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Democrats Take Their Convention Turn

Senate candidate Tim Kaine a speaker and part of Virginia's swing state delegation.

A group of 124 delegates will represent Virginia in Charlotte, N.C., as the 2012 Democratic National Convention gets under way Tuesday.

Virginia — along with Ohio, North Carolina and Florida — is considered a key swing state. Virginia, once a reliable Republican stronghold, went to President Barack Obama in 2008 — the first time the Old Dominion helped elect a Democratic president since Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

But this is not 2008, and political pundits say Virginia's 13 electoral votes are a tossup for 2012.

"It really does come down to 18 electoral votes in Ohio and 13 in Virginia, at least according to my calculations," Larry Sabato, head of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Sabato said he expects Virginia to receive the special treatment at this year's Democratic convention.

"I don't know what the floor plan is in Charlotte, but I'd be shocked if Virginia didn't have a prime spot," he said.

Virginia and Ohio also got sweet locations at last week's Republican National Convention in Tampa.

A few things to know about the convention:

Senate Candidate Tim Kaine is the only member of the Virginia delegation with a featured speaking role. Kaine is in a tough battle with George Allen (R) for Jim Webb's (D) U.S. Senate seat. Kaine will speak Tuesday between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Sen. Mark Warner delivered the keynote speech in 2008, but has no official speaking role at the 2012 convention. He will, however, be a featured speaker for numerous state delegations.

Former DNC chair and Northern Virginia businessman Terry McAuliffe is a member of the Virginia delegation and will also address the Virginia caucus.

For livestreaming of the convention, click here.

Along with Kaine, other featured speakers Tuesday include Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Newark Mayor Cory Booker. First Lady Michelle Obama, former president Jimmy Carter and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley.

Former president Bill Clinton will be a featured speaker Wednesday. President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will accept the party nomination in speeches Thursday.

The official convention website can be found here.

Kathy Keith September 08, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Have you seen the movie, Cheryl?
Kathy Keith September 08, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Rebuttal: 1. No one questions that the economy was a mess. But the workforce has not grown in four years and the entitlements have increased dramatically. 2. Good for you! Personally, I think it could be in better shape than it is. 3. Romney has released last year's tax records and he will release this year's record. Have you any idea how many pages and details are in his records? No one questions that he is an extremely wealthy man. He has paid millions of dollars in taxes. He also gives away millions of dollars. Obama gave away less than 1% even when he and Michelle were making way in the upper $200,000 range ten years ago. Last year he gave away more. I'm more concerned about how Obama spends my money. 4. Romney has explained far more than Obama. He gave five basic points in his acceptance speech and has laid out a very detailed plan on his website. Perhaps you don't like it, but he has laid out a plan. 5. We had a Democratic Congress during the free fall. Obama had a Democratic Congress for two years of his term--and what did that get us? An unaffordable Affordale Health care plan. 6. The social issues are not important to me. I am pro-Choice, but believe that women and men who can afford their birth control should pay for it themselves. I taught school in another life, and I can assure you that the money poured into education does not get where it needs to. It needs to go back to the local level.
Kathy Keith September 08, 2012 at 04:12 PM
rebuttal continued: 7. I too strongly believe in the separation of church and state. That is why the government should not force religious institutions to violate their beliefs. 8. Trickle down does work as proven by Reagan. Hand outs do not work. Government picking winners and losers does not work. I'm happy for the GM workers who have jobs--but the government picked the winners and losers: Winners-union members. Losers--many, many dealers and the Delphi workers. 9. Romney/Ryan is offering the voucher idea as an option-not a requirement. And, for your information, Obama's HHS is now offering a voucher option to 2 million people on a trial basis.
Richard Holmquist September 08, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Our economy is not in "freefall", as Colter95 says. Any objective observer would say we're showing lukewarm growth. When Obama took office the economy definitely was in freefall. By all measures, the policies of the administration helped the country pull out of that death spiral. You can argue with the measures that were used or whether things would be better now with different policies, but don't misrepresent the facts. Three years ago, economists on all sides said we were in for a long period of slow growth with the potential to slip back into recession. We've avoided a new recession, stock prices are up, job growth is slow but positive and housing prices are on the rise. The stage is set for accelerated growth during the next four years, whoever is president. The question to me is what does the country look like at the end of that time. Will we have slashed support to the poor and elderly, gone back to a health care system where the insurance companies can run rampant, and turned over our environment to the oil companies and polluters?
T Ailshire September 18, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Do the political parties honestly believe they'll get stronger participation from their delegates - who are ALREADY partisans - by bribing them with better seats? Sometimes I just shake my head at what passes for important.

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