It was clearly that old game of good-cop, bad-cop.

On the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, First Lady Michelle Obama struck a soft, if poignant, note and reminded the party of her husband’s key first-term achievements, including the auto industry bailout, a bill supporting fair pay for women, the landmark healthcare reform policy, and his bid to reduce student debt costs.

While she did not once mention Barack Obama’s Republican rival in the November elections, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the First Lady’s speech came close on the heels of keynote addresses by Mayor of San Antonio, Texas, Julian Castro and Governor of Maryland Martin O’Malley, both of whom were sharper in their attacks on Mr. Romney.

For example Ms. Obama shared numerous reflections on the early years when she and “Barack” were dating, saying, “When Barack was a Senator and a presidential candidate, to me, he was still the guy who picked me up for our dates in a car that was so rusted out, I could actually see the pavement going by in a hole in the passenger side door.” Her speech at times brought the audience to its feet with cries of “Four more years!” and the 2008 slogan, “Yes we can!”

Sharp attack

In contrast, Mr. O’Malley, considered a rising star within the Democratic Party and a possible 2016 nominee for the White House, hit out at Mr. Romney’s allegedly privileged personal financial background saying, “Instead of investing in America, [Mr. Romney and running mate Paul Ryan] hide their money in Swiss bank accounts and ship our jobs to China... Swiss bank accounts never built an American bridge...”

Similarly Mr. Castro, who was introduced to the house-full Time Warner Cable Arena floor by his twin brother, Joaquín, a Texas State representative and U.S. Congress candidate, alluded to an instance where Mr. Romney had advised students to borrow money from their parents to pay for their education.

He said, “Mitt Romney, quite simply, doesn’t get it... Some people are lucky enough to borrow money from their parents, but that shouldn’t determine whether you can pursue your dreams. I don’t think Governor Romney meant any harm. I think he’s a good guy. He just has no idea how good he’s had it.”

Meanwhile the DNC Committee announced that Thursday’s programmes, including the culminating address by the President that was originally planned for the Bank of America Stadium, would be moved to Time Warner Cable Arena “due to severe weather forecasts”; in particular, predictions of thunderstorms in the area.

Events planned for Wednesday include a nominating speech by former President Bill Clinton.

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