For those that missed Day 1 of the DNC at Charlotte North Carolina here are some of the Highlights of the opening Day activities. Some of the Democratic Party heavy weights delivered remarkable messages that have demonstrated that Republicans are wrong when they said that President Obama could not run for reelection with his records from the past four years in office. The speech delivered by former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland slammed Mitt Romney with a charge that he practices what Strickland called “Vulture Capitalism” a term that refers to Mitt Romney’s past business ventures where his former company made enormous profits through destruction of many American jobs and companies. While praising president Obama on the revival of the US auto industry Strickland noted, ‘The auto industry supports one of every eight jobs in Ohio, and it's alive and growing in America again. Late last year, Chrysler announced they were hiring eleven hundred new autoworkers in Toledo. Just last month, GM announced a plan to invest 200 million dollars in Lordstown, keeping five thousand jobs in Ohio and building the next generation of the Chevy Cruze—a car we are proud to say is made entirely in Ohio”.(Strickland Speech at the DNC). He also told the convention attendees that America stands strong again due to president Obama’s policies. Ohio is one of the critical battleground states which helped to change the outcome of recent presidential elections”
In his speech, Rahm Emmanuel the former Obama Chief of Staff and current Mayor of Chicago reminded Americans of the worsening economic climate and uncertainty in the country when Obama became the president . Emmanuel said, “When President Obama entered the White House, the economy was in a free-fall. The auto industry: on its back. The banks: frozen up. More than three million Americans had already lost their jobs. And America's bravest, our men and women in uniform, were fighting what would soon be the longest wars in our history. You remember the uncertainty and fear that seized the country”(Emmanuel Speech at DNC). According to Emmanuel the country is better off today that 4 years ago when Obama first came to the white House. He added, “And today, our economy has gone from losing 800,000 jobs a month to adding 4.5 million private-sector jobs in the last 29 months. Banks are slowly but surely lending again, and never again will taxpayers foot the bill for Wall Street's excesses. In case we forgot, that was the change we believed in. That was the change we fought for.” (Emmanuel Speech at the DNC)
Another speaker Gov. Deval Patrick who succeeded Romney as the Governor of Massachusetts reminded people of the bad condition of infrastructure in the state when Romney left office. Deval said, “Roads and bridges were crumbling. Business taxes were up, and business confidence was down. Our clean energy potential was stalled, and we had a structural budget deficit……. Mitt Romney talks a lot about all the things he’s fixed. I can tell you Massachusetts was not one of them. He’s a fine fellow and a great salesman, but as governor he was a lot more interested in having the job than doing it.” (Gov Deval’s Speech at the DNC). He received a standing ovation from the enthusiastic crowd at the DNC arena.
Democratic Governor Martin O'Malley of Maryland talked about the growing private sector employment in the past 29 months straight, thanks to president Obama’s economic policies. O’Malley said, “With 29 months in a row of private sector job growth, President Obama is moving America forward, not back! By making college more affordable for millions of middle-class families, President Obama is moving America forward, not back! By securing the guarantee of Medicare for our seniors, President Obama is moving America forward, not back! By putting forward a concrete plan to cut waste, ask those at the top to pay a little more, and reduce our deficit, President Obama is moving America forward, not back! And by adding American manufacturing jobs for the first time since the late 1990s, President Obama is moving America forward, not back!”(O’Malley Speech at the DNC)
The keynote speech was delivered by Julian Castro, the Hispanic Mayor of San Antonio Texas, who ventured straight into politics upon graduating from Harvard. His speech is seen as an avenue to expose the young Mayor to Americans most have not heard of him. Some parallels have been drawn between Mayor Castro and president Obama, and some see Castro as another rising star in the ranks of Hispanics with future potential in national politics. In a fiery speech Castro praised Obama and his accomplishments in the last four years, some see Castro as a future Hispanic president of the United States.
But the limelight of the evening was stolen by the first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama who delivered captivating and moving personal stories about her family’s background and that of Barrack Obama. A once shy first lady when they first came to the White House four years ago, Michelle has graduated into the super league of motivational speakers, her words were filled with passion, and it was very easy for an average person to connect with her experiences. She said, ‘You see, Barack and I were both raised by families who didn’t have much in the way of money or material possessions but who had given us something far more valuable – their unconditional love, their unflinching sacrifice and the chance to go places they had never imagined for themselves”(Michelle Obama Speech at the DNC). She used her stories to illustrate why president Barrack Obama’s policies are largely directed at ordinary Americans using the healthcare program and the student loan issues as examples. She talked about the fact that the presidency does not change people, and that Barrack Obama has remained the same person who came to pick her up on their dates often driving an old and rusted out car with exhaust pipes visible from the inside the bottom of the vehicle. She noted, “Well, today, after so many struggles and triumphs and moments that have tested my husband in ways I never could have imagined, I have seen firsthand that being president doesn’t change who you are – it reveals who you are”. (Michelle Obama Speech at the DNC) While Michelle never mentioned Romney’s name in her speech she presented very powerful subliminal messages which drew sharp contrast between Romney’s life of affluence and wealth to those of her and Barrack’s family.
The first day of the DNC set very high standard of what follows as the speakers have demonstrated beyond doubt that President Obama could run on his accomplishments during the first 4 years in office, contrary to Republican assertions that he has nothing to show for his first 4 years in office. Hopefully Obama’s campaign strategists are watching and taking notes