There are 6 days until President Obama and Vice President Biden accept the nomination. Welcome to all of the media joining us in sunny Charlotte today!
Convention fun fact of the day: It took the convention’s construction team seven weeks to transform Time Warner Cable Arena from a basketball arena into a state-of-the-art convention hall. The construction team has only three weeks to put everything back the way they found it, and return it to the Charlotte Bobcats in time for basketball season.
BREAKING TODAY: Convention stage unveiled…Public open house of convention hall today…New speakers announced…Performers announced for official proceedings
Public is first to see Democratic National Convention stage at public open house at Time Warner Cable Arena today. Convention also hosts second tweet-up at the unveiling….
The Charlotte Observer: Arena’s DNC makeover unveiled
With images of Mount Rushmore and the Statue of Liberty on large screens, convention organizers on Friday unveiled a transformed Time Warner Cable Arena that will serve as the stage for next week's Democratic National Convention. North Carolina delegates get prime seating on the convention floor, seated up front in a hall described by organizers as a “celebration of gathering” with open walkways and exposed staircases. A 38-foot by 36-foot screen and booming speakers surrounding the delegates give Democrats “the look and feel we need” to deliver their message promoting President Barack Obama’s re-election effort, convention CEO Steve Kerrigan said. “This convention isn’t a closed door ... elitist event," Kerrigan said. Organizers billed Friday’s public tour of the convention hall as the first of three free public events to thank Charlotteans for their support. Monday brings CarolinaFest 2012, a street festival in uptown Charlotte featuring musical performers, children’s activities and vendors. On Thursday, thousands of campaign volunteers and members of the public will attend Obama’s acceptance speech at Bank of America Stadium.
New convention speakers announced….
CNN: Partial list of Democratic convention speakers released
An hour after Mitt Romney stepped off of his party's convention stage, crowned as the Republican presidential nominee, organizers of the Democratic convention announced several speakers who will appear onstage in Charlotte, North Carolina next week. The partial lineup released Friday highlights Democratic women, Latinos, African-Americans, and congressional leaders. The convention speaker list includes Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts; Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley; Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the former White House Chief of Staff; and former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, who is running for a U.S. Senate seat. Earlier this week, convention organizers announced that Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Rep. Barbara Lee of California would participate in revealing the party's platform. Among the speakers announced Friday are House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the convention announced. Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Charlie Gonzalez, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver, Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, and Judy Chu, who is among the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, will also speak, the convention announced. Pelosi will speak for House Democrats and lead a presentation of House Democratic women, the convention announced. Among those in the presentation are Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York, Rep. Nydia Velasquez of New York, Rep. Gwen Moore of Wisconsin, Rep. Allyson Schwartz of Pennsylvania, Rep. Donna Edwards of Maryland. The presentation will also include two congressional candidates: Joyce Beatty of Ohio and Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii.
Convention performers announced……..
WCNC: Performers announced for DNC
The full slate of performers for the Democratic National Convention were announced Friday morning by the DNC committee. Musicians James Taylor and Mary J. Blige join the Foo Fighters and Earth, Wind and Fire as headline acts on Thursday inside Bank of America Stadium. Singer Marc Anthony will sing the national anthem Thursday. "This roster of performances only adds to the excitement building in Charlotte for the historic week ahead of us," said DNC chair Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in a statement. "The tens of thousands who will attend Convention events in person, and all those tuning in across the country, should be ready for quite a show."
Must read from News14’s Brad Broders….
News14: DNC Chair in Tampa: DNC to be more inclusive, public-oriented than RNC.
“Wasserman-Schultz said compared to the RNC, she's expecting the DNC to be far more available to people and far more inclusive. The DNC chair is hopeful more people will be able to come to uptown Charlotte and really take part in all these activities. Wasserman-Schultz said right now in Tampa it's really closed off for top Republican Party leaders, as well as special interests and other things like that. "Ordinary citizens weren't invited and weren't able to participate in the convention here in Tampa for the Republicans," she said. "Next week, anyone who wants to participate will be able to be involved in some way. We're actually going to have the most inclusive, public-oriented, nominating presidential convention in history."
Charlotte hotels ready for convention guests….
Charlotte Business Journal: Charlotte hotel managers: Time to take it to the next level
It’s almost showtime for Charlotte’s uptown hotels, which are booked solid for five straight nights, starting Sunday, for the Democratic National Convention. Local hotel managers say they spent this last week double checking their systems, sprucing up rooms and talking over access and security with their employees. More than 14,000 rooms have been secured by the DNC Committee at 150-plus hotels, including 6,000 rooms that will be used for convention delegates. According to consulting firm TravelClick, 96.5% of all hotel rooms in the Charlotte market will be occupied from Sunday through Thursday. That compares with 20% for the same week a year ago. The 400-room Hilton Charlotte Center City is one of two headquarters hotels for DNC officials and President Barack Obama’s re-election team, along with The Westin Charlotte. The Hilton also will host convention delegates from Hawaii and Vermont and will be displaying the state flags for each. Glenn Simon, general manager, says the hotel accelerated the timetable on some planned projects in order to have them ready for the DNC. Those include a new sound system for the lobby and elevators, six new hot-water storage tanks and restroom renovations, he says. This week, the hotel was working on finishing touches such as new lamps and cleaning chandeliers. “It’s like when you have someone special to your house,” says Simon. “You kind of bring it to the next level. There’s this excitement of experiencing something that many people in their lifetime will never experience, quite frankly.”