Democrats Kick Off Their Convention in Charlotte

Democrats Kick Off Their Convention in Charlotte

Democrats say their convention will offer diversity and solutions for building the nation from the middle out versus top down.

Published September 3, 2012

The political spotlight will shine on President Obama and the Democratic Party this week and they're promising the most diverse and accessible convention in history. Of the 5,559 delegates, 27 percent are African-American and 50 percent are women. In addition, there are 644 young delegates.

At an opening press conference on Tuesday, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said that Democrats would show the Republicans how it's really done.

"We're going to present our vision and we're going to affirm our values. We're going to show the country that we're the party of openness and opportunity, the party of ingenuity and innovation. We’re going to get down to business, roll up our sleeves and get the country moving forward," said Villaraigosa, who is the convention chairman.

In addition to bold-named speakers like former President Bill Clinton, House Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx and others, the convention also will feature people the party is calling American heroes, individuals who've "shown grit in the face of great obstacles" and survived. Every speaker will address how Obama's agenda is moving the nation forward.

Republican leaders in Tampa last week frequently accused Obama of being afraid to run on his record and unable to present a plan to move the nation forward. Villaraigosa said the convention would crystallize the differences between a candidate who wants to build the economy from the middle out and one who wants to build it from the top down.

Obama campaign national spokesman Ben LaBolt, in a preview of the speech the president will deliver Thursday night, said it will include an honest assessment of where the country was when he took the reins, highlight how his policies have improved the auto and manufacturing industries and layout the pillars for how he plans to pay down the federal deficit in a balanced way and continue to invest in the middle class.

"Most Americans are looking for an answer on how we're going to secure the middle class," LaBolt said, as opposed to what he called the "recycled and debunked" attacks Republicans made against Obama last week. "We are going to use this convention to answer those questions and have an honest conversation about where we were in 2008."

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(Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Written by Joyce Jones

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