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Democrats using Michelle Obama to counter Christie

September 4, 2012 by Scott Bomboy


The official list of speakers is out for the Democratic convention in Charlotte, and Michelle Obama is the featured speaker on Tuesday, a week after Chris Christie had a similar role at the GOP convention.

The Republican convention was, literally, under some storm clouds last Tuesday when Christie, the often-vocal New Jersey governor, took the podium in Tampa. Day one of the GOP convention last Monday was cancelled due to Hurricane Isaac and the storm was lurking on the Gulf Coast when Christie spoke.

The Democratic keynote speaker, San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro, appears just before Michelle Obama concludes the evening. Julián’s twin brother, Joaquin,  will introduce the mayor. Joaquin is a Texas state legislator running for a House seat in November.

And one of Chris Christie’s biggest critics, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, is speaking just after 10 p.m. ET. Expect a few fireworks out of O’Malley.

The speakers’ list from day one does give some clues about how the Democrats will counter a rather active Republican convention that stressed four themes: America, Mitt Romney’s presidential leadership ability, jobs, and President Barack Obama’s own job performance.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker is speaking early in the evening, along with a Cincinnati firefighter.

The leader of the National Abortion Rights Action League Pro-Choice America, Nancy Keenan, is speaking in the 8 p.m. ET hour. Women’s equality leader Lilly Ledbetter speaks about one hour later.

And yes, there is a Hollywood actor on the speaker list for Tuesday. Kal Penn, who left the TV show House to work in the Democratic administration, is set to speak in the 9 p.m. hour after Rahm Emanuel.

Like the Republicans last week, the major three TV networks will show live coverage just at 10 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

It’s unknown if President Obama will appear with the First Lady after her speech. Last week, Mitt Romney came on stage after Ann Romney spoke.

The Democrats will also vote to approve their party platform on Tuesday night.

Scott Bomboy is the Editor-in-Chief of the National Constitution Center.

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