Here we go! It's the final night of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Here's a quick recap: Day 1 (Tuesday) was full of emotion, with a speech from Stacy Lihn about her baby being saved by removing the lifetime cap on insurance coverage, as well as a speech by Tammy Duckworth, a wounded Iraq combat veteran who is an inspiration, even if you don't believe in her politics. Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts, set the crowd on fire with his passionate plea for President Obama's reelection, and First Lady Michelle Obama gave a speech with her genuine emotion, and surprisingly, several policy mentions, which brought the crowd to tears and to their feet.
Day 2 (Wednesday) was all about former President Bill Clinton. Leading up to Clinton's speech, the campaign had been lacking the specificity neededby disappointed Democrats and undecided voters, who asked for specific mentions of policies which Democrats stand for. They got it on Wednesday night in the form of two policy-heavy speeches, with Clinton's lasting an incredible 48 minutes. It was wonk heaven. Even Twitter paid attention to his every word. Who says attention spans are destroyed these days? Even if you do not agree with his populism, there were several GOP consultants who agreed that Clinton's speech was one of the most effective surrogate speeches they had ever heard.
Jobs and healthcare have been heavy on the minds of voters, a fact which was eflected over the course of the first two nights by women, minorities, and veterans. Foreign policy was discussed, but only in terms of military families. That may change on Thursday because Senator John Kerry is schedule to deliver a speech that deals with Obama's foreign policy, shortly before President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden begin speaking in the 9:00 pm hour. I'm eager to see if there will a more in-depth discussion of foreign policies, considering Secretary of State Hilary Clinton is also a powerful surrogate for Obama, should he choose to cite her work.
Overall, there seems to be a lot more energy and passion in Charlotte than at the Republican Convention in Tampa last week, and hopefully that will continue on Thursday.
PolicyMic will be covering all the events and speeches during the Democratic National Convention live. For live updates bookmark and refresh this page.
UPDATES: For a full schedule of speeches, see here.
Here's the YouTube video of the speech:
Most memorable/Loudest cheered Line of the night: "I'm not a candidate anymore. I'm the President." It's a lot deeper line than you may think at first.
11:14pm: POTUS was not soaring, but he was real. It was a speech that was very aware of the center, very aware of how difficult actual governing is vs. campaigning, it included several policy points.
This wasn't his best speech, maybe not even in the top 5, but it was a testament to what he has learned in the last four years. It was substance over style.
He took on the 'Hope' and 'Change' of the 2008 campaign, the electricity of the 'Yes We Can!' speech. They are almost burdens for him now as the GOP use it against him and against the party as a ignorance of reality.
He took on those terms head on and turned it on to the voters, essentially saying: the GOP is blaming you for having hope and wanting change. "You did that" "You give me hope. It wasn't just me."
In a rare show of very personal feelings, he quoted Lincoln and admitted the difficulty in governing. Admitted the heavy weight of the office. It was not soaring, but it seemed sincere.
10:50pm: This is not 2008 Obama. This is the older man and a worn out country. He's speaking in policy, in some amount of detail. No overly lofty rhetoric just yet.
Memorable: "Climate change is not a hoax." Sad that a leader in 2012 has to establish that science is real, but there you go.
10:33pm: "You didn't elect me to tell you what you want to hear, you elected me to tell you the truth."
Comments made about how campaigns can seem small in the grand scheme and how "the truth gets buried under an avalanche of money."
Statements which are aimed at independents and undecided workers, for sure.
10:07pm: Biden choking back tears as he reads the numbers of fallen soldiers and thousands injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He did a very good job talking about the President in a warm, personal way, a needed contrast to the President's cooler public demeanor. He didn't provide policy specifics, but it was good that Clinton did last night. This was about the 'trust my gut,' Biden.
"The journey of hope is not yet complete, but we are on our way! We find ourselves on the hinge of history"
9:58pm: Romney said "he would take a jobs tour. Well, it would have to be a trip overseas."
Good push yesterday and today to focus on jobs, but will the unemployed be rallied enough? Satisfied enough by the emotion and numbers?
9:55PM: "Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive!....but we know we have more work to do, we're not there yet."
This is a simple speech and his authenticity, as I noted earlier, is underestimated for some reason. Don't ever underestimate being true your personality, especially in politics.
9:45pm: "When I think of my Dad, I think of another son of an auto man." "I don't think [Romeny's] a bad guy" "I think he saw [letting Detroit go bankrupt] the Bain way."
9:41pm: "This is just about those cars" - now talking about the auto industry restructuring from a personal perspective. He's doing his job as a VP surrogate.
9:24pm: Joe Biden, the surrogate most connected to the white middle class voters Obama may not be doing so well with, but Biden is trying to bring around.
A video of Biden is airing now, mostly focusing on middle class, working class circumstance today, but really focusing on his personal side.
He comes out to loud cheers and signs that read: "Fired up and Ready to Joe!"
9:16pm: Dr. Jill Biden is still a full-time teacher at a community college in Northern Virginia. "I'm a military mom...and the war in Iraq is over." She's telling the personal story of Joe as an introduction.
9:04pm: Kerry also made note, as a veteran himself, that no person running for the office of President should fail to reconize the bravery of soldiers and veterans when the country is still at war in Afghanistan. Powerful statement for the crowd. As I noted earlier, there are 70,000 troops currently at war, and not one speaker at the RNC talked about them or the war.
It was one of the most personal attacks on Romney of the Convention besides Ted Strickland's tirade from Night 1.
"Before you debate Barack Obama on foreign policy, you better finish the debate with yourself." -- John Kerry to Romney regarding his flip-floping on war support.
