After a week of controversial claims and bitter partisanship at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, the baton passed to the hosts of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, where the party will formally nominate incumbent and U.S. President Barack Obama as their candidate for November’s race for the White House.
After Mr. Obama and his running mate for Vice President Joe Biden are nominated, they will square off against former Governor of Massachusetts and private equity boss Mitt Romney in a series of debates and across what is likely to be an intense, cross-country election campaign.
In Tampa Paul Ryan, a fiscal conservative from Wisconsin in the House of Representatives, was chosen as Mr. Romney’s candidate for VP. The proceedings there were not without controversy, even as the Occupy movement made its presence felt with protests near the convention.
Questions were also raised about the validity of claims that the Romney-Ryan team made relating to Mr. Obama’s tax, Medicare and auto bailout policies. According to several pollsters, including Reuters/Ipsos, Gallup and Rasmussen, Mr. Romney did not reap a substantial post-convention poll “bump” in his ratings relative to Mr. Obama’s.
While Mr. Romney’s advisers reportedly predicted that he may gain as much as 11 points in the polls after his “re-introduction” to the public, the Reuters/Ipsos poll placed President Obama ahead of Mr. Romney by 44 to 43 per cent; Gallup showed President Obama leading 47 to 46 per cent; and a Rasmussen poll suggested Mr. Romney was ahead at 48 to 44 per cent. Mr. Obama’s ratings are set to rise after the ongoing convention.
In Charlotte the proceedings appeared to get off to a strong start, with delegates from across the nation poised to address the convention between Tuesday and Thursday this week, and the entire event live-streamed online.
As per the latest schedule of events DNC Chair and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will gavel in to officially begin the convention proceedings at the Time Warner Cable Arena on Tuesday and various convention committees, such as the Credential Committee, Rules Committee, and Platform Committee, will determine the agenda and conduct of business.
On Wednesday Mr. Obama will formally be nominated as the Democratic Party candidate for the White House, likely after a state-by-state roll call and final delegate count. The proceedings will mirror the events in Tampa with the exception that in the latter case Mr. Romney’s nomination was challenged on the convention floor by some delegates who had sided with another Republican candidate, Texas Congressman Ron Paul.
On the fourth and final day of the DNC Mr. Obama will deliver a much-awaited speech accepting his nomination, when he is also widely expected to lay out both his vision for a second term in office and set the tenor for the remainder of the election campaign.
The DNC dates back to the 1832 nomination of Martin Van Buren, who then went on to become the first President of the U.S. who was not of British or Irish descent. This year its opening coincides with Labour Day on Monday, perhaps symbolically reflecting the Democratic Party’s relatively closer ties with organised labour organisations and their welfare.