CHARLOTTE, N.C.— Democrats open their national convention today in defense of a president who carries both the power and the burden of incumbency, offering President Barack Obama as the best choice to revive the ragged U.S. economy and asking Americans to be patient with incomplete results so far.
Michelle Obama’s evening speech will be an early highlight of a three-day schedule that has drawn thousands of delegates to a state Obama narrowly carried in 2008. Although Obama no longer is the fresh-faced newbie who leveraged a short Senate career into an audacious run for the nation’s highest office, he still can excite partisans, and Democrats are counting on massive numbers to pack a stadium for his speech later in the week.
The Democrats dispatched U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, who hopes to unseat Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts, to make the case for Obama on morning talk shows, and she acknowledged that “it’s tough out there” for many Americans. But she insisted that Obama offers the better vision going forward.
“Republicans are not helping us get back,” she said.
She was up against GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin congressman, who held out the millions of people who are struggling to find work as an indictment of the president’s first term.
“The president made a lot of promises,” he said, in a round of morning television interviews. “Those promises haven’t materialized.”
GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign reinforced that message with a new web video answering Obama’s statement that “There are always going to be bumps on the road to recovery.” The new video showcases a series of ordinary Americans who’ve lost their jobs saying, “I’m an American, not a bump in the road.”
If the economy is Obama’s burden, he demonstrated the power of the presidency with a convention-eve visit to hurricane-stricken lands in Louisiana, offering aid and empathy. Obama emphasized the government’s determination to lend a strong helping hand. Romney, for his part, focused on neighbor helping neighbor in his visit days earlier, even though both support a mix of emergency aid from the taxpayer and volunteerism in response to natural disasters.
On convention eve, Democrats released a party platform for ratification today that echoes Obama’s call for higher taxes on the wealthy and reflects his shift on gay marriage by supporting it explicitly.
In a nod to dissenters on gay marriage, the platform expresses support for “the freedom of churches and religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament without government interference.”
As with the deeply conservative Republican platform, not all of which Romney endorses, nothing binds Obama to the specifics of the party’s manifesto.
The president rallies in Virginia today before joining the convention a day later. With flourishes but no suspense, Democrats will march through the roll call of states renominating Obama for president and Joe Biden for vice president on Wednesday.
That’s also when the convention hears from Bill Clinton, whose 1990s presidency is being trumpeted by Democrats as the last great period of economic growth and balanced budgets — a further redemption of sorts, at least from his party, for a leader who survived impeachment over sexual scandal.
In a USA Today interview, Obama accused Republicans of building their campaign around a “fictional Barack Obama” by wholly misrepresenting his positions and words. He singled out Romney’s claim, widely debunked, that the Obama administration stripped a work requirement out of federal welfare laws.
His convention behind him, Romney relaxed at his lakeside home in New Hampshire with his family as Obama and Biden sought to motivate union voters to support them in difficult economic times. Romney took a midmorning boat ride, pulling up to a dock to fuel up his 29-foot Sea Ray and pick up a jet ski that had been in for repairs.
Source: The Journal newss