Democrats rally for Obama nomination at DNC 2012
The booze was flowing, the morale was hopping and the skies were raining in Charlotte, N.C., during the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
In the midst of the swanky parties and politicking amongst some 60,000 people at the convention, history was being made.
Among the hundreds of delegates from across the U.S. and its territories was North Carolina Representative Marcus Brandon.
Brandon set the scene for the convention.
“I am here to take part in yet another historic event,” he said. “I am here to prepare our local and national leaders and allies of my constituents’ needs.”
For the first time in history, LGBT rights were added to the Democrat’s platform.
For the second time in history, delegates nominated an African-American to run in the presidential race.
Inside the Convention Center, The Guilfordian covered the LGBT Caucus, which received a parade of distinguished speakers ranging from second lady Dr. Jill Biden to Senator Barney Frank of Massachusetts and other White House senior-level officials.
It was in those cozy caucuses that delegates, community leaders, nationally-based politicians and local politicians all joined in a unique way and shared the concerns of their constituents with party leaders.
Dr. Timothy J. Eustace, a New Jersey delegate and assemblyman, told The Guilfordian that trying to get Democrats together to exchange questions and concerns that manifest into meaningful action is like “herding cats.”
Still, Eustace, a gay male, was extremely excited to finally see Democrats take a stance on what he called “the greatest civil rights issue of the day.”
There were more than caucus meetings and prime time speeches being given around town.
Between speeches by the likes of Bill Clinton, the forty-second president of the U.S., there were many private events put on by companies.
Brandon explained the purpose of such events at one hosted by a green power initiative.
“I like to make connections with companies that can create jobs for my constituents,” said Brandon. “I want to prepare them for the needs of the people I represent.”
While the Bank of America area hosted the prime time events such as the various speakers who were heard across the world, downtown Charlotte was ablaze with citizens discussing issues ranging from jobs to college education.
Charlotte’s very own Carolina Ale House, much like most other bars and restaurants in the area, was jam-packed with folks listening to speeches blaring from televisions.
The scene in those establishments was one of intense focus mingled with fist pumping and clapping from men, women and children rallying behind their candidate.
Ralph Rodland, High Point vice chair of the Democratic Party, told The Guilfordian it was hard to contain the excitement.
“I mean look at this arena, look at the energy,” said Rodland. “I am here to nominate a president and we will do just that.”
Brandon also remarked on the crowd, noting that the diversity of the Democratic Party was undeniable.
“Have you seen the streets and meeting rooms?” Brandon said. “There are all kinds, shapes, sizes and colors of people. This makes me proud.”
Ultimately, at the close of the convention, President Barack Obama accepted the party’s nomination while the world watched.
Charlotte native Anthony Decker watched Obama’s closing remarks and said that while he was not sure Obama could follow through on all his promises, he was sure of one thing.
“I just can’t see voting for the greater of two evils in this race,” said Decker. “Politics are confusing, but I believe Obama is for the people. I guess we will know in a few months if he’ll get the chance to prove it again.”