Former U.S. President Bill Clinton takes the stage Wednesday at the
Democratic National Convention, bringing his considerable star power to
support President Barack Obama's reelection.
Crowds of delegates packed the halls of the convention center Wednesday.
And as Democrats from around the United States headed to and from caucus
meetings, some could not contain their excitement about the evening's
main speaker: former president Bill Clinton.
Clinton remains a popular figure among many Americans because of the
nation’s economic prosperity during his two terms in office.
John Durso is a delegate from New York, where Mr. Clinton's wife Hillary
served as U.S. senator after leaving the White House. Some worry about
whether the charismatic former president’s speech will overshadow that
of his fellow Democrat.
But Durso says Mr. Clinton will be a huge help ahead of President Barack
Obama's speech Thursday, and as the campaign heads into its final two
“I don't have any fear that he'll overshadow the president's speech. I
think he will do what exactly what he is here to do: to remind the
delegates of all that we have to be proud of, to remind of the wonderful
years that he had under his administration and to fire people up," said
In the hallways of the convention center Wednesday, delegates also were
still talking about Tuesday's opening night, when first lady Michelle
Obama shared the human side of her husband and talked about the
importance of leaving the country better off for future generations.
Betty Pierce is a delegate from the nation's capital, Washington, DC.
She got to see Mrs. Obama address the Black Caucus Wednesday morning,
but she says she still cannot forget how moving the first lady's speech
was for her the night before.
“She gave a powerful speech from her heart. It was real, and we could
feel the energy and the sincerity," said Pierce.
Delegates also were raving about San Antonio, Texas mayor and one of the
Democratic Party's rising Hispanic figures, Julian Castro, who gave the
convention's keynote address Tuesday.
Sorola-Pohlman is a delegate from Texas. She says she felt proud to be a
Mexican-American when she heard Castro describe how his family struggled
through low-paying jobs in order to provide a better life for him and
his twin brother.
“His family - his mother, his grandmother - was everything that my own
family did, so I could really relate to him. And when he gave his thanks
to his mom, it was so emotional for me," she said.
As the convention reaches its midpoint, the only real damper so far for
participants has been the weather, with high humidity and nightly
showers soaking Charlotte.
Earlier Wednesday, organizers announced that President Obama's speech,
originally scheduled at a large outdoor stadium Thursday, will now be
inside a much smaller arena, leaving tens of thousands of ticket holders
unable to witness the event.