President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will lay out the Democratic Party's vision for the future on Thursday evening, Day 3 of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, after strong speeches by former President Bill Clinton, Senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren, First Lady Michelle Obama, and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Democrats' national convention has so far greatly surpassed its Republican counterpart, in terms of enthusiasm and message discipline. Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver III and Rep. Steny Hoyer gave rousing speeches to the base on Tuesday before Senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren outdid them in a fiery message attacking those interests that rig the system against the middle class, as well as Republican support for corporations over people. She said:
"Mitt Romney’s the guy who said corporations are people. No, Governor Romney, corporations are not people. People have hearts. They have kids. They get jobs. They get sick. They thrive. They dance. They live. They love. And they die. And that matters. That matters."
Despite earlier misgivings, former President Bill Clinton proved to be in a class of his own by delivering a highly improvised speech that picked apart the Republican Party’s platform point-by-point. Remarkably, the speech drew compliments from all parts of the political spectrum, especially for its treatment of voter intelligence, and seems likely to become a standard for students of political rhetoric.
The speeches on Wednesday again highlighted issues such as women's healthcare, the Affordable Care Act, the economy, and immigration. The Obama campaign's attacks on Bain Capital also made a roaring comeback tonight, and many business leaders were brought on stage arguing in favor of the administration's economic initiatives. Rep. Paul Ryan also was the subject of quite a few hits.
That said, all ears will be tuned in to hear President Obama tonight to see if he can lay out an effective defense of his record and vision for the future (and to see if he can top the speeches given the last two days; the competition is intense). Whether or not this will all be undone by the jobs report that comes out on Friday remains to be seen.
PolicyMic will be covering all the events and speeches during the Democratic National Convention live. For live updates bookmark and refresh this page.
Thursday Summary: The President accepted his party's nomination as candidate for States, delivering a solid, workman-like speech describing the party's vision of the future and calling for a country whose citizens take care of each other. Of interest, he covered environmental policy a lot more than other speakers tonight and specifically mentioned the droughts afflicting the Midwest, which few have done so far, though from the general tenor of the convention I think the party is going to push for immigration reform first.
Vice Presidet Biden declared that President Obama instinctively knows what the people need, sympathizes with them, and has a spine of steel and the courage to do what needs to be done. He attacked Romney's "Bain Way" and touched the audience's heartstrings, if with an odd tone at the end.
Former Governor Charlie Crist and former Governor Jennifer Granholm also delivered strong speeches today on the condition of the Republican Party and the good work Obama has done for the auto industry. I would not be surprised if Michigan and Ohio was sewn up after this. After a slow start Sen. John Kerry brought down the foreign policy hammer as well.
11:06 PM And of course, Springsteen plays in the background - "We Take Care of Our Own."
11:05 PM And he wraps it up. Eh, even if it wasn't the best speech it still got the crowd worked up.
11:01 PM Of a business in Minnesota that refused to lay off its workers amidst the recession: "they understood their biggest asset was the community and the workers who helped build that business – they give me hope."
11:00 PM Now he's working all of the angles. Except for a line here or there, this isn't the most memorable of speeches, certainly not as memorable as Clinton's.
10: 56 PM "We, the People, recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which only asks what’s in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defense."
10:52 PM And now he's arguing on behalf of an activist government and community interests as well as individual initiative. To put it another way: "We also believe in something called citizenship."
10:51 PM Says that he won't reduce Medicare on the back of seniors, won't privatize social security.
10:49 PM Ohhh, is he going to embrach Simpson-Bowles?...Kiiinda. He definitely rejects Romney and Ryan's math. Refuses to pay for another millionaire's healthcuts.
10:46 PM "They want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering." "You can't visit Beijing if you can't go to the Olympics without insulting our closest ally."
10:46 PM He's covering ground quickly now on foreign policy now. Then again, he probably has to given all of his accomplishments and all of the groups he needs to satisfy.
10:43 PM He really is promising the moon here with his education policies.
10:40 PM Ah, he actually mentions climate change and the drought in the Midwest. That is a first. He didn't forget about our farmers. Obama's focused more on environmentalism than most Democratic speakers who've come up these last three days.
