Obama readies two-term pitch
September 6th, 2012
02:59 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama readies two-term pitch

Charlotte, North Carolina (CNN) - President Barack Obama will make his pitch Thursday in the final night of the Democratic National Convention, where he'll aim to lay out what voters can expect under a second term.

While first lady Michele Obama and former President Bill Clinton headlined the other two nights this week, the president's re-election team said Obama will cap the week with a final theme of looking "forward."

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

"So we've talked about the heart, the head, and tonight it's about the future," a senior campaign official told CNN reporters covering the convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Officials said the president will reiterate "concrete, tangible" policy ideas in his speech, though it was unclear whether he would put forward specific benchmarks and how to pay for those goals. One official, however, stressed the speech would not be a laundry list of proposals.

"This is not a State of the Union address," the official said. "It's a path forward."

The president will draw contrasts with his Republican challenger Mitt Romney, but the campaign argued the speech will also be "bigger than that."

"We're not speaking to necessarily the delegates in the room, we're speaking to the American people," the official added.

Drama erupted at the convention Wednesday when convention officials held a vote to re-insert language into the party platform recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and including the word "God" in the document–two omissions that drew criticism from many in the party. The campaign said the president personally directed that it be fixed.

Asked if Obama will address the changes in the speech or give a final word on the issue, a campaign official argued there was no need to further talk about it.

"We don't think there is any lack of clarity or need to put it to bed; we put it to bed yesterday," the official said.

Vice President Joe Biden will open up for the president, taking the stage in the 9 p.m. ET hour, shortly before Obama. He's expected to serve as a "character witness" and speak "personally about what it means to be in partnership" with the president, according to the campaign.

CNN reported earlier Thursday that former Rep. Gabby Giffords, who resigned her seat in January a year after receiving a gunshot to the head, will lead the pledge of allegiance when the evening program convenes at 4:30 p.m. ET. A campaign official said the decision was made based on the president's friendship with Giffords but did not say whether it was his idea to involve her.

Also on the docket is 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry. The Massachusetts senator will be part of a section on national security. Caroline Kennedy and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm will speak, as well.

While Thursday's events were originally scheduled to take place in the Bank of America stadium, convention organizers decided Wednesday to move the final night indoors and back into the Time Warner Cable arena, the site of the previous two nights.

The move means that tens of thousands of ticket holders for the stadium speech will be turned away, as the arena seats 44,000 fewer people than the stadium. Obama hosted a call Thursday afternoon with the dis-invited guests, and about a watch party at the convention center located nearby the arena.

As a result, some performances were cut from the schedule, including Earth, Wind and Fire, the campaign said. Foo Fighters and Mary J. Blige are still scheduled to go on.

soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Griff.

    "Yes he'll make his Pitch, but 75% will be 'no balls' eventually most of the believers will walk away!"

    September 6, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  2. Fortinbras

    Why not add Friday night to the convention?

    September 6, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  3. PaulC

    I am confident that Pres. Obama's speech will put the period to the end of this campaign.
    I can tell that the republicans have lost a lot of their fire and can only sputter and chant their list of lies and half truths to the faithful.

    September 6, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  4. WILLARD MILTON ROMNEY IS A COWARD & TAX EVADER

    The President and Willard are like night and day. One will lead us down a pah of destruction(Willard). The other will lead us to prosperity(BHO). I don't see how trickle down economics is a way to grow the middle class. From 2000-2008, the rich got a tax break which they didn't need and job growth was dismal. In Obama's first term, he's created more jobs in 3 1/2 years then Bush did in 8. That's a fact. I know repulicans have a problem with those. A Romney presidency will lead to more outsourcing of jobs. He's never actually created a job. He's created wealth, but not jobs. Not the kind of person you need in the Oval Office.

    September 6, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  5. FooledOnceButNotTwice

    The 2008 conviention with such a happy and promising memory. I won't be fooled by a smooth talking smile this time.

    September 6, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. JoFi

    No one in their right mind would vote for this clown again. His "error" is over!

    September 6, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  7. Dave

    Good luck with that!

    September 6, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  8. BLKMANinAmerica

    Mr. President, I can't wait to hear how you intend to move this backwards country FORWARD!

    September 6, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Want to know how you can tell that Mitt Romney's speech was empty of any and all substance? Can anyone remember anything noteworthy from Mitt Romney's speech?

    September 6, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  10. Willard

    Go, Mr. President, put Mitt campaign to the end!!!!!!!!

    September 6, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  11. BlkPwr817

    The GOP is down 0-2 with 2 outs & nobody on base in the bottom of the 9th. Tonights pitch will be strike 3 for Romney & his party. I better terms, "Game Over"...Obama 2012 folks!

    September 6, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  12. myviewis

    One more chaos at the DNC and these are the people trying to convince us to give them 4 more years to run our country.........."The move means that tens of thousands of ticket holders for the stadium speech will be turned away, as the arena seats 44,000 fewer people than the stadium"

    September 6, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  13. NVa Native

    So which party do you support the one where facts and history are denied and/or demonized, or the one which supports fairness?

    September 6, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    myviewis

    One more chaos at the DNC and these are the people trying to convince us to give them 4 more years to run our country.........."The move means that tens of thousands of ticket holders for the stadium speech will be turned away, as the arena seats 44,000 fewer people than the stadium"
    ---------------------
    I don't know what it is that you are trying to prove. One thing is for sure is this. Angry white men are a minority.

    September 6, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  15. Four and The Door

    Obama will cap the week with a final theme of looking "forward."
    _________________________________________________________________________________________
    Yeah, because after 3 1/2 years of fighting for his failed left-wing agenda, the middle class is not doing so great with what he has done for them so far.

    September 6, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  16. RealAmerican

    I wont be voting for the son of a communist

    September 6, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |