First lady, San Antonio mayor take big roles at convention
July 31st, 2012
08:07 AM ET
6 years ago

First lady, San Antonio mayor take big roles at convention

(CNN) – The speaker schedule for September's Democratic National Convention in Charlotte had two big names added Tuesday, when the event's organizers announced first lady Michelle Obama would speak on opening night and San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro would deliver the keynote address.

Both the first lady and Castro will speak on Tuesday, September 4. The convention committee said Castro's speech will mark the first time a keynote address is delivered by a Latino at a Democratic convention.

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"As mayor, Julián Castro has worked tirelessly to move San Antonio forward by building its economy from the middle out, not the top down, by putting the city on a path to being a leader in the new energy economy and making innovative investments in education to prepare San Antonio's students for the jobs of the future," wrote Los Angeles Mayor Anthony Villaraigosa, who is the 2012 convention chairman. "That's the same vision forward for the middle class the President has, and it stands in stark contrast to Mitt Romney, who's ready to return us to the same policies that crashed our economy."

President Barack Obama delivered the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, launching him onto the national political stage. In 2008 former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner delivered the keynote at the Democratic Convention in Denver.

Michelle Obama also spoke on the opening day of the 2008 convention. In a statement Tuesday, Villaraigosa wrote the first lady was an "inspiration to millions of Americans."

"As the person who knows him best, she will offer unique insights into the President as a husband, father and a leader over the last four years," Villaraigosa wrote.

On Monday, Democrats announced that former President Bill Clinton would play a prominent role at the convention by giving a major speech and placing President Barack Obama's name into nomination.

The former president will give a primetime speech on Wednesday, September 5, in which he is expected to starkly lay out the differences in the economic policies of the two parties and describe why Obama is the best choice compared to presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, a Democratic source said.

Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic candidate for Senate in Massachusetts, will also speak on Wednesday evening.

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soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Republican efforts to suppress 5 million voters, may not be enough to get their plutocrat elected. The GOPer party is crumbling.

    July 31, 2012 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  2. Al-NY,NY

    adios Flip-flop man. I see you have the all-you-can-eat buffet Governer as your keynote speaker. I can't wait to hear him further cement his reputation as a loud-mouth, arrogant, and generally vulgar individual. Go ahead and make him your VP candidate. You'll STILL lose NJ by at least 6% on your way to ignominious defeat

    July 31, 2012 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  3. Babyboomer

    I'm excited about the upcoming Democratic convention. Mrs. Obama, Mayor Castro, Elizabeth Warren and Former President Clinton all speaking and as always, I look forward to both the Vice President and President addressing the convention. I love the diversity in speakers as well as the attendees. Totally different then the snooze fest that is the Republican convention. A bunch of old white men with old bad ideas. How boring is that...

    July 31, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  4. pkbkr

    What a wonderful lineup! Can't wait! Obama/Biden 2012

    July 31, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  5. CNN The Masters of Spin

    What a sham? Castro is no more than the rest of Liberal Democrats.......take from those who have worked hard & acheived & give to the Takers! I am "from" San Antonio......& only if you are from there can you understand. The " older Hispanics" who settled here years ago, taught their children to speak English, & hard work while respecting American heritages, certainly do NOT support Castro!
    You Libs don't get it anyway; It is ANYBODY other than Obama.....this election is all about getting rid of Tyranny!

    July 31, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  6. Mike Texoma

    Got the strength lined up. Should be a good convention.

    July 31, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  7. Stella

    Pander much?

    July 31, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  8. Toby McDooogan

    Can all you haters just leave her alone!!!!!! I'm so tired of you insisting that she and her husband are trying to force everyone to do this and do that. She is a wonderful person and her husband and family are perfect. Leave them alone!!!!!!

    July 31, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  9. Lionel

    Great job Democrats.

    It is good to see a party that is inclusive of all Americans, unlike the Republicans which is exclusively for rich folks. They are so out of touch with Americans, I do hope that people chose the Dems over the Repubs in 2012.

    Obama / Biden 2012

    July 31, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  10. george of the jungle

    sounds like some new and smart ideas. Unlike the traveling circus mitt is having in europe this week. Forward 2012

    July 31, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  11. Wilson

    Sixteen states have set a limit on the number of prescription drugs they will cover for Medicaid patients. Here come Obama's death panels that supposedly don't exist. The left is so blind.

