Bill Clinton DNC 2012 Speech: Video, and DNC Convention Highlights


Democrats have converged in Charlotte, North Carolina, to renominate President Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee for the presidency. 

North Carolina has proven to be a somewhat controversial location due to local party troubles as well as funding and venue issues, but the events over the next three days should see the party clarify its message, its vision for the future, and exhibit the next generation of leadership. Lets see if it lives up to its potential!  

Among the notable speakers this week to help make this case will be: First Lady Michelle Obama (to speak on Tuesday); San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro (also to speak on Tuesday), who will be the first Latino keynote speaker in convention history; former President Bill Clinton (to speak on Wednesday); Vice President Joe Biden (to speak on Thursday); and, of course, President Obama (to address the crowd on Thursday evening).

No convention would be complete without also including an array of musical talent. Whereas Trace Adkins and Kid Rock performed at the RNC, the DNC will feature the following artists: Amber Riley; also known as Mercedes from Glee; Jessica Sanchez of American Idol; jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis; hip hop icon Mary J. Blige; Earth, Wind, and Fire; the Foo Fighters; Delta Rae; Marc Anthony; and James Taylor who will reportedly perform his classic "Carolina in My Mind." 

For a complete schedule of speakers, see here. For a schedule of performances, see here.

PolicyMic will be covering all the events and speeches during the Democratic National Convention live. For live updates bookmark and refresh this page.

UPDATE: 4:30 PM For full coverage of Wednesday's speeches by Bill Clinton and Elizabeth Warren, including real-time analysis, see here.

Overall Analysis of Tuesday's Proceedings: Overall, a very strong showing that will really fire up the base. The speakers were quite strong with the exception of Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley.  If he was hoping to build up a base of support I think he shot himself in the foot today. Lots of focus on women's reproductive rights, healthcare, military families, and the economy.  I know that some on the right have been saying that the Democrats were fresh out of ideas, but frankly it seemed to me like they still had plenty of innovative stuff they wanted to get implemented.  The last night of the RNC seemed intellectually stale by comparison. Lets see what Wednesday brings.

11:06 PM Nice, after a multi-hour program they only finished 5 minutes late. That is a tight operation.

11:04 PM She is really closing this speech out well. If she doesn't run for office herself one day (not likely) I think she could really be a prominent activist after the White House like Eleanor Roosevelt.

11:01 PM "Like his grandmother, Barack keeps moving forward with wisdom and patience and courage and grace." Wow. If I ever get married I hope I have a wife who says that about me! I should see Ann Romney's speech to see how that compares to this.

10:59 PM Another reference to the President Obama's habit of reading constituent letters every day.  They are really building a picture of the President as someone with the right character and values who has not forgotten where he's come from and what the average person deals with.

10:58 PM Bit of dig against Romney, talks about how making a difference in people's lives is more important than making money.

10:52 PM I've got to give it to the First Lady, when she goes into biography she is far less annoying doing it than other speakers. That said, she's now swinging through the administration's policy successes - Lilly Ledbetter Act, building American manufacturing, women's healthcare, student loans, etc.

10:48 PM Ouch, so the First Lady's dad took out loans to pay his child's school loans?  Wow, now that's something. Romney's scraping by at Harvard with Ann off of $300,000 worth of stocks given to him by his father is looking realllly bad.

10:45 PM She is really touching the audience with her discussion about how hestitant she was letting the President run for office, and how poor they were when they first met.  How they bonded over their shared values.

10:44 PM Ahh, I see. The introduction by the military mother was hinting at the content of Michelle Obama's speech - veterans and military families.

10:41 PM Alright, this shows finally getting on the road!...and Michelle Obama and Mitt Romney apparently share a love for the Temptations.

10:38 PM Well, they are really building up to Michelle Obama's speech, now with a military mother talking about the good work the First Lady and Dr. Biden  have done for military families.  Dare I say, could the speech go over time?

10:28 PM Alright, I guess Julian Castro managed to salvage his speech.  He certainly did better than O'Malley. For a guy who isn't a native Spanish speaker, he certainly did well with those portions of his speech too.   

10:21 PM "Freedom isn't free; neither is opportunity."

10:19 PM Ah, slams Romney for having no idea of how fortunate he has been in his life. "There is a lot of inequality in America today and the GOP is comfortable with that."   I guess he's going to be the attack dog before Michelle Obama steps up with a softer line. 

10:17 PM Best line of the speech yet: "You can't be pro-business unless you are pro-education."

10:16 PM Lots of biographical talk, local promotion ala Gov. Martin O'Malley. When is he going to talk about the President?

