Bill Clinton will be the biggest name to headline the DNC Convention on Wednesday, but there are also a host of other important events on Day 2 which will help Democrats hone their message and excite their base ahead of the November 2012 election against Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Democrats pride themselves on being the party of young voters, so it's no surprise that the DNC Convention planned several events on Wednesday to appeal to millennials. One of those events was called Conversations With the Next Generation, a panel event co-hosted with the Atlantic, National Journal, and Microsoft to engage young people in the 2012 election.
With Chuck Todd moderating, the panel featured a host of prominent speakers, including Kal Penn, Alfre Woodard, America Ferrera, and Brad Smith, General Counsel of Microsoft. Smith told the audience, "We want to hear the next generation's opinions to learn and know what decisions to make."
The panel may have been the big event of the afternoon, but Bill Clinton's speech will be the talk of the media all evening. The former president is planning to discuss the withering away of the middle class and President Obama's economic vision for the future.
Clinton's address is the precursor to President Obama's major speech on Thursday, in which he will accept the Democratic nomination. But the President's wife Michelle Obama stole the show on Night 1 on Tuesday, when she addressed the Convention after keynote speaker and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro.
PolicyMic will be covering Wednesday's speeches live. For the latest updates, insights, key facts, and more, bookmark this page and hit refresh as it will be updated LIVE.
11:24 PM Obama walks out on stage and brings Clinton into a hug.
"In the end we decide to champion the cause for which our founders pledged their lives ... a more perfect union."
"If you want a you're on your own, winner take all society you should support Mitt Romney. If you want a country of shared opportunities and shared responsibilities – a "we're all in it together" society, you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
"President Obama's plan cuts the debt, honors our values, and brightens the future for our children, our families and our nation."
"We simply can't afford to give the reigns of government to someone who will double-down on trickle-down."
"We've gotta deal with this big long term debt problem, or it will deal with us."
"I'm gonna do everything I can do to see that it doesn't happen. We can't let it happen."
"They also wanted to bloack grant Medicaid, and cut it by a third over the next 10 years ... it's gonna end Medicre as we know it."
If Romney is elected it will be "the end of Medicare as we know it."
"It takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did."
"Are we better off because President Obama fought for health care reform? You bet we are."
He came out in full support of Obamacare. "For the last two years health care costs have been under 4% in both years for the first time in 50 years."
"I know we're better off because President Obama made the decisions he did."
"No one will ever have to drop out of college again for fear they can't repay their debt."
"The old economy is not coming back. We have to build a new one and educate people to do those jobs."
"There are already 3 million jobs open and unfilled in America."
Under Obama "renewable energy production has doubled."
"Here's another jobs score. Obama: 250,000. Romney: Zero."
"Here's another jobs score. President Obama: + 4.5 million. Congressional Republicans: Zero."
"In the last 29 months our economy has produced about four and a half million private sector jobs."
"President Obama started with a much weaker economy then I did ... no one could have fully repaired all the damage that he found in just four years."
"They convinced me they were honorable people and they're going to keep every commitment they made. We just have to make sure the American people know what those commitments are ... they want to go back to the same old policies that got us in trouble in the first place." -- On Republicans at the primary.
"As the Senate Republican leader said ... their number one priority was not to put the American people back to work, it was to put the president out of work. Senator, I hate to break it to you, but we're going to keep President Obama on the job."
Lauds Obama's preference for "inclusion and partnership over partisanship."
"I am especially grateful to Michelle Obama and to Jill Biden for supporting those military families while their loved ones were overseas, and for supporting our veterans when they come home."
"Democracy does not have to be a blood sport. It can be an honorable enterprise that advances the public interest."
"President Obama appointed several members of his cabinet even though they supported Hillary in the primary ... heck, he even appointed Hillary!"
"One of the main reasons we oughtta re-elect President Obama is that he is still committed to construction cooperation."
"Unfortunately the faction that dominates the Republican party ... they think the government is the enemy ... and compromise is weakness."
"Nobody's right all the time, and a broken clock is right twice a day."
"When times are tough...the politics of constant conflict may be good. But what is good politics may not necessarily work in the real world. What works in the real world is cooperation."
"We focus on solving problems and siezing opportunites and not fighting all the time."
"Poverty, discrimination, and ignorance, restrict growth."
"Republicans 24 million, Democrats 42." -- how many public sector jobs each party has created since 1961.
"We believe that we're all in this together, is a far better philosophy than you're on your own."
Calls the Republican narrative an "alternative universe."
"I want Barack Obama to be the next president of the United States, and I proudly nominate him to be the standard bearer of the Democratic party."
"And by the way, after last night, I want a man who had the good sense to marry Michelle Obama."
"I want to nominate a man who's cool on the outside, but who burns for America on the inside. I want a man who believes with no doubt, that we can build a new American dream economy."
"We are here to nominate a president, and I've got one in mind."