10:40 PM Also praises development of natural gas reserves (which the base doesn't like).
10:39 PM Basically accuses Romney of handing the country's energy policy to the oil industry.
10:38 PM Praises increased fuel efficiency standards. "America is less dependent on foreign oil (now) than at any time in the last two decades."
10:37 PM "After ten years of decline we have added half a million construction jobs." Promises a million more by making the U.S. an export nation.
10:36 PM "We can choose a future where we export more and outsource less." "We are making things again."
10:33 PM To them tax cuts are the answer to everything: "Have a cold? Take two tax cuts, some Robetussin, and call us in the morning."
10:32 PM On Republicans: "they want your vote, but they don't want to give you their plan."
10:28 PM He's not dropping the "hope" narrative, "hope isn't mindless optimism, but faith in the face of difficulty."
10:25 PM President Obama steps forth for probably the most nerve-racking speech he's given in a long time.
10:21 PM The promo video for Obama praises his principled stance on healthcare reform. Could this be the night Obama defends the Affordable Care Act loud and proud?
10:15 PM And now he mentions Obama's support for gay marriage, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and the Dream Act. I think its fair to say that environmentalism as an initiative is dead with this administration; except for a few sentences from Bill Clinton its gotten no mention compared to immigration reform.
10:14 PM Ahhh, now someone mentions Romney's support for healthcare in Massachussets. Too bad it was only in passing.
10:12 PM Sen. Dick Durban takes the stage, 10 minutes late thanks to Biden (no surprise). Hope he doesn't go on to long and push the President's speech back like what happened with Romney.
10:10 PM And now people are partying only minutes after that call to rememberance. That timing was a bad call on Biden's part.
10:07 PM Biden calls for rememberence of all those killed and wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. It seemed a bit off-key and maudlin to me, but they certainly aren't repeating Romney's mistake during the RNC.
10:03 PM "You didn't quit on America and you deserve a President who won't quit on you." "My fellow Americans, America is coming back and we're not going back."
9:59 PM Comes out swinging in favor of comprehensive immigration reform, and accuses Romney of viewing the world more like a consultant than like a father.
9:59 PM On taxes:"There is nothing fair with asking those with more to do less and those with less to do more."
9:58 PM Continues President Clinton's attack on the Romney-Ryan Medicare/Medicaid policies. Makes plenty of his own on Romney's outsourcing record. I imagine that this playing well in Michigan and Ohio.
9:54 PM Overall theme: President Obama instinctively knows what the people need, sympathizes with them, and has a spine of steel and the courage to do what needs to be done.
Which makes me wonder, as many naturally do, how bold Obama will be tonight on the budget and entitlements.
9:52 PM For the umpteenth time tonight he also compares Obama's and Romney's separate stances on Osama Bin Laden - yep, the campaign is confident foreign policy is a winner.
9:48 PM "Conviction, resolve, Barack Obama - that's what saved the automobile industry!"
9:45 PM Argues that Romney views the world "the Bain Way." Its good for the balance sheets but not higher office. The President instinctively knew what needed to be done.
9:44 PM Praises the President for supporting the auto industry bailout despite doubts and opposition: he realized that "(the auto industry) isn't just about those cars, but the people who made those cars."
9:42 PM Praises Mitt Romney as a good father like Obama...but then praised Gov. Jennifer Granholm who spoke earlier and tore Romney a new one.
9:40 PM Biden really knows how to pull on the heartstrings.
9:39 PM Relates how President Obama had to watch his mother fight with her insurance company while fighting for her life against cancer; how he had to himself watch his father go far away after he lost his job. "A job is more than just a job, a job is being able to say 'Honey, it's going to be okay' and mean it and know its going to be true."
9:35 PM On the challenges Obama faced on day 1: "He knew that he had to restore not only the confidence of the nation, but the confidence of the whole world. And he knew that one false move would cause a run on the banks, a credit collapse (etc)..."
9:30 PM VP Joseph Biden takes the stage.
9:24 PM In a video introducing him, Biden talks about how so many parents have had the misfortune of going to their children's bed at night and telling them that they couldn't play sports or go to this school because a parent lost their job and the family had to move. It happened to his him and his father. That's the kind of story and experience that makes people love Biden.
