Clinton Fires Up Democratic Convention

    President Barack Obama waves as he joins Former President Bill Clinton during Democratic National Convention Sept. 5, 2012
    President Barack Obama waves as he joins Former President Bill Clinton during Democratic National Convention Sept. 5, 2012
    Former president Bill Clinton received a hero's welcome Wednesday during a rousing speech in support of President Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention.

    It was a night of drama at the convention, a mix of the past, present and future.

    Former president Clinton brought the delegates to their feet several times with an aggressive defense of President Obama's four years in office and a cutting critique of his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney.

    Mr. Clinton defended Mr. Obama's record on job creation, foreign policy and the passage of the president's signature health care reform law, all in the face of aggressive opposition from Republicans.

    Mr. Clinton reminded Democrats that some prominent Republicans promised early on in President Obama's term to make his defeat their top priority.

    “Their number one priority was not to put America back to work.  It was to put the president out of work,” he said.

    Bill Clinton urged Democrats to rally around Mr. Obama in what promises to be a close election in November, He said Americans must make an important choice in the days ahead.

    “If you want a ‘winner take all, you're on your own’ society, you should support the Republican ticket. But if you want a country of shared opportunities and shared responsibilities, a ‘we're all in this together’ society, you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden,” he said.

    Carolyn Presutti reports from Charlotte, North Carolina



    Delegates let out a loud cheer at the end of Mr. Clinton's speech as he was briefly joined onstage by President Obama. After a quick embrace, the two men moved off stage together, setting up Thursday's convention climax, when the president will deliver his formal acceptance speech.

    Democratic delegates were still buzzing earlier in the day about Tuesday's speech by first lady Michelle Obama, who gave an impassioned and, at times, emotional defense of her husband.

    Georgia delegate Al Williams says that with all signs pointing to a close election in November, Democrats in Charlotte are eager to close ranks behind President Obama.

    “I feel great about it. I'm fired up. This is my fifth convention in 40 years and it's exciting, and this is a fueling station for the troops, so everybody is here to get fueled up for the run,” he said.

    The convention builds to a dramatic conclusion Thursday when Mr. Obama gives his acceptance speech before thousands of delegates in the arena and millions watching on nationwide television.

    Organizers had planned for the president to give his speech at an outdoor football stadium, but the threat of bad weather forced them to move it inside to the convention hall.

    Analysts expect the president’s acceptance speech to focus on the economy, easily the key issue in this year's campaign.

    Pollster John Zogby says Mr. Obama must find a way to defend what he says is, at best, a mixed record on the economy.

    “The question is not ‘are you better off now than you were four years ago?’ The question is ‘are you better off than you would have been had the other side won (in 2008),"he said.

    Following the conventions, the final phase of the presidential campaign will get under way, with the next major event the first of three presidential debates on October 3.

    Photo Gallery: 2012 Democratic National Convention

    • President Barack Obama waves after his speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 6, 2012.
    • Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama wave to the delegates at the conclusion of President Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention, September 6, 2012.
    • President Barack Obama and First lady Michelle Obama joined by their children Sasha, left, and Malia walks across the stage after President Obama's speech to the Democratic National Convention.
    • U.S. President Barack Obama (L) embraces former President Bill Clinton onstage after Clinton nominated Obama for re-election during the second session of Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 5, 2012
    • U.S. President Barack Obama (L) joins former President Bill Clinton onstage after Clinton nominated Obama for re-election during the second session of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 5, 2012.
    • Former President Bill Clinton addresses the Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, North Carolina, September 5, 2012
    • First Lady Michelle Obama waves after addressing the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 3, 2012.
    • Delegates cheer as First lady Michelle Obama addresses the Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, North Carolina, September 4, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)
    • Delegates recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the opening of the Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, North Carolina, September 4, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)
    • A woman records the invocation at the Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, North Carolina, September 4, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)
    • Delegates await the start of the first day of the convention, September 4, 2012.
    • A group of third grade students rehearse saying the Pledge of Allegiance ahead of the first day of the convention in Time Warner Cable Arena, September 4, 2012.
    • Advertisements for the DNC line the walls at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
    • Protesters block an intersection near the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina for several hours while surrounded by police who allow the demonstration to continue, September 4, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)
    • Delegates tour the floor ahead of the convention, September 3, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)
    • Programs laid out for guests inside the convention center. (J. Featherly/VOA)
    • The Charlotte, North Carolina skyline seen through the window of an airplane, September 2, 2012.
    • President Barack Obama's campaign manager Jim Messina tours the floor at the Democratic National Convention, September 3, 2012.
    • Delegates and Democratic National Convention visitors crowd one of the merchandise stores in Charlotte, September 3, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)
    • Delegates await the start of the first day of the Democratic National Convention, September 4, 2012.
    • A 15-ton sand sculpture of President Obama is on display outside the convention. The sand comes from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. (J. Featherly/VOA)

    Jim Malone

    Jim Malone has served as VOA’s National correspondent covering U.S. elections and politics since 1995. Prior to that he was a VOA congressional correspondent and served as VOA’s East Africa Correspondent from 1986 to 1990. Jim began his VOA career with the English to Africa Service in 1983.

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    Comments
         
    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    September 06, 2012 11:21 AM
    No, good old president Bill! I think you got it wrong this time around. You support party not America, not USA, not good foreign relations, especially not good good relations with America's allies. I love you Bill, and you ended with 'God bless America'. It's a long time anyone heard that from an American, nay president Obama. Good old Bill Clinton, it would have been a wonder to have you return, but it can't be you returning in Obama, even if you're trying to replay the soap 'Second Chance'. How I miss you! but Obama cannot be like you in job creation dexterity. We miss your dexterity to galvanize the world. We welcome you, we welcome your dream, but the man you support is not sincere: different person in election year and different after elections. Wish he were one alone. That's where the snag is.

    by: Oduntan Joseph. Babatunde from: Nigeria,Osun State,Ilesa.
    September 06, 2012 8:26 AM
    2012 DEMOCRAT CONVENSSION: CLINTON DEFENDS
    OBAMA FOR A SECOND TERM IN OFFICE..

    In defence of Barak Obama for a second term in office, former president Clinton made a very convincing speech at the Democratic party convention . It is a well known fact that problems facing America and indeed the world today, can not and will not be solved in a single day or by any miracle from any where around the world than by a collective and supportive efforts of people. Barak Obama in his first term in office scored good marks in all areas of his election promises to Americans and all peoples and nations of the world that need change for a promising better life for parents, their children and grand children.

    Barak Obama's four years in offce as the first Black American president by my evaluation, is a success story.I join others around the world to support his re-nomination at the November 2012 Election for a second term in office to complete his election promises to all Americas.

    I

    by: bill mccloskey from: mattoon, IL
    September 06, 2012 12:50 AM
    he left office 12 years ago, cant believe the convention is delirious over the speech of a has-been.

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