Democrats — September 6, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Democratic National Convention, Day 3 – Rain and sun and storms and sun and… #DNC2012


The Main Event

I just checked in with the progressive news sites to find out that right is going absolutely batshit crazy trying to make it sound like the Obama campaign moved the President’s acceptance speech from the outside stadium venue to the arena that holds fewer people. Weather reports leading up to today suggested the there would be thunderstorms and they simply couldn’t take the chance of people getting hurt by lightning or the combination of rain and massive amounts of electric cables and equipment.

Check this out (from Charles Krauthammer):

It wasn’t the weather, they knew what the weather was going to be months ago. This was clearly a response to the fear of a sea of empty seats, and that’s why this is being done.

“They knew what the weather was going to be months ago.”

You know, the right accuses US of worshiping President Obama and giving him superhuman powers but I don’t know of a single liberal who has EVER suggested that he could predict the weather months in advance.

The reality is that 65,000 folks had activated their “community credentials” to attend the last night of the convention and there was a waiting list for another 19,000 on top of it. And, crazy as this may sound, despite decent weather during the early part of today and patches of blue sky at the moment (5:20 p.m.), we got positively HAMMERED about 3:30 by torrential rains and crazy-looking black clouds.

There are a LOT of disappointed people with community credentials, of course. And the folks that have spent weeks and months getting the stadium ready for tonight were crushed. I spoke to a DNCC intern today who said that convention planners and staff were literally crying when the announcement on the venue change came out.

Here’s part of what President Obama told community credential holders on a conference call this afternoon:

Well, listen everybody, thanks, first of all, for taking the time to join me on the call. And I just want to begin by saying how much I regret that we’re not all gathering together in one place to deliver my acceptance speech tonight.

Obviously, I’m looking forward to laying out what are the stakes in this election and what my vision for the future is. And because of the nature of our campaign, we’ve always been about getting everybody involved, making sure everybody is participating and making sure everybody has got access. And that’s why we took a chance in Denver four years ago, and that’s why we wanted to take a chance when it came to North Carolina.

The problem was a safety issue. I could not ask you — our volunteers, our law enforcement, first responders — to subject themselves to the risk of severe thunderstorms. And you guys can imagine, with all the magging that goes on and the security issues involved, getting 70,000 people into a place is tough; getting them out of there is even tougher. And if we had started seeing severe thunderstorms and lightning, in particular, it would have been a problem. And we would have had a situation where we were putting you guys at risk.

So I know it’s disappointing. I’ve got to tell you, I saw some of my key staff who had come down here and they’ve literally been working non-stop for months just getting the logistics of this all put together. And obviously, they were a little bit crestfallen. And I know it’s especially disappointing for a lot of you who worked hard to get your tickets to the event, or traveled or planned to travel a long way at your own expense to be here.

So all I can tell you is how much I appreciate everything that you’ve done. Some of you earned your tickets through the 9-3-1 program — nine hours of volunteer work over three days for a community credential ticket. You’ve registered to vote. You’ve talked to your neighbors. You’re doing unbelievable work that’s making a difference in this close race. And you’ve also shown that there’s plenty of enthusiasm out there. The issue in this election is not going to be enthusiasm, because I think about you all on buses and in carpools and airplanes traveling here to Charlotte. I know it’s not just to see me, but it’s also to see each other and to share common stories and hopes for this country, which is ultimately what this convention is really about.

This morning, Anne and I attended a Joining Forces/USO event where CARE packages were assembled and volunteers were addressed by Dr. Jill Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama. The two women then helped pack packages for about a half hour. I’ll have a post up about that in the coming week.

We spent the afternoon at The PPL, an off-site location for lefty bloggers to cover the convention. I did an interview with Democracy For America and, in addition to their amazing staff, many of whom have become good friends like fellow Michigander Julielyn Gibbons, we met some amazing folks including Senator Barbara Boxer, Heather Holdridge (Digital Strategy Director for Planned Parenthood), Matthew Butler (CEO & President of Media Matters), Tory Brown (Outreach Directo for Media Matters), California Secretary of State Debra Brown (a Michigan State University alumnus like me), and Zach Wahls who was a voice for the kids of LGBT families when he testified before the Iowa House of Representatives and author of the book My Two Moms – Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family. Zach will speak this evening around 6:45.

The feeling in the convention hall today is much more electric than last night. The media space we’re working is absolutely jam packed.

The area near where we are near the radio broadcasters is a magnet for folks looking to be interviewed. We’ve seen Jesse Jackson, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and Governor Michael Dukakis just in the past half hour. Former MSNBC news anchor David Schuster is broadcasting right behind me.

If you didn’t watch President Bill Clinton last night, you should find the video and watch it. His prepared remarks had 3,136 words. His actual delivered remarks had almost 5,900. The person running the teleprompter had to have been challenged as Clinton ad-libbed nearly half of his speech.

After his electrifying speech, Clinton was joined on stage by President Obama:

Here is the livestream for tonight’s event:

Here’s the speaker schedule from 6 p.m. on (all times Eastern):

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

The Honorable John Lewis
Member of the US House of Representatives, Georgia

Stronger Together Video: Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

American Voices
Jason Crow

Live Performance
Mary J. Blige

The Honorable Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Chair of the Democratic National Committee
Member of the US House of Representatives, Florida
The Honorable Antonio R. Villaraigosa
Chair of the 2012 Democratic National Convention Committee
Mayor of Los Angeles, California
The Honorable Tammy Baldwin
Candidate for US Senate, Wisconsin
Member of the US House of Representatives, Wisconsin
The Honorable Michael Nutter
Mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Stay Stronger Together Video: Marriage Equality

American Voices Remarks
Zach Wahls

7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Jim Messina
Campaign Manager, Obama for America

American Heroes Video: Auto Workers

American Voices
Kenyetta Jones, Ryan Case, Ed Meagher, Martha Figueroa, Lucas Beenken, Rob Hach

Vice Presidential Nomination Intro
The Honorable Antonio R. Villaraigosa
Chair of the 2012 Democratic National Convention Committee
Mayor of Los Angeles, California

Nominating Remarks
Beau Biden
Attorney General of Delaware and Son of Vice President Joe Biden

Live Performance
Foo Fighters

The Honorable James E. Clyburn
Assistant Democratic Leader and Member of the US House of Representatives, South Carolina
Scarlett Johansson and Kerry Washington

8:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Caroline Kennedy
Author and Attorney
The Honorable Xavier Becerra
Democratic Caucus Vice Chair and Member of the US House of Representatives, California
The Honorable Jennifer Granholm
Former Governor of Michigan
Eva Longoria
The Honorable Brian Schweitzer
Governor of Montana
The Honorable Charlie Crist, Jr.
Former Governor of Florida
The Honorable John Kerry
Member of the US Senate, Massachusetts

9:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Video: Veterans

Admiral John B. Nathman
United States Navy, Retired

Angie Flores

Dr. Jill Biden
Second Lady of the United States

Vice President Joe Biden Video

The Honorable Joe Biden
Vice President of the United States

10:00 PM – 11:00 PM

The Honorable Dick Durbin
Member of the US Senate, Illinois

President Barack Obama Video

Barack Obama
President of the United States

His Eminence Timothy Dolan
Roman Catholic Cardinal and Archbishop of New York