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Fired-up Democrats wrap up convention

September 06, 2012|By Seema Mehta
  • President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and family members share the stage near the end of the Democratic National Convention.
President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and family members share the… (Scott Olson/Getty Images )

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jubilant Democrats chanted, “Fired Up! Ready to Go!” as they streamed out of Time Warner Cable Arena late Thursday night after hearing President Obama deliver his pitch for a second term on the final night of their convention.

Granted, this was a friendly crowd, so they gushed over his remarks as well as those earlier in the week by former President Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama. But they said Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention renewed their energy and would motivate them to work harder in what is anticipated to be a tight race with Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

“I can’t wait to get back home and knock on more doors to make sure we deliver Ohio for him,” said Alicia Reece, a delegate from Cincinnati.

Reece, a 41-year-old state legislator, said that the president’s address was a reminder that this election was not just about one campaign or one contest, but about setting a course for the nation’s future.

“The president laid out a vision for rebuilding America,” she said. “This is not an election. This is a movement.”

Jennifer Wilson, a delegate from Palm Springs, Calif., said that being around like-minded Democrats committed to the same cause was affirming.

“We just fed off each other in there,” she said. “It was incredible.”

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Several delegates said the convention’s themes, such as supporting women’s and gay rights, were reminders that their party is the party of inclusion.

“We are the party of yes,” said Robert Westwood, also a delegate from Palm Springs. “The Republicans are the party of no, you can’t do that unless you’re wealthy and privileged, then we can help you.”

Seeing Gabrielle Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman who was shot in the head last year, led the Pledge of Allegiance was also a highlight delegates cited.

Westwood, 63, marveled at the courage Giffords displayed and how “she has the energy and love for all of us to come out and read that pledge. It’s the spirit of our party.”

An hour after the president concluded his speech and cannons shot confetti inside the arena, scores of people remained on the floor, waving American flags as they chatted, posing for pictures behind Obama’s lectern and chanting that slogan from four years ago.

seema.mehta@latimes.com

@LATSeema

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