10:12 PM Julian Castro, Mayor of San Antonio finally takes the stage as the keynote speaker. A lot of people have been building him up as the next Obama, though as Josh Kraushaar at National Journal has noted the odds of him attaining a statewide seat in Republican dominated Texas are slim indeed.  Seems more like Mr. Castro is either a dead man walking or will succeed as the next Clinton, not the next Obama.

10:08 PM And now he finished, thank God.

10:07 PM If there is one bit of karmic justice, CSPAN's shots of the crowd are showing that even they aren't terribly interested in the speech either.

10:05 PM And now he's going into his bio.  Ack, I really spoke too soon. I'm beginning to think that presidential hopefuls are a particularly annoying type of speaker.

10:04 PM "Swiss bank accounts didn't pay for American bridges. Swiss bank accounts didn't pay for American cops.  Swiss banks didn't support American jobs."

10:03 PM If he says "President Obama moves America forward, not back" again I'm going to punch someone.  He's gotten the crowd involved, but the speech is pretty coarse compared to others today.

10:02 PM And now he finally starts talking about the President.

10:00 PM Gov. Martin O'Malley is up (and precisely on schedule I might add)...but seems to be have thrown my previous statement right out the window. 

9:56 PM The Democratic speakers have been really good at promoting the President today. Strickland and Patrick have probably bragged the most about their states' (and their) achievements, but they certainly haven't short changed Obama today.  I wonder if this will keep up over the next two days.

9:54 PM Gives a massive list of President Obama's accomplishments over the last four years, even more impressive given the level of opposition to him. "I will not stand by and let him be bullied out of office and neither should you!"

9:53 PM Calls for Democrats to grow a backbone and fight for what they believe; calls for a proactive agenda. Definitely rousing the base up.

9:50 PM Oh, talks about how the state negotiated with labor to lower costs more than Romney ever did. Indirect tie to Gov. Scott Walker.

9:49 PM "As Governor, he was a lot more interested in HAVING the job than DOING the job." On the face of it that sounds like a partisan line, but then again he WAS legendary for how uninterested he was in was in working with the legislature. He didn't even bother learning their names despite negotiating with them for years.

9:47 PM Massachussetts Gov. Deval Patrick takes the stage...and promptly slams Mitt Romney's gubernatorial record.  We were losing jobs, pay, seeing crumbing infrastructure, etc.

9:42 PM Ouch, she is really slamming the Supreme Court here. They told her she should have complained within 6 months of the problem appearing, but didn't learn the truth about her pay discrimination until nearly 20 years later. No wonder the Supreme Court's reputation has been sliding in recent years.

9:41 PM And now they bring out Lilly Ledbetter herself.  The campaign is really fighting for the women's vote, noting that the first bill the President ever signed was on behalf of women. 

9:36 PM Both emphasize the importance of education and properly supporting military families.  Both could use a bit more practice reading a teleprompter. They really give you a deer-in-the-headlights look if you aren't used to them. Not as bad as Rep. Michelle Bachmann's response to the State of the Union, but still.

9:34 PM And now they bring in the relatives: Mrs. Obama's brother Craig Robinson and President Obama's sister Maya Soetoro-ng.

9:31 PM Hmm, instead he covers the Dream Act. And how he has friends who work in auto companies President Obama has saved, or who've been enable to enlist in the military despite being openly gay, etc.  

9:28 PM And now the first actor, Kal Penn, comes up. I wonder if he will bring marijuana up.

9:27 PM Now that is how you give a convention speech. If the base doesn't get revved up over this speech, Strickland's speech, or Keenan's speech, it never will.

9:26 PM Do you want a president who says "'Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,' or a president with another four words: 'Not on my watch?'"

9:24 PM Rahm relates some inside details about the auto bailout: no one thought that they could save both GM and Chrysler, policy suggestions were little more than guesses, no one thought they had anything better than a 1/4 chance of pulling things off.  President Obama was the one who chose to save both firms.  Strong stuff.

9:22 PM Now that I think of it, Rahm's been speaking for over five minutes and has said almost nothing about himself. The Democrat's speakers seem to be staying on message this year unlike the GOP's self-promoters.

9:20 PM Relates President's Obama's practice of reading a dozen constituent letters everyday to stay in touch with the struggle of ordinary people.  Now, this is how a convention speaker backs his candidate!

9:19 PM Emphasizes how Obama knew from the start that the administration would have to tackle huge crises simultaneously; that he couldn't pick and choose what he wanted to deal with.  "Fortunately, we have a once-in-a-generation president."

9:17 PM Ahhh, now Rahmbo steps up to the plate.  Oh what will we hear today?

9:15 PM "I know how difficult it is to fight powerful interests (in healthcare); Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan know this too. Which is why they won't do it." (paraphrase)

9:14 PM Wow, Sebelius is as cool as a cucumber. Then again, after having to face dozens of hostile House committee hearing I doubt much fazes her anymore.