Here's the video from C-SPAN.org
8:55pm: Solid speech by Kerry despite my earlier comments. Israel-Palestine is always a touchy subject, especially in an election year. Solid speech as a surrogate, carried systematic responses to GOP talking points on foreign policy. He made sure to cite the Romney/Ryan lack of foreign policy experience, which even if you are voting for them, you simply cannot deny.
There were some jokes "a trip overseas, was just that. Him going overseas and tripping all over himself." Then an amazing Rocky IV reference when talking about the GOP's odd fascination with thinking Russia is our number enemy. Best. reference. of. DNC.
A video about Osama bin Laden raid and veterans airing now.
8:50pm: Kerry touting invading Pakistan to find Osama bin Laden. "Ask bin Laden if he is better off than four years ago?!"
"I'll take the word of Israel's Prime Minister over Mitt Romney any day." Why? That's such an awkward comparison considering Bibi would probably prefer Mitt to POTUS, given the current, tense personal relationship.
8:43pm John Kerry dives right into foreign policy. Calls Romney the "Great Outsourcer" and "not the time to outsource the job of Commnader in Chief"
I need policy.
8:35pm: Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist: "I didn't leave the Republican party, it left me."
His speech slot on Obama night is no coincidence. Undecided voters are a crucial demographic.
8:32pm: Gov. Brian Schweitzer of Montana on stage...in a bolo tie and almost-mutton chops. He had a very awkward, inappropriate moment when criticizing Mitt Romney for quadrupling the gun permit fees. Gabby Giffords was just on stage. Did he ad lib that part of his speech?
8:16pm: Jennifer Granholm is riled up, rather over-dramatic, saying that in Romney's world, "The cars get the elevator and the workers get the shaft." Who knew?!
She's going through states and reciting numbers of jobs created, effective in getting the crowd going. The former Governor of Michigan is holding no punches. She's most likely never running for any public office again, but she's getting people cheering...
8:14pm: I'll just show you this tweet:
7:57pm: Gabby Giffords on stage to lead the Convention in the Pledge of Allegiance. She looks amazing! Tears everywhere, even on PolicyMic.
7:48pm: Kerry Washington and Scarlett Johansson on stage one right after the other. Men in the audience and on twitter agree to vote for whoever the lovely women tell them to.
Beautiful yes, but they also seem very genuine and smart. Did the RNC have any young celebrities come out and show support?
7:28pm: It strikes me that opposition paints Joe Biden as 'plain-spoken' and not an intellectual, the same characteristics they touted about George H.W. Bush.
He is routinely underestimated and routinely proven the one to connect while attacking. He has the ability to mix personal and politics in balance. He has several critics and yet, there's a reason Biden has been in politics for over 40 years.
7:15pm: Beau Biden, Delaware Attorney General and VP Biden's son was jsut on stage. His father will speak tonight.
Beau officially nominated his father for Vice President. VPOTUS is getting emotional as Beau calls his father his hero.
7:14pm: Here's the video of the full speech by Representative and civil rights leader John Lewis. It's quite emotional and unexpected. I don't think it would have fit into the other nights, but it stands out tonight and will continue to do so.
7:02pm: Jim Messina, campaign manager speaking about fundraising and voter registration numbers. Now a video airing about Ohio auto workers. Been consistently touched upon the past 3 nights.
6:56pm: "It shows you what one voice can do." - Barack Obama. Video about the origins of 'Fired up! Ready to go!'
6:50pm: Video regarding gay marriage just aired. The words 'Gay Marriage' ended the video. Maybe they could just shown some happy couples?
Zach Wahls, of Iowa City and this famous video, says "Mr. Romney, my family is just as real as yours" to cheers!
6:44pm: Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter: "when the Founding Father said 'we the people,' they didn't mean corporations."
Speaking about Romney's visit to a west Philadelphia public school when Romney told teachers there that class size does not matter.
Focus tonight has been voter ID rules, healthcare, now education. Looks like the whole platform will be covered between all the speakers as a summary.
6:40pm: Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin. She mentions Scott Walker to loud jeers and here's Fun Fact: Wisconsin's state motto is 'Forward'
6:37pm: "For the first time, a major party platform recognizes marriage equality as a basic human right!"-Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles
6:32pm: Courtesy of @joonkim0123 here is a picture from the Planned Parenthood For America party at the DNC.
6:23pm: DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schulz is up on stage telling us her about her personal battle with cancer saying, "I was fortunate to have great insurance...I have a pre-existing condition." Personalizing the health insurance policies of Romney/Ryan.
6:15pm: As a foreign policy wonk myself, I'm particularly going to pay attention to John Kerry's speech tonight. Here's a preview by NBC News. I just hope there's not too much shameless pandering to Israel, I hope there will be a realistic examination of the situation that more accurately reflects the relationship between POTUS and Netanyahu, or at least what it appears to be.
Also, Mary J has the crowd up and moving!
6:13pm: The very talented Mary J. Blige is singing right now. Fact check: the DNC celebrities > RNC celebrities.
6:11pm: Fact-checking courtesy of Global Post. Sections for both Republicans and Democrats.
6:01pm: Congressman John Lewis is on stage. Telling a very emotional story about a North Carolina man who came to his office one day and apologized profusely, saying, "I am one of the men who beat you," referring to an incident in a Whites Only waiting room at a bus station back in 1961. The two men embraced, crying, and Lewis notes: "That man and I do not want to go back."
"Your vote is the most powerful non-violent tool you have"
5:30pm: James Taylor sang "Carolina on my mind"