Sep 4, 2012, 11:55 am EDT
Today kicks off the three-day Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., where President Barack Obama will begin his final push towards a second term in the White House. Given the fact that he is already president and was able to ignore the primaries, the DNC is receiving less attention than the RNC last week. However, there will still be plenty of interesting things going on this week. These include:
The Keynote Speech
This year’s keynote speech at the DNC will be given by relatively unknown San Antonio mayor Julian Castro. Castro is the first Latino to give the keynote address at the DNC. If he’s unknown now, chances are that he won’t remain unknown for long. Remember, Bill Clinton gave a similar address in 1988, and of course we all remember what happened after Barack Obama’s famous 2004 keynote speech.
The Democrats and Republicans seem to have had different strategies when it comes to keynote speakers in recent years. The Democrats have picked lesser known politicians for the past two conventions (Castro this year, current Virginia Sen. Mark Warner in 2008), while the Republicans went higher profile (Chris Christie this year, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani in 2008). Read
Sep 4, 2012, 10:11 am EDT
If you already know who you’re going to vote for, and you live in one of a select 32 states or the District of Columbia, there’s no need to wait until Election Day to vote. Early voting starts this week in North Carolina, and will gradually roll out to other states that allow it over the coming weeks.
Early voting was essential to Obama’s victory in 2008. In Florida, Colorado, North Carolina and Iowa, John McCain had more support from voters voting on election day. However, Obama won all of those states on the back of overwhelming early-voter support. It’s a formula the president is hoping to repeat in 2012.
It’s also a formula that Republicans, realizing that early voting generally favors Democrats, are trying to curtail. While Romney is working to better engage the early voter program in 2012 than McCain did, the Republicans have also been mounting challenges to early voter laws in Ohio and Florida. Read
Sep 1, 2012, 12:02 pm EDT
TAMPA — One thing was clear from this year’s Republican National Convention: No matter who wins the presidential election, the torch has been passed to a new generation of Republicans.
That was symbolized dramatically by Mitt Romney’s selection of 42-year-old Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential running mate, which already has helped in the polls. Ryan gave a blistering, well-crafted speech Wednesday night, indicating he will be a formidable force in the fall and beyond.
And although I and other observers had qualms about Chris Christie’s keynote speech Tuesday night, the feisty 50-year-old New Jersey governor is angling for something much bigger in the future. Read