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DNC finale: Obama, Biden take center stage

September 06, 2012|By Mark Z. Barabak
  • Bill Clinton bows to Barack Obama in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday night, ceding the stage ahead of Obama's prime-time address Thursday night.
Bill Clinton bows to Barack Obama in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday night,… (Brendan Smialowski / AFP…)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — President Obama will be the headliner at his own show Thursday night as the Democratic National Convention wraps up with a prime-time speech from the incumbent accepting his nomination for a second term.

After three days of speeches from the president's wife, his Democratic predecessor and scores of party compatriots and other validators, a national TV audience will hear Obama say in his own words why he deserves another four years in the White House despite the economic difficulties the country continues to face.

Taking the stage before Obama will be his vice president, a source of much mirth at last week's Republican convention, who will be nominated by his son, Beau, Delaware's attorney general. It is a virtual certainty Biden will deliver what has become his signature line for why, in his estimation, things are better under the Obama administration: "Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive."

PHOTOS: Scenes from the DNC

The president was set to deliver his speech as an open-air affair at Bank of America Stadium, the home of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. But a threat of thunderstorms prompted convention planners to move the event indoors to the convention arena that has hosted the first two nights of the program.

That means a much smaller audience, but also a more intimate setting that could heighten the sense of excitement for those watching at home.

Others in the speaking lineup include the Democrats' 2004 presidential nominee, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, who is expected to offer his critique of his state's former governor, GOP nominee Mitt Romney, and extol the president's foreign policy. (Kerry is believed to be a strong contender to replace Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who plans to retire if Obama is elected to a second term.)

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In what's become a tradition, the convention will hear from a Republican-turned Democrat, former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist. (Former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis played that role at last week's GOP gathering in Tampa, Fla.)  Crist, who was widely criticized by Republicans for hugging Obama and embracing his economic stimulus package during a 2009 presidential visit to Florida, left the party and waged a 2010 U.S. Senate bid as an independent. He was thought to be considering another run for governor as a Democrat in 2014.

Count on the traditional convention ending: a shower of confetti and the tableau of the president, the vice president, their families and friends arrayed on the stage for a celebration and — Democrats hope — long-lasting show of enthusiasm.

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