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2008 dnc In this Aug. 28, 2008, file photo Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Barack Obama, waves to the crowd as he prepares to address the Democratic National Convention at Invesco Field in Denver. (Photo: AP Photo/Scott Andrews and Chuck Kennedy, Pool)

Election 2012: Democrats Descend on Charlotte

The Democratic National Convention officially wraps primary season

By Andrew Liang | September 4 , 2012

Last week, the Republicans were in the national spotlight with their national convention in Tampa, Florida. This week, it's the Democrats.

The Democratic National Convention (DNC) officially begins today in Charlotte, North Carolina. From September 4-6, more than 30,000 Democratic leaders, delegates, members, and visitors are expected to attend.

At the convention, the Democratic Party will officially select President Barack Obama as it's nominee in the 2012 presidential election and Vice President Joe Biden as the vice presidential nominee.

The first two days of the convention will be held at the Time Warner Cable Arena, and the final day will be held at the Bank of America Stadium. President Obama and Vice President Biden will formally accept the nominations for President and Vice President, respectively, on the final day.

"We've been working for months on getting ready to welcome the world to Charlotte and to the Epicentre," Ed Camp, Director of Business Development of the Charlotte Epicentre, said to Charlotte's NBC affiliate. "We're the front porch of the convention."

As the incumbent (the person currently holding the office), President Obama had no major competition for his party's nomination. Obama has also chosen to retain Biden as his Vice President.

Like with the Republican National Convention, Democratic delegates will vote to nominate Obama and Biden, and the Democratic Party will officially accept its party platform. This platform will guide Democratic candidates as they speak about issues like the economy, health care, and national security.

The DNC will also feature some big-name speakers. Former President Bill Clinton, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and former President Jimmy Carter (who will address the convention via a video). San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro will be the convention's keynote speaker. Castro will be the first Latino keynote speaker of a Democratic National Convention in history.

Charlotte was chosen as the site of the Democratic National Convention because North Carolina was such a close state in the 2008 general election. That year, Obama only won the state by 0.3 percent over Republican nominee John McCain.

"Vibrant, diverse, and full of opportunity, the Queen City is home to innovative, hardworking folks with big hearts and open minds," First Lady Michelle Obama said about the choice of Charlotte as the site of the convention. "We hope many [people] can join us in Charlotte the week of September 3. But if [they] can't, we intend to bring the spirit of the convention — as well as actual, related events to your community and even your own backyard."

After the Democratic National Convention, the primaries season will finally be over and the race to the White House will intensify as the November 6 general election becomes closer and closer.

Kid Reporter Andrew Liang will be reporting from Charlotte this week! Follow his coverage on the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps Blog and the Election 2012 website!

ELECTION 2012

Scholastic News Kid Reporters are on the campaign trail! Keep up with latest election news on the Election 2012 website.

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