Democrats Announce Convention Speakers

The Democratic National Committee has released a partial list of the people who will be speaking at next week’s convention:

(CNN) – An hour after Mitt Romney stepped off of his party’s convention stage, crowned as the Republican presidential nominee, organizers of the Democratic convention announced several speakers who will appear onstage in Charlotte, North Carolina next week.

The partial lineup released Friday highlights Democratic women, Latinos, African-Americans, and congressional leaders.

The convention speaker list includes Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts; Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley; Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the former White House Chief of Staff; and former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, who is running for a U.S. Senate seat.

Earlier this week, convention organizers announced that Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Rep. Barbara Lee of California would participate in revealing the party’s platform.

Among the speakers announced Friday are House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the convention announced.

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Charlie Gonzalez, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver, Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, and Judy Chu, who is among the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, will also speak, the convention announced.

Additionally, earlier today it was announced that Governor Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, a former Republican Senator who s witch party affiliation to Independent in 2007, will be joining Charlie Crist as one of the “former Republicans” speaking at the convention. Much like Crist, I can’t say that there are many people in the country who really care what Lincoln Chaffee has to say, or that he used to be a Republican but parties take advantage of switches like this all the time, witness this week’s appearance by former Democratic Congressman Artur Davis at the Republican Convention.

Perhaps the most interesting this about the current speakers list is that it is populated with far more sitting Members of Congress than the Republican Convention had. Republicans instead chose to feature their new stable of Governors, although they did give plenty of time to young Members of Congress and Congressional candidates such as Utah’s Mia Love. Partly, this is because the Democratic stable of Governor’s isn’t quite as well-stocked at the moment, of course, but given the relatively low opinion that the public holds Congress in I find it interesting that the Democrats are relying on so many members of that body to share their message next week.

The speaker that interests me the most is Cory Booker. I have a feeling that he could’ve been the Keynote Speaker but for his comments about the Obama campaign’s Bain attacks earlier this year, but he’ll still have one of the largest audiences he’s ever faced and it will be an important test for his political future.  The other speaker that could be interesting is Rahm Emanuel. For that one, perhaps convention organizers should make sure they have either a “Bleep” button or a seven second delay, though.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Tsar Nicholas says:

    That really is a funny article by CNN. You read the 2nd graf (“women, Latinos, African-Americans, and congressional leaders”) and then in the very next graf they list four white guys, none of whom are congressional leaders.

    In any event, the thoughts that immediately come to mind:

    – I’m surprised Kaine is appearing. He’s locked in a very tight race with George Allen and merely by associating himself with what promises to be a loopy agenda Kaine might cost himself a material number of net votes.

    – Booker makes a lot of sense (although obviously they’re going to, ahem, “manage” his talking points) but having Barbara Lee front and center is a serious mistake. Perhaps they’re counting on nobody watching. Lee is way out there and it’s not outside the realm of possibility that she’ll say something so crazy it’ll jar even Zombieland into thinking they want no part of that agenda.

    – It will be somewhat surreal to listen on the one hand to Obama blaming Congress for the current mess but on the other hand that so many of the Democrat speakers are sitting members of Congress. But it’s not as if the media will point out that oxymoron to the electorate and the latter probably won’t on their own be able to connect the dots.

    – How ironic is it that the Democrats have no statewide equivalents to Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Susana Martinez nor Brian Sandoval? Would MSNBC be able even to grasp that irony?

  2. Dean says:

    The one that surprises me is Rahm Emanuel. Chicago has been the Wild, Wild West since he took over as mayor. Through July, there had been over 300 murders, which is a large increase over 2011. Flash mob thefts and beatings have also been a problem throughout the city.

    In addition, the Chicago Teachers’ Union has voted for a strike which would begin on September 10th. Both sides are quite far apart on pay and work rules and in Chicago the public school system reports up through the mayor’s office. I would have expected him to be in Chicago continuing to negotiate to ensure 400,000 students aren’t without schools the following week.

    Finally, given that unions are critical to Democratic support, it will be interesting to see if Emanuel gets a pass for going around the union to institute a longer school day.

  3. Scott F. says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:
    MSNBC will be too busy airing pictures of a convention hall filled with people who look like the Hispanics at the podium. You know… The shots they didn’t have when Rubio and Martinez spoke at the RNC.

  4. al-Ameda says:

    At least the Democratic Party convention organizers, unlike the Republican Party convention organizers, won’t have to fake the diversity stuff.

  5. Nikki says:

    And this line-up is why I am not a registered Democrat. Booker, Emanuel, Clinton, Holder, Obama–they and their Republican counterparts are all pigs feeding at the Wall Street trough.

    Hey, James and Doug, there’s your proof-positive that both sides do it.

  6. FoxieNews says:

    That is a Who’s Who List of Imbeciles!

    Look who the DNC’s Surprise Guest will be….

    https://twitter.com/FoxieNews/status/241368672868921345

    LOL 🙂

  7. An Interested Party says:

    It will be somewhat surreal to listen on the one hand to Obama blaming Congress for the current mess but on the other hand that so many of the Democrat speakers are sitting members of Congress. But it’s not as if the media will point out that oxymoron to the electorate and the latter probably won’t on their own be able to connect the dots.

    Umm, Republicans control the House of Representatives and have used the filibuster to block a lot of things in the Senate, so it won’t be surreal nor will it be an oxymoron…the person who can’t seem to connect the dots is you…

    Look who the DNC’s Surprise Guest will be….

    Sandra Fluke certainly couldn’t do any worse than Clint Eastwood did…

  8. Stonetools says:

    Look out for Martin O’Malley , governor of Maryland. A possible 2016 candidate.

  9. al-Ameda says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    – I’m surprised Kaine is appearing. He’s locked in a very tight race with George Allen and merely by associating himself with what promises to be a loopy agenda Kaine might cost himself a material number of net votes.

    You mean, as loopy as an agenda that supports the notion of “legitimate rape”?