10:35 PM Bill Clinton is taking the stage.
10:31 PM Candidate for Masachusetts Senate Elizabeth Warren has taken the stage. She is greated by chants of "Warren, Warren!"
Quotes and themes:
"We are called to restore opportunity for every American ... we are called to build solid so the next generation can build something better. So let me ask you, let me ask you America, are you ready to answer this call?"
"He believes in a country where no one can still you purse on Main Street, or your pension on Wall Street."
"President Obama believes in a country where billionaires pay their taxes, just like their secretaries do ... and a country where women get equal pay for equal work."
Defines Obama as "a president on the side of the middle class."
"American families didn't have an army of lobbyist on our side, what we had was a president. President Obama, leading the way."
"No Governor Romney: Corporations are not people."
"The Republicans say they don't believe in government ... they believe in government to help themselves and their powerful friends."
"The Republican vision is clear: I've got mine, the rest of you are on your own."
"We know that the economy doesn't grow from the top down, but from the middle out and the bottom up."
"We're Americans, we celebrate success, we just don't want the game to be rigged."
Warren takes a deep dig at Wall Street CEOs.
"People feel like the system is rigged against: And here's the painful part, they're right."
"For many years, our middle class has been chipped, squeezed, and hammered."
"I'm grateful down to my toes for every opportunity America gave me. This is a great country."
"I never dreamed I'd be the warm-up act for President Bill Clinton."
10:08 PM Women's rights activist Sandra Fluke has taken the stage. She hit a home run.
Quotes and themes:
"We talk often about choice, well ladies (and gentlemen) it's now time to choose."
Fluke has the crowd on their feet. "Instead of trying to silence her, you invite me hear, and you give me this microphone to amplify our voice. That's the difference."
In Obama's America: "we decide when to start our families. An America in which our president, when he hears that a young woman has been verbally attacked thinks of his daughters, not his delegates or his donors."
Sandra Fluke is hitting the points head on. She says, Ryan would allow "pregnant women to die preventable deaths in our emergency rooms"
9:55 PM DNC jokes.
9:48 PM Cindy Hewitt, another speaker laid off by Romney, says Mitt Romney's job experience is in laying people off.
9:46 PM Current speaker Randy Johnson was fired by Mitt Romney in 1992. "What I fault him for is making money without a moral compass, I fault him for putting profits before people like me."
"Mitt Romney will stick it to working people; Barack Obama sticks up for working people. It's simple as that."
9:41 PM A little public union action now. Bob King, President of the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) is live.
Some analysts have said the GOP would try and assault Obama on public unions -- forcing it to be the issue of election 2012. Remember the Wisconsin recall vote the Republicans won? The GOP could possibly do the same in the Nov. general election. So far, though, that has not been the case
9:39 PM Auto industry video featured moments ago at the DNC.
9:34 PM Karen Eusanio an assembly woker at a GM plant in Ohio has taken the stage.
Cuban icon Cristina Saralegui is on stage speaking for Obama. This is a huge deal for the Cuban American community who is predominantly Republican. Saralegui was a talk show host on Telemundo and Univision. Think of her as the Oprah of Latin America. Her endorsement might have influence enough to sway some of the Cuban American voter base. Si se puede.
Saralgui is attacking Romney's stance of "self deportation" and repealing the dream act. Her reply? "Don't boo: vote."
The people Romney calls "illegal aliens" Obama calls "Dreamers."
9:12 PM Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General of California, up now.
Harris is a rising leader in the feminist community.
9:03 PM Feeling like we've had a string of no-names for the last hour or so. DNC, where are all the big guns? Do we have to wait 'til Clinton?
8:51 PM Gov. Jack Markell of Delaware has taken the stage.
Quotes and Themes:
Obama "needs to grow our economy from the middle out and not from the top down."
"Just because Mitt Romney was a successful private equity executive, that does not mean he deserves to be president."
Elizabeth Warren set to talk at 10 p.m. -- here are some excerpts
EXCERPTS of Massachusetts Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren’s Remarks to the Democratic National Convention
Below are key excerpts of Massachusetts Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren remarks as prepared for delivery:
“I grew up in an America that invested in its kids and built a strong middle class.
“That allowed millions of children to rise from poverty and establish secure lives.
“An America that created Social Security and Medicare so that seniors could live with dignity.
“An America in which each generation built something solid so that the next generation could build something better.
“But for many years now, our middle class has been chipped, squeezed, and hammered.”
“President Obama believes in a level playing field.
“He believes in a country where nobody gets a free ride or a golden parachute.
“A country where anyone who has a great idea and rolls up their sleeves has a chance to build a business, and anyone who works hard can build some security and raise a family.
“President Obama believes in a country where billionaires pay their taxes just like their secretaries do -- and I can't believe I have to say this in 2012 – a country where women get equal pay for equal work.”
“Americans are fighters.
