Political Update: Democratic National Convention

​President Obama speaks at a campaign rally. ​Photo Courtesy of Politico.com

​President Obama speaks at a campaign rally. ​Photo Courtesy of Politico.com

The Democratic National Convention (DNC) began Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C., and ended yesterday night. Democratic representatives all spoke on behalf of President Obama and their party’s hope for his reelection. 

Monday Sept. 3:

President Barack Obama delivered a Labor Day speech to members of the United Auto Workers and United Steelworkers in Toledo, Ohio. He pointed out that it was his decision that kept GM and Chrysler from collapsing, something Ryan and Romney opposed. “If America had thrown in the towel like that, GM and Chrysler wouldn’t exist today,” he said. When Obama would point out flaws in his opponents’ actions the audience would boo and hiss. Each time this happened Obama would raise his hands and say calmly “Now don’t boo, vote.”

He spent much of his speech talking about the respect members of the middle class deserve and how they have earned it, “These jobs are worth more than just a paycheck. They’re a source of pride. They’re a ticket to middle-class life. These companies are worth more than just the cars that they build, they’re a symbol of American innovation.” This particular comment elicited loud cheers from the crowd of workers.

Later in the day, President Obama took a trip down to Louisiana to see what he could do for those affected by hurricane Isaac. He spent his time there about 30 miles away from New Orleans walking from house to house, shaking hands with residents and asking them about their experiences. He also pointed out that disaster declarations were made well in advance of the hurricane’s landfall. He said he wanted to make sure officials “weren’t behind the eight ball.”

Tuesday Sept. 4:

Mayor of San Antonio, Texas Julian Castro was introduced by his twin brother Joaquin and delivered a keynote speech about immigration and education. He told an anecdote about his grandmother’s experiences as an orphan leaving her home in Mexico to live with relatives in San Antonio. He explained that she had taught herself to read and write, stressing the importance of education in America. Castro said that schools and universities built by past generations “open the doors to a decent job, a secure retirement, the chance for your children to do better than you did.” In his speech he pointed out that in order for America to be competitive in the global economy, investments need to be made in education. Castro also criticized Romney’s comments about borrowing money from one’s parents in order to start a small business or to get an education. “Gee, why didn’t I think of that?” Castro scoffed.

First Lady Michelle Obama spoke about her husband and his humble beginnings. “When Barack was a senator and a presidential candidate, to me, he was still the guy who picked me up for dates in a car that was so rusted out I could actually see the pavement going by in a hole in the passenger side door,” she said. “He was the guy whose proudest possession was a coffee table he’d found in a dumpster, and whose only pair of decent shoes was a half size too small.”

As with Ann’s speech, Michelle aimed to humanize President Obama and familiarize the Democratic Party with a side of him that would otherwise not be exposed. She also appealed to women voters, talking particularly about mothers and her own daughters. She began wrapping up her speech with the idea that parents who are unable to fulfill their own dreams can make the dreams of their children possible. “If our grandparents could toil and struggle for us, if they could raise the beams of steel to the sky, send a man to the moon, and connect the world with the touch of a button, then surely we can keep on sacrificing and building for our own kids and grandkids,” she said.

Upcoming Events:

On Wednesday Sept. 5 Bill Clinton will give a speech outlining the reasons America should reelect President Obama, as well as characterize the Democratic Party’s agenda. Clinton and President Obama have spoken together on many previous occasions. On Thursday Sept. 6 President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will be accepting their nominations.

Andy Davis

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