9:18 PM And now she praises Joe Biden's character, sense, and work combating domestic violence. Its about time someone spoke up for the Vice President, he's kind of the punching bag of the administration.
9:16 PM Mentions President Obama's success ending the War in Iraq, though I wonder how many voters still base their choice on that; the war has kind of fallen off of the radar.
9:14 PM The administration is pushing Democrats' traditional advantage on education policy in its warmup for Dr. Jill Biden, VP Joe Biden's wife and an educator.
9:10 PM Yea, Romney doesn't have a chance on foreign policy this year. What a turnaround for Democrats since the early 2000s.
9:07 PM The admiral also reports that the administration's efforts to find veterans jobs is ahead of schedule and that the business community will hire 250,000 more in the near future.
9:05 PM Wow, they got a former four star admiral, John B. Nathman, to say that the President's foreign policy serves the troops well. That's gold.
9:00 PM The DNC is playing a video now emphasizing how President Obama pulled troops out of Iraq, killed Osama Bin Laden, and takes care of returning veterans. Interestingly, they also played a shot of him condemning past behavior towards Vietnam vets too. The campaign is both playing up its national security and centrist credentials.
8:54 PM Also slams Romney on not talking about our soldiers in Afghanistan; that's not the behavior of a Commander-in-Chief. Kerry is really angling to be the next Secretary of State; he's certainly willing to fight for the administration's foreign policy.
8:53 PM "Sarah Palin said she could see Russia from her house. Mitt talks about Russia like he's only seen it on Rocky IV!"
8:52 PM Kerry is on a roll tonight. "For Mitt Romney, an overseas trip is when you trip overseas!"
8:52 PM "Before you go out and debate with Barack Obama, be sure to go and finish the debate with yourself!"
8:50 PM "It's not fair to say that Mitt Romney has no position on Afghanistan, that's wrong. He has every position!" Mocks Romney's stances on Libya: "Talk about being for it before being against it!"
8:48 PM "As Osama Bin Laden if he is better off now than he was four years ago!"
8:48 PM Kerry really is quite the pontificator, fighting a climactic battle in some grand drama. Its a shame he didn't win in 2004, SNL would've had a field day.
8:45 PM Sen. John Kerry of Massachussets pounds the foreign policy angle, especially Romney's reliance on neoconservative advisors: "This is not the time to outsource the job of Commander-in-Chief."
8:42 PM Memorial video for VP candidate Geraldine Ferraro depicting her accepting her nomination. Short but sweet.
8:40 PM Crist says that he isn't here as a Democrat or Republican, but who believes that? I wonder how far this speech will go with local Democrats in Florida?
8:39 PM "It takes a cool head to win a hot game."
8:37 PM Praises the President for saving Florida's economy. They should've pushed Crist's speech back a bit for primetime. This is good stuff and would definitely appeal to independents.
8:37 PM "Today's Republicans and their standard bearers...are just not up to the task. They are beholden to the my-way-or-the-highway bullies...billionaires...those allergic to compromise." "Ronald Reagan would not agree with that."
8:35 PM Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist: "I didn't leave the Republican Party, it left me!"
8:30 PM I wonder if Schweitzer is running for 2016? He's bragging about his state quite a bit (if in part to play up Obama's economic record and natural gas energy policy).
8:29 PM Talks about how Montana uses "Clinton arithmetic" to balance its budget. Possible internet meme anybody?
8:28 PM Notes that Romney raised taxes (or fees as Romney called them) on tons of things while Governor. Especially hated how he increased the gun license permit price 4x. Guess Schweitzer is aiming for Romney's base.
8:26 PM Governorn of Montana Brian Schweitzer is up. Praises Romney as a good American, but argues that he brought the wrong agenda to Massachussets and would bring the wrong agenda to the United States. Not the first person to tackle Romney's gubernatorial record, but the attacks have been rather piecemeal over the convention.
8:24 PM Haha, she relates a hilarious story about a friend who tried to buy a website domain based on her name only to find it already taken...by a 13 year-old girl who needs it for her future campaign for the presidency of the United States.