“We are tough, resourceful and creative. If we have the chance to fight on a level playing field -- where everyone pays a fair share and everyone has a real shot – then no one can stop us.
“President Obama gets it – because he's spent his life fighting for the middle class.
“And now he's fighting to level that playing field – because we know that the economy doesn't grow from the top down, but from the middle class out and the bottom up.
“That's how we create jobs. And reduce the debt.
“And Mitt Romney?
“He wants to give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires...but for middle-class families who are hanging on by their fingernails?
“His plans will hammer them with a new tax hike of up to $2,000.
“Mitt Romney wants to give billions in breaks to big corporations – but he and Paul Ryan would pulverize financial reform, voucher-ize Medicare, and vaporize Obamacare.”
8:43 PM Now speaking, Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado. He speaks of the tough summer his state has had; fires, the Aurora shooting.
Quotes and themes:
"To move our country forward, it takes we and not me."
"Unlike four years ago we are finally moving in the right direction."
8:19 PM ICYMI Here are the talking points and themes of the evening:
8:18 PM Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) Has taken the stage.
Key Quotes and Themes:
"The decision we have to make this November is simple: Do we keep moving forward? Or do we join the Romney-Ryan retreat?"
"Mitt Romney and Paul Romney promise hard truths; but they don't deliver hard answers or real solutions."
"It's a turnaround of nearly 1 million jobs then when Obama took office. Surely even Mitt Romney thinks we're better off today than we were then."
This month was the 29th consecutive month of private sector job gains.
"Despite historic levels of obstruction. President Obama was able to bring the economy back from the verge of a second Great Depression."
"They want to drown the captain and are prepared to sink the ship to do so."
"The Republicans number one priority is the defeat of President Obama. Not the defeat of terrorism, not the creation of jobs...but to simply defeat our president."
8:10 PM After a musical interlude by Jessica Sanchez. Now, Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood is speaking to the crowd. She speaks directly to Mitt Romney and against three of his positions: 1) ending birth control 2) not standing up for equal pay for women and 3) putting female insurance policies in the hands of women's employers. In Richards words, "President Obama stands with women ... Thanks to President Obama, being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition in America."
7:57 PM Senator Gillibrand after taking the stage with her fellow female Democratic senators:
7:50 PM A heavy influx of education talk this evening. Students from Miami Dade Community College are on stage speaking in support of the Pell Grant.
7:42 PM A highlight from Nancy Pelosi's speech:
7:41 PM Barbara Mikulski: "Because of President Obama's leadership, being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition."
7:38 PM Barbara Mikulski: "Every issue is a women's isse."
7:30 PM Ok, here we go, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack takes the staeg, talking about how President Obama preserves middle America values.
4:30 PM Now Chelsea Clinton is interviewing Andrew Jenks, a documentary filmmaker who works for MTV (groan). In 2008, there was a lot of youth enthusiasm, she asks, do you think participation will drop? Jenks thinks its still hard to tell. Maybe Jenks should be a politician. However, he poses that if millenials were reminded of their political importance more often, they would be more engaged. For example, when President Obama was on the Jimmy Fallon, young people got excited. Clinton seems a little soft spoken, doesn't quite have the charisma of her father (though it is not very fair to make such a comparison).
4:00 PM The Mayor of Atlanta Kasim Reed addresses the audience: "We don't have a knowledge problem, we have a will problem." He argues that 70% of American GDP is generated from citites, so asks why stimulus had to get held at the state level?
3:20 PM Rob Snyder, director of Young Democrats of America: "In January 2009, we lost 700,000 jobs per month, we can't revert back to the policies that got us into this recession."
Schneider thinks young voters are a major voting block, and President Obama cares about them, as evidenced by doubling pell grants. But does this sink in with the 25 year old living in their mothers' basement? Hmm...
3:00 PM Kal Penn: young voters still are enthusiastic and fired up, despite the stigma that they aren't. He says that tons of young people ask him about policy, filibuster, the Dream Act, etc.
Audience question: What caused so much bipartisan conflict, and what can we do about it? Chuck Todd rephrased the question and gave it to panel. Woodard suggests media overplays the combative nature of politics. What a joke; have you seen our Congress? Why can't we come to agreement on the budget? Uhh, hello...
2:45 PM Chuck Todd is moderating. Alfre Woodard, Kal Penn, and America Ferrera are currently serving as panel. America's motivation comes from 2001, realizing how little she knew. Kal Penn: "My friend in college had to choose between eye glasses to see the board or books to take classes. If that doesn't highlight the issues our nation faces, what does?"
2:44 PM I'm currently attending Conversations With the Next Generation, a panel event with the Atlantic, National Journal, and Microsoft. Here are some updates:
Brad Smith, General Counsel of Microsoft: "We want to hear next gen's opinions to learn and to know what to make." He only has one type of hand motion: throwing up his hands as if he just lot a bet.