Live from Charlotte: Preparing for the Democratic National Convention
Post by Jesse Russell on 9/3/2012 10:27am
Charlotte is buzzing as it fills up with media, delegates, politicians, and wonky tourists in advance of the Democratic National Convention. The convention doesn't officially start until tomorrow and it's already a nightmare to try and park downtown. Thankfully, the city has an excellent light rail system that runs every 10-15 minutes with many of the stations featuring park and ride lots. The media hotel I'm in is 30 minutes away in Rock Hill, S.C., so the rail system is greatly appreciated.
Adding to today's additional chaos is Carolina Fest in uptown Charlotte, which celebrates the state of North Carolina with performances from musicians such as James Taylor and Janelle Monáe.
This convention is important for President Barack Obama, as he has an opportunity to build his image where Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney seems to have stumbled. Most polls since the Republican National Convention barely register a blip of an uptick for Romney, much less the highly coveted bounce. Perhaps more concerning for the candidate is that his predicted chances of winning haven't shifted on the betting website InTrade, which puts him at a 42.1 percent chance.
In 2008, Obama had said he'd go to Washington, D.C. and try end partisan bickering and divisiveness. So far he's failed on this point, partially due to Republicans, such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, essentially stating that they had no other reason to exist except to make sure Obama was a one-term President.
In this election the Democrats seem to be sticking to the message that Obama is a uniter, with one of the themes of this convention being "Americans Coming Together."
Another last minute theme that I've noticed this morning while wandering the streets of Charlotte is "We Built It Together." Clearly this is a response to the Republican message of "We Built It," which itself was a response to an out-of-context comment from Obama. In a July 13 speech the President said the government built the infrastructure that helped small business thrive. The Republican Party twisted the comment to make it appear he was saying small business owners didn't build their businesses.
The President is actually in a pretty good place right now. He continues to hold a sizable majority of electoral votes in state polls. In many states he's doing equal to or better than he was in 2008. In Wisconsin, for example, he's about even with where he was at this same time last campaign season. Electoral-Vote.com has a great breakdown comparing all of the states between 2012 and the same time in 2008.
The photo above is the President made out of sand, courtesy of VisitMyrtleBeach.com. They said it took three days to carve. The sand isn't actually beach sand, because beach sand isn't actually all that great for making such a sculpture. Instead the sand was provided by a South Carolina sand mine.
Jesse was born and raised in Connecticut, began blogging in 1997, and moved to Madison in 2003. In 2005, he co-founded dane101 along with Kristian Knutson and Shane Wealti. In addition to helping nearly a dozen contributors run this website he's helped launch various events in the city including What's Your Damage?!, the MadPubQuiz of Awesomeness, the Fire Ball Masquerade, Dane101's Freakin' Halloweekend, and more.