    July 31, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  12. Tom Tucker

    Exactly why I left San Antonio years ago.

    July 31, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  13. vikingslost

    Thank you CNN for the article on the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.set for September. First Lady, Michelle, is always so professional and down to earth that she connects with pretty much everybody. The First Lady speaking at the convention is very positive in getting everybody fired up for the days ahead.

    This election has two entirely different individuals, in every sense of the word, running for President of the United States. Already those contrasts between the two is becoming more and more evident as this campaign winds down the home stretch.

    With the challenges that the U.S. faces, President Obama is the right person to lead this nation for another four years.

    Register to vote people, if you have not done so already, and vote on November 6 because this election is more important than ever.

    God Bless America and everyone's right to vote.

    July 31, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  14. Woman In California

    I'm sure the First Lady will woo the audience and I look forward to hearing her speak.

    July 31, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  15. connie

    ""As the person who knows him best, she will offer unique insights into the President as a husband, father and a leader over the last four years," Yeah right a leader that put us so far in dept it will take forever to get out, a leader that can't come up with a budget,a leader that has the economy in the worse trouble ever and blames every thing on others. Thats the kind of leader we don't need and come Nov HE WILL BE GONE!!!!!!!1

    July 31, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  16. peter o'keefe

    It's so reassuring to see how Obama has brought the country together.

    Harmony and understanding
    Sympathy and trust abounding
    No more falsehoods or derisions
    Golden living dreams of visions
    Mystic crystal revelation
    And the mind's true liberation
    Aquarius! Aquarius!

    July 31, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  17. paul

    The Republicans will release their list later. Koch brothers, Adelson, Trump, and many other one percenters that know that "those" people in the middle class and lower just don't understand how this country is supposed to work. Republicans work strictly for the rich and the rich will dominate the convention.

    July 31, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |

    @CNN The Masters of Spin – You Libs don't get it anyway; It is ANYBODY other than Obama.....this election is all about getting rid of Tyranny!
    NEWSFLASH: – We got rid of "Tyranny" FOUR years ago, after EIGHT long years of the Repugs destroying a budget surplus, RECORD deficit spending, RAIDING of SS Surplus funds, SS privatization attempts, TARP bailout, moire than 700,000 jobs lost a month, the highest gas prices ever (July '08) and TWO unfunded WARS (which have added more than $3 TRILLION to the current administrations national debt).
    Add to their effort to disenfranchise [mostly] Dem voters with the VoterID laws with a problem that doesn't exist ???
    Who's got the tryanny going on ????

    July 31, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  19. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    One thing I know for sure about the speakers at the Democratic National Convention is they won't disrespect their apponents and call them derogatory names like the Republicans and their Tea Partiers have been doing all along. The Democrats will exemplify sound character and integrity and will conduct themselves professionally while sticking to the issues and comparing the policies of both Parties but they won't lower themselves to the distasteful ways of the right. Let's show them Democrsts! Obama/Biden/Roberts 2012!

    July 31, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  20. Joi Gibson

    Woo hoo to the First Lady. The lineup is great – although football begins September 5 and that is when Bubba will be speaking. What's a girl to do 🙂

    Democratic Convention – all walks of life.

    Republican Convention – old, extremely wealthy, caucasian, with a smattering of women and minorities.


    July 31, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  21. California Gary

    Look for the First Lady to get everyone fired up and motivated, the following speakers to start softening up Romney, Warren to flatten him, and then Bill Clinton to come in and step on his neck. There won't be much left for Obama to debate........

    July 31, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  22. BostonBruinsGuy

    Very glad to see Elizabeth Warren on the agenda!!

    She is one of the few people who actually have a plan to help the middle class and small businesses remain a viable part of American life!!

    July 31, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  23. BostonBruinsGuy

    Meant to type "... actually has a plan..." 🙂

    July 31, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  24. Steve

    I will say this, if you try to grow an economy from the middle out, it will grow OUT and Down not up. Middle class will become the upper lower class, corporations will leave and the rich will be government leaders. If that is what you prefer. Vote Obama!

    July 31, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  25. Fair is Fair

    Is the mayor of San Antonio any relation to Raoul or Fidel?

    July 31, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
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