Democrats Questioned by
Some for Choosing Charlotte For Convention
September 02, 2012
This week, the U.S. Democratic Party holds its national convention in
the southern city of Charlotte, North Carolina to officially name
incumbent Barack Obama as its nominee for president in the November
The party's choice of Charlotte as the location made sense originally,
but now some events leave people wondering if the Democrats are sorry
Charlotte, North Carolina - home to 750,000 people - is everything
America's South is known for: southern accents, southern fried foods,
and southern charm.
Charlotte is the global base for Chiquita bananas and NASCAR racing, and
at one time was the center of a gold rush. In a way, it still is: It is
America's second largest financial center, after New York City,
controlling more than $2 trillion in assets.
Democrats have tried to make "big money" a negative in this year's
campaign. For example, they refused to accept corporate contributions to
fund this convention. But the party fell short of cash and had to
shorten the gathering from four days to three.
President Obama will make his acceptance speech Thursday in Charlotte's
professional football stadium, which was underwritten by the nation's
second largest financial corporation.
So to avoid any connections to big banks, the Democratic Party likes to
refer to the Bank of America Stadium as Panther Stadium... renamed after
the professional football team that plays here.
In the 2008 presidential election, Obama narrowly won North Carolina,
becoming the first Democrat to do that in more than 30 years. The state
is a gem with its 15 electoral votes.
Peter Brown, a pollster with Quinnipiac University, said, "It's one of
those states that if the president wins, there's no way [Republican
challenger] Mitt Romney will win the White House."
polls show the president even with Republican Romney in this state, and
that worries even his staunchest supporters, like North Carolinian
"I think it's going to be really, really hard. Last election turnout
among young voters was really high, and a lot of people coming out for
the first time. I do hope for a repeat like that, but I'm not so sure,"
Others arenít either. North Carolina's 9.6 percent unemployment rate is
above the national average. Democratic Governor Beverly Purdue is so
unpopular she isn't seeking a second term, and the executive director of
the state Democratic Party resigned after a sex scandal.
But Charlotte is embracing the 35,000 people attending the convention,
and Democrats are hoping North Carolina does the same with Mr. Obama in