9:12 PM Kathleen Sebelius, former Governor of Kansas and current Secretary of Health and Human Services dials things back. Plays up women's healthcare issues.

9:09 PM And  calls Barack Obama an economic patriot. Talk about a barn burner.  And the house goes wild.

9:07 PM Well damn. Strickland quotes scripture: "Where your treasure is, so your heart follows. Any president ought to keep his treasure and his heart in America!"

9:06 PM And he just keeps going. "Mitt would fire the Reindeer and Outsource the Elves." "Even his money has a passport.  It summers in the Caymans and skis in the Swiss Alps."

9:03 PM Strong words to go with that tone though. "(Workers) are standing up, Ohio is standing up, America is standing up! Barack Obama has stood up for us, and by God we will stand up for him!"

9:00 PM Former Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio is up.  Why oh why is he shouting into the microphone? He sounds far too much like a circus ringleader.

8:58 PM Stacey Lihn's story about how her child would be denied healthcare due to a lifetime cap without President Obama's healthcare plan is touching; she almost broke down in tears.  If the campaign is really having trouble defending the Affordable Care Act they should really be playing these stories up.

8:57 PM Good line.  People were not just happiest voting for Obama, but were happiest when the Affordable Care Act finally passed and declared constitutional.

8:55 PM And now they're finally defending health care! Its only been about 2 hours to get there.

8:53 PM Calls upon the values of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower to guide politics today.  This talk of values is really highlighting how the GOP has drifted to the right over the years...

8:48 PM Former Republican Senator and current Governorn Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island is up to speak.

8:46 PM Watching her walk off stage on artifical legs is hard sight though.  Something to remember.

8:43 PM Ah, Duckworth is arguing that Romney's failure to address Afghanistan at the RNC means he is ignoring the troops.  Republicans are really not getting any respect on national security this year.

8:38 PM Illinois House candidate Tammy Duckworth, Iraq veteran and double amputee, follows up.  Talks about how her father was in the Marines, but when he was demobilized the family was without means to survive.  At 15 she was the only one with a job, working a minimum-wage job and surviving off of food stamps.  Good.  Its about time someone note that most people on food stamps do hold one job - its just not enough to survive on. 

8:36 PM And now they've brought out another veteran, who is promoting the President's expansion of the 9/11 GI Bill.  However, one of the first lines out of his mouth was how he was a fervant Christian (same with the last speaker).  Seems like the Party is really trying to peel off voters concerned with the President's religion. 

8:35 PM  Ah, and now a veteran is discussing President Obama's veteran's healthcare, education, and employment policies. "Now soldiers who jump out of the plane know that they have a parachute when they leave the military."

8:30 PM Oh, and now she is swinging through a discussion about the labor and values of blue collar workers, relating the story about her father, a worker in a copper smeltery.  Didn't see that coming.

8:26 PM Nancy Keenan of NARAL is up there; once again pounding home the point that abortion is a women's choice and between "her, her doctor, her family and her God." And that, my friends, is the power of rhetoric.

8:23 PM Another Republican convert on stage.  "I still believe in small government, but I no longer believe in the Republican party."  Wow, the abortion/birth control debate is really playing a number on Romney. Hope there isn't any compromising picture of Romney hugging Akin or vice versa out there.

8:20 PM Wow, Polis is going a bit over the top though with the closer. Oh, what am I saying? After the RNC nothing looks that over the top.

8:15 PM And now Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado is talking about gay marriage.

8:14 PM Strong line from Rybak.  Pioneers survived by working together, not striving alone. That should be used more often throughout the Midwest and Mountain West.

8:13 PM Harsh words for Republicans trying to tear down Obama after the Bush era. "Pyromaniacs shouldn't blame the firefighter."

8:10 PM Finally, someone talks about the importance of infrastructure. Hard to avoid after that horrible bridge collapse.

8:09 PM Mayor R.T. Rybak of Minneapolis, Minnesota is up to speak...although it seems like he's pitching to the Iowans in the crowd.  Makes sense though. As I've written before, but Minnesota is totally out of Romney's grasp and Iowa is in rough shape.

8:07 PM Then again, the people President Obama needs to reach out to on this issue isn't the Jewish community but the Evangelical community.  Somehow I think this will all fall on deaf ears.

8:05 PM Seems that former Florida Rep. Robert Wexler was the one who got tasked with defending the President's Israel policy.  I must say, the list of actions President Obama has taken in support of Israel really add up if you actually put them all together.  I follow foreign affairs pretty closely, but even I've forgotten half of these.

8:01 PM CSPAN just showed a shot of VP Joe Biden conversing with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.  Good to see that the administration isn't dropping the ball on its relations with labor.

