CNN's GUT CHECK | for September 4, 2012 | 7 a.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
Editor's Note: This is a special morning edition of CNN's Political Gut Check which will come out twice a day for the duration of the political conventions.
DEVELOPING: Democrats release their party platform which uses new language in detailing its support of a "right to choose" and "freedom to marry," including references to clergy and healthcare:
Democratic Platform on "Protecting A Woman’s Right to Choose"
"Abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her clergy; there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way. We also recognize that health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions. We strongly and unequivocally support a woman’s decision to have a child by providing affordable health care and ensuring the availability of and access to programs that help women during pregnancy and after the birth of a child, including caring adoption programs."
Democratic Platform on "Freedom to Marry"
"We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples. We also support the freedom of churches and religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament without government interference. ... We support the full repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act."
Compare to Republican platform.
The political spotlight turns to Charlotte, North Carolina today, where President Barack Obama will use this Southern city as a three-day stage to make his case for a second term. He must not only battle Mitt Romney, but also a morbid economy, a housing crisis and an unemployment rate of 8.3%.
Sixty-three days until Election Day.
Obama has long argued that he was dealt a bad hand – an economic crisis, an unemployment rate about to explode, an automobile industry on the brink. For the better part of his first term, the voters agreed. But the president must spend the next two months convincing voters he needs four more years to complete the job, while Romney argues against it.
Over the next 72 hours, we will hear from some of the president's most effective surrogates:
- First lady Michelle Obama
– Former President Bill Clinton
– Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
– Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick
The Obama campaign is also turning to Sandra Fluke, a young woman who was publicly ostracized by Rush Limbaugh, and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, a rising Democratic star, to serve as high-profile advocates. It is no mistake the Obama campaign is highlighting Fluke and Castro – women and Latinos are vital cornerstones of the president's political base.
The main point in this week's message is to "crystallize the choice between two very different visions," for the voters, a senior campaign official told CNN.
The Obama campaign official also noted that over the past few years the president made some difficult decisions that "didn't get a lot of applause" such as the auto bailout and passing comprehensive health care reform. But he was willing to make the tough decisions despite the political blowback.
And in a different scripting style, the Democratic National Convention will weave a handful of common narratives throughout each day: American Heroes, Progress for the People and Stronger Together. By comparison, the Republican National Convention had a primary theme each day.
Two nights in Time Warner Cable Arena.
The closing night down the street at Bank of America Stadium.
This week it is Obama's turn to make his case.
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Democratic convention will highlight differing visions between the parties
Facing a close election and Republican attacks that they have made things worse while in power, President Barack Obama and Democrats seek to emphasize what has been achieved and additional steps to bolster the middle class at their three-day national convention that begins Tuesday. – Ashley Killough and Tom Cohen
Leading Drudge: In Obama They Trust
Thousands of Democrats are streaming here ahead of Tuesday's opening of the Democratic National Convention, an event that promises both a showcase for President Obama's re-election bid and a counterpoint to the harsh treatment his administration's policies received at last week's Republican convention. – Gary Strauss and Catalina Camia
Leading HuffPo: No Bounce
Polling tracking the impact of the Republican convention has been sparse, but on Monday the Gallup Poll weighed in with a new survey showing the convention had only a "minimal impact" on the fortunes of Republican nominee Mitt Romney. In interviews conducted over the three days since the close of the Republican convention, Gallup found roughly the same number of Americans saying the convention made them more likely to support Republican nominee Mitt Romney (40 percent) as saying it made them less likely to support him (38 percent). – Mark Blumenthal
Leading Politico: November thaw for Clinton, Obama
He’s likable enough. Barack Obama, in one of his more revealing public moments in 2008, expressed that sentiment about another Clinton. It also sums up, more or less, the way the current occupant of the White House feels about the last Democratic president to win reelection, William Jefferson Clinton. – Glenn Thrush Maggie Haberman
Leading The New York Times: Spirit of ’08 Gone, Democrats Reunite Against G.O.P. Threat
Four years ago, Barack Obama accepted the presidential nomination of a Democratic Party that was as unified and energized as at any moment in its past: Clintons and Kennedys, labor and Wall Street, centrists and leftists, old and young, blacks, whites and Hispanics. It bristled with the excitement of history and the expectations of a new era. – Adam Nagourney
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
John Berman (@johnsberman)
#Breaking: @DanaBashCNN reports Dems will decide as early as this morning whether to move Obama's Thursday speech indoors. Weather=iffy
Christian Heinze (@CPHeinze)
Dems have nearly as many mayors (4) as current governors (5) in Day One's evening lineup. http://bit.ly/NN8FgD
Conn Carroll (@conncarroll)
Bin Laden mentioned more times than unemployment in DNC platform http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/11-key-words-in-the-democratic-platform
Reuters: China warns US not to get involved in South China Sea turf disputes as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton heads to Beijing.
#MUSTREAD: "Charlie Crist is giving real moderates a bad name" via @OrlandoSentinel http://bit.ly/RAsjxq #Sayfie #HypoCRISTy
Garrett Haake (@GarrettNBCNews)
Romney stays out of the spotlight again today with no public events. Not so Paul Ryan, who rallies in Ohio & gives 7 television interviews
(Answer will be in today’s afternoon edition of Gut Check. Tweet us your answers @GutCheckCNN to get a shout out this afternoon.)
After Jimmy Carter was nominated at the 1976 Democratic National Convention, what was the memorable first line of his acceptance speech?
Watch from the web today at 2:30 pm ET on CNNPolitics.com: Live from the #CNNGrill with Peter Hamby (@PeterHambyCNN). Today's guests: Reid Cherlin (@reidcherlin), GQ; Erin McPike (@ErinMcPike), Real Clear Politics; Sasha Issenberg, (@sissenberg), Author, "Victory Lab." Tweet your questions to @PeterHambyCNN.
Our inbox awaits: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyone can sign up for Gut Check by emailing email@example.com
Tips or comments? Send them to Michelle; send complaints to Preston, because he is already in a bad mood. We also want to give a shout out to Dan Merica, who runs our Twitter account @gutCheckCNN and enriches this product every single day.