shift yesterday. Its amazing how much President Obama is getting hit on that; other than sending in the military our policy couldn't be much tougher on them. I guess we could impose the Republican's budgets; that'd topple the government pretty quick.
6:37 PM Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York on Romney's economic plan: "That's not trickle down, that a dirty trick."
6:30 PM Alright, lets see how I do tonight. After 3+ hours of liveblogging I think I was getting a bit testy. Of note, I was wrong about Michelle Obama's and Mit Romney's love of the Temptations. "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" is by Stevie Wonder. Apparently I need to study up on classic pop and R&B.
4:30 PM It's official, due to poor Charlotte weather, President Obama's major Thursday speech has been moved from the outdoor Bank of America stadium as had been planned, to the disappointment of thousands of supporters. Read more here.