8:00 PM Now Michael Jackson's "Can You Feel It" I know.

7:56 PM And now Ledisi is up playing music.  Can't say I've heard her.  Which reminds me, did anyone else note how ironic it was that they were playing so many Motown songs on the third day of the Republican Convention?  Some planner had to be thinking "What, we're not getting any African American votes? Screw it, lets play the Temptations anyways." 

7:51 PM And now they're playing a bunch of clips covering Kennedy's confrontations with Romney years ago.  They're pretty devastating least if you believe flip-flopping to be a bad thing.

7:48 PM I wonder how well Kennedy's race is going.  I'm trying to look up a poll for him, but Google isn't pulling up anything newer than May.  Gosh. What is the power of celebrity worth if it can't even get you a free poll once in a while?

7:46 PM Massachussettes House candidate Joseph Kennedy III is up...and also gives a line in Spanish! 

7:40 PM Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar is up; eventually giving a line in Spanish.  He isn't the first speaker tonight to do that.  Marco Rubio did that on the third night of the Republican National Convention too.  I wonder if there is a study out there analyzing how prevalent Spanish speakers have become in these events, since so many are appealing to Hispanic voters now. Change is definitely coming.

7:36 PM Advances the line that "change isn't easy" and Obama has done the best he can in an amazingly tough situation. Ordinarily that would sound pretty bland, but coming from him that means something.

7:34 PM Mentions how America's reputation has improved abroad and how negotiation and dialogue is possible again. That isn't quite true in the Middle East, but that sure applies everywhere else.

7:32 PM And now Jimmy Carter shows up.  I can only imagine how happy Republicans are to see him appear in any way.

7:27 PM Tulsi Gabbard, political candidate from Hawaii, is up and speaking for female veterans.  I didn't see the first two days of the GOP convention, but I wonder, how many female veterans did they have speak there?  If anyone knows, feel free to comment.

7:25 PM Rep Gwen Moore of Wisconsin rails against Republican opposition to the Violence Against Women Act and the GOP's efforts to redefine rape.  Yeeaaahh, I don't see how the GOP is winning on this issue at all.

7:21 PM You know that the debate over women's health degraded when we are no longer talking about abortion but about birth control. 

7:18 PM Now all of the Democratic women of the House come on stage. Say what you want about male politicians looking like carbon copies, that certainly doesn't apply to women.

7:16 PM Now playing a video playing up President Obama's education policy.  Mentions cutting out the middle man (students = banks = government) from student loans.  Someone should hit Paul Ryan hard for this; he was one of the top defenders of those banks.

7:12 PM I must say, Sen. Reid is pretty soft spoken, but boy his words are harsh.

7:12 PM Hmm, Reid states that the GOP is a party that has "one set of rules for millionaires and billionaires and another or the middle class." What about the poor?  If he had tagged on, "And you don't want to know what they'll do to the poor" the line would've been much stronger.

7:10 PM Hah, the Tea Party "wouldn't recognize common ground if they were standing on it."

7:09 PM The Republican Party has become the "party of the wouldn'ts and shouldn'ts." 

7:08 PM Senator Harry reid up to bat and gets a warm welcome.  Pretty much repeats Biden's line of "GM is alive and Bin Laden is dead," if much more delicately.

7:05 PM Charlotte Mayor Anthony R. Foxx is up. According to Politico, being the Mayor of Charlotte often provides a springboard in North Carolina to higher office.  We may see him a Senator or Governor one day.

6:58 PM Seems like the Dems are going to hang the Bush era on Republicans one way or another, harping on their past fiscal recklessness.  Seems like it'll be awhile until they move past that period.

6:56 PM This is a good attack line: "last week the GOP fought to defend privacy for SuperPACs, and to deny privacy for women making healthcare decisions."

6:55 PM Former Governor and current Senate candidate Tim Kaine takes the podium.  The race in Virginia is extremely close right now. I wonder, will he appeal more to independents or the base?

6:50 PM "At some point local service workers like me became a scapegoat for the GOP." I wonder if any local police officers are on the agenda these next few days.

6:49 PM A firefighter from Cincinnati, OH, Doug Stern takes the stand.  Talk about targeting Romney where it hurts - blue collar voters in the key state of this election.  

6:47 PM Ouch. Two for one. "We know that Romney takes some pretty severe deductions. He wrote off all his years (as Governor) in Massachussets."

6:43 PM Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois: “Today we’re going to talk about a very very scary thing to Republicans. Facts.”

6:42 PM Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez is getting a lot of love from the crowd for her remarks on President Obama's immigration policy.

6:39 PM Getting a bit of a late start tonight.  Thought that the main event was beginning later in the evening. Now watching speakers from the Democratic Hispanic Caucus.