Delegates Anticipate Obama Speech

President Barack Obama and his daughters, Malia (l) and Sasha, watch on TV as First Lady Michelle Obama delivers her speech at the Democratic National Convention, Sept. 4, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama and his daughters, Malia (l) and Sasha, watch on TV as First Lady Michelle Obama delivers her speech at the Democratic National Convention, Sept. 4, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Sean Maroney
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — Delegates at the Democratic National Convention are counting down the hours Thursday until President Barack Obama takes the stage to official accept his party's nomination and make his case for re-election.

Excitement among the delegates lingered on Thursday, long after their chants from the night before died away following former president Bill Clinton's rousing endorsement of President Barack Obama.  Clinton offered a strong defense of the current president's economic record against Republican attacks.

  • 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)

Diane McMillan, a teacher from the northern state of Michigan, is in Charlotte for the convention. She says Clinton brought so much excitement to the event and defended Obama's record so well, that to her surprise, even her son who’s not interested in politics called her from back home.

“And he was listening to it and sharing, so I know [Clinton] had to be saying something important if my son called and watched,” she said.

McMillan was one of the lucky ones.  Even though she is not part of an official delegation, she still found a coveted spot inside to watch Clinton's speech live.  Many convention delegates and reporters were stranded outside the arena when authorities closed off access hours ahead of time because of the packed house.

Now, McMillan says she is scrambling to find a spot to watch the president'sacceptance speech.

Convention organizers had planned to stage the event at the Bank of America Stadium - an outdoor location with 74,000 seats.  But they have moved the speech to a much smaller indoor arena, citing the threat of thunderstorms.  As a result, Obama held a conference call Thursday for the tens of thousands of ticket holders who will not be able to witness the event.

“As I travel around the country over the next couple of months, I hope we're going to be able to get together in your own towns, in your own cities,” he said.

Some delegates, like George El-Khouri from North Carolina, say the change in venue is a letdown.

“It's just so much different having 70,000 people versus 20,000,” he said.

But others, like Doris Crouse-Mays from Virginia, say it does not matter.

“President Obama can have the same amount of energy if he's talking to one person or if he's talking to 100,000."

Regardless of the venue, political analysts expect viewers from around the country to tune in to what is likely to be an important opportunity for the president to gain much needed momentum in the final two months of this close presidential race.
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Comments
     
by: milan milenkovic from: dc
September 06, 2012 1:03 PM
Former Pr. Bill Clinton had excellent speech last night, as I expected. Pr. Obama should take ALL help what he can get to win re-election. Country is politically divided, but I think that Former Pr. Bill Clinton can motivate INDEPENDENT voters (38%) to vote for Obama , and he can help to MOTIVATE people to GO to vote ( in 2010. only 44% people vote)???

Mr. Bill Clinton and Sec. Hillary already did outstanding job to help Pr. Obama to move this country forward in right direction… I have NO doubt that Pr. Obama will be re-elected this year ( Mr. Romney can get maximum 40-45% votes in November election)! Four issues that are so important to me, that Pr. Obama accomplished successfully: 1. Health care reform; 2. Ended War in Iraq; 3. Wall Street Reform; 4. Clean Energy investment…My the biggest concerns right now are: unemployment, dysfunctional Congress , US economy and houses market depression…

In Response

by: Sidney R. Smith from: Annandale, Va. 22003
September 06, 2012 2:34 PM
I, hope the President stands before the American pubic ready to admit his stumbles in his past performance. However I am obliged to say that he gambled quite a bit. In every American industry, coropration, or company, much had to be gambled when they were on the ropes towards faliure. It pay to have a leader to take the chance and give himself a failing mark with the hope of moving forward, now that the bads times has been withstood.

Perhaps, it has cost more than what the American people could afford, yet, when we take a look back we saw ourselves on the brink of a collaspe. One in which the entire world stood on the brink of disaster. I beleive he needs four more years to complete his plan. If not then we face a real uncertainty from those who put us in the mess we were.
Thanks.
vasid

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