President takes center stage at DNC
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (KGO) -- President Barack Obama took center stage on the final night of the Democratic National Convention to accept his party's nomination for a second term. Four years ago Obama offered an eager America hope and change. Now he needs to convince increasingly skeptical voters that he can still deliver.
Before the speech, the president was expected to highlight the promises he says he kept in his first term, but his critical task will be outlining what he'll do in a second term to keep the country moving.
"I think folks after watching this speech will have a very clear sense if where he thinks the country needs to go economically, the path we need to take," said David Plouffe, the chief campaign strategist.
It's a tough sell though since just 31 percent of Americans say the country is on the right track.
"The voters still are unhappy with the job Obama has done, but aren't ready to settle on Gov. Romney," said ABC News political analyst Cokie Roberts.
Thursday night's big speech was a scaled down version of what Democrats had planned. The speech was supposed to be delivered before 75,000 people at Charlotte's Bank of America football stadium, but the campaign said the risk of bad weather forced them to move it inside. Republicans said Democrats were just scared they wouldn't be able to fill the stadium. The change left many North Carolina Democrats upset.
There was an emotional scene in the arena as former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz. delivered The Pledge of Allegiance.
Because of the last minute move inside this arena, convention planners didn't have enough time to set up the traditional balloon drop, but Democrats said they had a game plan to make it look festive and celebratory.
Obama followed what was a barn burner of a speech delivered by former President Bill Clinton on Wednesday night. People in Charlotte are say Clinton's speech was so good it made a better case for Obama then anything the president himself has said. Clinton deconstructed the Republican attacks on Obama, so we took a look at if it was all accurate.
Clinton called out the Republicans for misrepresenting the president's record. He said, "We were losing 750,000 jobs a month. Are we doing better than that today? The answer is yes." Regarding jobs he Clinton said, "President Obama -- plus 4.5 million. Congressional Republicans -- 0."
On health care Clinton said, "For the last two years health care costs have been under 4 percent in both years for the first time in 50 years."
Was he accurate?
"We found plenty of things to check. A lot of statistics were thrown out," said Factcheck.org's managing editor Lori Robertson. She found two major exaggerations. One that the president's suggestion that his policies are responsible for the record decrease in health care costs. "The main reason for that slowing in health care spending is the economy."
And when Clinton said the Republicans' repeal of the healthcare law would make Medicare go broke by 2016? Robertson said, "It wouldn't be completely broke, but it wouldn't have enough money to cover all benefits."
But on the whole, after a team of researchers picked the speech apart, it was pretty accurate. Robertson said, "With few exceptions, his statistics checked out."
All week, we have been hearing about the Democrats upset at the Republican misrepresentations.
"They take half a sentence, they take something out of context," said Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. She was talking about the president's statement to business owners, that "you didn't build that." She said, "The implication is that even the private sector to grow had to depend on a certain infrastructure which was present which enabled business to be done." FactCheck.org's analysis says Feinstein is correct.
"We got to keep on saying it and we have to make it as simple as possible," said Los Angeles mayor and Convention chair Antonio Villaraigosa. He believed Obama would continue Clinton's compare and contrast.
"And if he can articulate it in a way that connects with real people and is not professorial bring it down to the language of the conversations we have in our living room. This will be a big bump coming out of the convention," said Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, D-Calif.
FactCheck.org did a full analysis on Clinton's speech.
With thousands of tweets a minute, Twitter has come up with a measure of whether the comments are positive or negative during the conventions. They say the peek at the end of Michelle Obama's speech hit 28,000 tweets per minute, compared to Ann Romney and Chris Christie's speeches got just about 6,000-7,000 tweets per minute.
Local ABC7 News coverage
ABC7 News political reporter Mark Matthews will be reporting from Charlotte all this week and you can follow along on Twitter at @MatthewsABC7 or on Facebook for instant updates.
Political stories covered this week:
- Clinton delivers rousing speech at DNC
- Night two of DNC features Bill Clinton
- Obama outdoor plans scrapped due to weather
- First lady strikes personal chord in DNC speech
- Women shine in spotlight at DNC
- Thora Birch talks about being a delegate
- Michelle Obama will take DNC stage
- App helps separate fact from fiction in ads
barack obama, joe biden, democrats, 2012 presidential race, elections, politics, mark matthews
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