Actress Eva Longoria is interviewed on the floor of the Democratic National Convention. (Charles Dharapak/AP Photo)
Musican Dave Grohl (C) of the Foo Fighters performs for a soundcheck during the final day of the DNC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Vice President Joe Biden smiles during a soundcheck. (Jae C. Hong/AP Photo)
Singer James Tayler performs with his band during a soundcheck. (Lynne Sladky/AP Photo)
Sheriff Michael Johnson of Clayton County, Georgia directs traffic near the Time Warner Cable Arena. Johnson and his fellow sheriffs use humour in their moves as they direct traffic and pedestrians. (Stan HONDASTAN/GettyImages)
Renee Watson of San Antonio, TX wears a cowboy hat decorated with campaign buttons during the final day of the DNC. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Supporters hoist signs during the address of Bill Clinton at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Sept. 5. (AFP PHOTO Robyn BECKROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages)
Here's on-the-ground reaction and reporting from Mitch Potter (@MPwrites), Tim Harper (@nutgraf1) and Daniel Dale (@ddale8) in Charlotte and Josh Tapper in Toronto as the prime time show unfolded at the Democratic National Convention Thursday.
The Democratic Party tells us that the Democratic Party is all about inclusion. Clearly worried about offending the nasal-voiced, a key swing constituency, the party's women's caucus invited Fran Drescher - yes, The Nanny - to speak at an event that also included Michelle Obama.
Drescher was introduced by both her actual name and by "The Nanny." Dozens of people in the almost-all-female ballroom crowd gasped in surprised delight. She got a partial standing ovation. And then she gave a serious, fiery, not-especially-nasal speech about Obama, health care, women's empowerment, and cancer prevention: she's a survivor who wrote a book called - obviously - Cancer Schmancer, which is also the name of an organization she started.
Yes, The Nanny is an activist. Who, apparently, paraphrases Ralph Waldo Emerson.
"Let's not take the path and see where it leads, let's go where there is NO path and LEAVE A TRAIL," she exhorted the crowd. "The 21st century can and must be the century of the woman. If we are caregivers, consumers and businesswomen, then where men have failed, we must excel."
In anticipaton of Obama's speech tonight, the Democrats have released a video called "Promises Kept" which uses clips from the president's 2008 speech to demonstrate how he has kept his promises.
The video highlights Obama signing 18 tax cuts, creating 4.5 million
private-sector jobs, ending the war in Iraq and signing the Lilly
Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
The video also credits Obama for saving the U.S.
auto industry, passing the Affordable Care Act and investing in
“It will be clear where he thinks we need to go," his senior adviser said. "This
whole week has also laid out a choice, which is — it’s a question for
the American people: Who can you trust to build a kind of economy that’s
going to work for the middle class?”
Obama: "I will continue efforts to reduce our dependence on oil and lower our
greenhouse gas emissions while creating an economy built to last."
Romney: "I oppose steps like a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system that would
handicap the American economy and drive manufacturing jobs away, all without
actually addressing the underlying problem. Economic growth and technological
innovation, not economy-suppressing regulation, is the key to environmental
protection in the long run."
Obama: "I will continue to work to strengthen our systems of public health so we can stop disease from spreading across our borders."
Romney: "A robust public health system is only as strong as the tools available,
and I will empower the private sector to pursue the breakthroughs that
will equip society for the health challenges of the twenty-first
Obama: "We will continue to operate the Space Station until at least 2020 and
perhaps beyond. When our Orion deep space crew vehicle takes its first
test flight in 2014, it will travel farther into space than any
spacecraft designed for humans has flown in the 40 years since our
astronauts returned from the moon."
Romney: "A strong aerospace industry must be able to compete for and win business
in foreign markets. I will work to ease trade limitations, as
appropriate, on foreign sales of U.S. space goods and will work to
expand access to new markets."
Political commentator Jehmu Greene, a liberal Fox News
contributor, drew surprised murmurs on Thursday morning when she appeared to
take a shot at Mitt Romney's wife Ann during a speech to the Democratic women's caucus.
"Behind every man - what is it that they say? - there's
a good strong woman. A great woman," Greene said. She paused for effect,
then said: "Let's talk about what's behind Mitt Romney."
Disapproving "oohs." Surprised murmurs. She
"This man - he's a good man, like President Clinton said last night, he's a good family
man, he cares. But behind him, he has made it clear who sets his agenda. When
they attacked Sandra (Fluke), he made it clear who sets his agenda. He didn't
say 'not in my party.' When they decided they wanted to redefine rape, where
was his voice? He didn't say 'not in my party.' Behind every good man is a great
woman, behind Romney are a bunch of great cons right-wing ideologues who want
to take us back not to 1950 - 1910."
Moderate applause. Then Greene appeared to realize she may
have overreached. She concluded:
"And I'm sure Ann
Romney is a great woman behind him, but
we have to be clear about who is pullin' his strings, who is settin' his
agenda. And his agenda is not our agenda."
"I think what she was really saying was, 'Who are the
people that are influencing Romney?'" said New Jersey's Carol Watchler.
"Maybe it's not that woman who has good family values and a beautiful
background and what she brings to her family, but that he's being packaged -
that people are feeding him the lines. I think that's what she was saying:
behind him, there's a whole mega-money-machine that is trying to skew
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