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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.