8:19 PM Actress and Obama campaign co-chair Eva Longoria is up. I don't think she's going to be topping Gov. Granholm.
8:17 PM That is the most devasting line I've heard yet over these last three days. I would NEVER want to be on Granholm's bad side. She will kick your ass.
8:16 PM Talks about how the auto rescue saved 9,00 jobs in Colorado, 19,00 in Virginia, 25,000 jobs in North Carolina, and thousands and thousands and thousands more all across the battleground states.
8:14 PM Recalls the desperation she saw first hand when the auto industry was on the verge of collapsed. Wow, she is furious at Romney! "In Mitt Romney's world, the cars get the elevator and the workers get the shaft!"
8:12 PM Jennifer Granholm, former Governor of Michigan is up. Given how she is now a TV personality, I'm surprised her network let her go on.
8:11 PM I am amazed at how lackluster a speaker he is. I'm practically hearing crickets from the audience.
8:09 PM Slams Romney too. "If you believe in America, then you invest in America. We don't need someone who is a poster child for the Cayman Island in the Oval Office."
8:08 PM Rep. Xavier Becerra of California continues the party's Hispanic outreach, and reminds the audience of all the troubles brought about by the Bush administration.
8:05 PM Touches upon healthcare, women's reproductive health, education. Emphasizes that Obama pushed healthcare despite opposition within the White House itself; a "profile in courage." "He does what's hard, he does what's right."
8:00 PM Caroline Kennedy is up. I wonder if she will break out any poetry?
7:59 PM Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords just gave the Pledge of Allegiance. I haven't heard her speak before this and was shocked at how much trouble she was having speaking. Her decision to retire makes a lot more sense now. I don't know why I so underestimated the damage surviving a bullet to the head would do.
7:49 PM Both Kerry Washington and Scarlet Johansson are speaking up for women's rights. I wonder how much of these speeches will be bouncing around the entertainment-oriented TV/internet/magazines networks tomorrow. If there are any undecided voters I'd think you'd find them there. Or in a cave.
7:46 PM Kerry Washington: "You may not be thinking about politics, but politics is thinking about you." I'd hate to see the mug of that guy!
7:44 PM The DNC is definitely stepping up the star power today, first with the Foo Fighters and now with some actresses.
7:38 PM Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina is up, and is launching into a speech talking about just how different the two parties are. He is being quite apocalyptic here, saying that the Republicans wish to send us back in the darkness by snuffing out the candles of all that legislation that helped average Americans. Paul Ryan is alsko taking a few hits; if Romney was hoping that he could select Ryan and not deal with his budget plan he has been horribly wrong.
7:24 PM The DNC seems to have landed the Foo Fighters, with a lowkey version of "My Hero." Nice. I wonder if they ever thought about choosing Nickleback before realizing that would probably cost them the election. And that'd it be weird being introduced by Canadians. Anyways...
7:20 PM Oh, now they're playing a video condemning the obstructionism of Republicans in Congress. Will running against congress be a major theme tonight? Various commentators had been wondering if President Obama would try to pull a Truman.
7:17 PM VP Joseph Biden has been officially renominated the Democratic Party's Vice Presidential candidate.
7:12 PM He should stop shouting though, he seems to be on the verge of losing his voice. Now that I think of it, his range seems rather limited too...how much do you want to bet that he's artificially deepening his voice to come across as more authoritative?
7:10 PM He's stumbling a bit. Can't blame him though; if I was speaking in front of a crowd of thousands and national TV I'd be freaking out too.
7:09 PM And now Deleware Attorney General Beau Biden, sone of VP Joe Biden, takes the stage.
7:01 PM Catching the tail end of Campaign Manager Jim Messina's speech, and he's discussing how the campaign has revolutionized politics by allowing donations through texting. It's amazing how much technology has changed things in just the last 4-6 years.
7:00 PM Well, getting started a bit later this evening, which is a shame. I'd hope to catch Rep. Tammy Baldwin speak for a bit; she spoke in front of my class once while I attended UW-Madison and I volunteered for one of her campaigns back in the day.