Election 2012: President Obama Accepts Nomination
Speech fires up Democrats, kicks off general election
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — The Democratic National Convention concluded last night with President Barack Obama's speech accepting his party's nomination to run for a second term.
Tens of thousands of delegates, Democratic Party members, journalists, and volunteers packed Time Warner Cable Arena to hear the President's speech. Some arrived as early as 2 p.m., even though the speech was scheduled to begin at 10 p.m.
President Obama was introduced by First Lady Michelle Obama, and when he took the stage the crowd erupted in a deafening roar. They also waved signs that read "Forward" and "Fired Up."
"Madam Chairwoman, delegates, I accept your nomination for President of the United States," Obama said. "When you pick up that ballot to vote, you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation."
In the speech, Obama talked about issues like immigration, foreign policy, economic expansion, jobs, healthcare, and alternative energy resources. He also defended himself against Republican attacks, and he defended his record as President
"Now, I've cut taxes for those who need it — middle-class families, small businesses," he said. "I don't believe that firing teachers or kicking students off financial aid will grow the economy, or help us compete with the scientists and engineers coming out of China."
Several times during his speech, the audience chanted, "Four more years! Four more years!"
He also compared himself to his opponent, Republican nominee Mitt Romney, and was met with much laughter and applause.
Obama's sharpest jabs at Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, came when he discussed foreign policy and his accomplishments as President. Democrats have charged that Romney and Ryan don't have enough experience with foreign policy to be President and Vice President.
"My opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy," Obama said. "But from all that we've seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost America so dearly."
"After all, you don't call Russia our number-one enemy – not al Qaeda — Russia, unless you're still stuck in a Cold War mind warp," Obama continued. "You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can't visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally."
But Obama did more than attack Romney. He appealed to voters to give him another term in the White House. The President said there's a lot of difficult work left to do to restore American prosperity.
The only way to do reach our shared goal, the President said, was to work together to make it happen.
"America, I never said this journey would be easy, and I won't promise that now," he said. "Yes, our path is harder, but it leads to a better place. Yes, our road is longer, but we travel it together. We don't turn back. We draw strength from our victories, and we learn from our mistakes, but we keep our eyes fixed on that distant horizon, knowing that Providence is with us, and that we are surely blessed to be citizens of the greatest nation on Earth."
As he finished his speech, his wife and children walked onto stage to embrace him. Vice President Joe Biden and his family were there joined the Obamas on stage. Confetti rained over them while the crowd cheered, waving their signs.
Afterwards, people at the speech reacted positively to the President's speech and his message.
"I thought he did a great job in laying out what he was going to do in the next four years," Corey, a spectator, told the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps. "It's very hopeful and optimistic but still very realistic about the challenges we're facing."
Steve Walther, Commissioner of the Federal Election Commission, had similar thoughts.
"I thought it was very uplifting," Walther said. "I think he gave everybody a reason to understand some of the difficulties of his first term and to encourage people to go forward."
Now that the conventions are over, both Obama and Romney have their sights set on the general election. The next major stop on the road to the White House is the debates. Obama and Romney will debate three times in October. Biden and Ryan will debate one time in October.
But there are lots of campaign stops across the country for both presidential tickets between now and then. Stay with the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps and Scholastic News for the latest from the trail!
Scholastic News Kid Reporters are on the campaign trail! Keep up with latest election news on the Election 2012 website.
NEWS FOR KIDS, BY KIDS
Get the latest on national and international events, movies, television, music, sports, and more from the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.