DNC to Open With Focus on Hispanic, Female Voters

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro (L), who will be the convention keynote speaker, and his twin brother, State Representative Joaquin Castro, who is running for U.S. Congress, are interviewed at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North CarolinSan Antonio Mayor Julian Castro (L), who will be the convention keynote speaker, and his twin brother, State Representative Joaquin Castro, who is running for U.S. Congress, are interviewed at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolin
x
San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro (L), who will be the convention keynote speaker, and his twin brother, State Representative Joaquin Castro, who is running for U.S. Congress, are interviewed at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolin
San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro (L), who will be the convention keynote speaker, and his twin brother, State Representative Joaquin Castro, who is running for U.S. Congress, are interviewed at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolin
Sean Maroney
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — Two blocs of voters - Hispanics and women - will be front and center when the Democrats formally open their national convention Tuesday in Charlotte, North Carolina. The event will feature a rising Hispanic figure in the Democratic Party - San Antonio, Texas, Mayor Julian Castro - as well as first lady Michelle Obama.

President Barack Obama leads his opponent, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, among likely voters who are either Hispanic or female. But the latest polls show Mr. Romney receiving a modest gain in support - to 30% - among Hispanics following the Republican convention last week in Tampa, Florida.

Republicans featured several high-profile Hispanics, including Florida Senator Marco Rubio and New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.

Julian Castro ready for prime time

Democrats have their own rising star delivering the Tuesday evening keynote address - San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro.

And while Castro told VOA he believes the destiny of the Hispanic community is interwoven with the destiny of the United States, he said he hopes to reach a broader audience as he lays out the main themes for the week.

“Tonight I'll be speaking to all Americans with the message that I believe will resonate with all Americans: how America became the land of opportunity in the first place, how we need to keep it the land of opportunity and why President Obama is making the investments that are necessary to do that.”

Castro's life story features many similarities with that of the president's. He is the son of a single mother and a graduate of Harvard Law School. He also has had a meteoric rise in politics. He is the youngest mayor of a top 50 U.S. city and is listed as one of Time magazine's “40 under 40” rising American politicians this year.

  • 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)

First lady will take spotlight

First Lady Michelle Obama on stage with actor Kal Penn at the Democratic National Convention inside Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C., on Monday, Sept. 3, 2012.First Lady Michelle Obama on stage with actor Kal Penn at the Democratic National Convention inside Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C., on Monday, Sept. 3, 2012.
x
First Lady Michelle Obama on stage with actor Kal Penn at the Democratic National Convention inside Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C., on Monday, Sept. 3, 2012.
First Lady Michelle Obama on stage with actor Kal Penn at the Democratic National Convention inside Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C., on Monday, Sept. 3, 2012.
Aside from Castro's keynote, first lady Michelle Obama will be the featured speaker Tuesday evening. And just as Republican nominee Mitt Romney's wife Ann reached out to female voters in her speech, the first lady is expected to do the same.

Elaine Brye is a military mom from Ohio, a must-win state for both candidates in this year's election. Mrs. Obama invited Brye to a state dinner last March after receiving a Christmas card from her thanking the Obamas for their support of the troops.

Now Brye is tasked with introducing the first lady, which she said is “just crazy.” If the Democrats hope to humanize the president and his family to voters in this convention, Brye - who said she is not politically active - certainly has the view they want to project.

“I'm just speaking as a mom to a mom, somebody who has a heart and somebody who just is a warm and caring person,and that has been demonstrated,” said Brye.

Former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to speak Wednesday, and President Obama will take the stage in an outdoor stadium Thursday night.


Loading...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs