Obama to recreate convention speech
AFP WASHINGTON US PRESIDENT Barack Obama will accept the Democratic nomination for November’s election with an open-air stadium speech before tens of thousands of people, recreating his rousing 2008 address.
In a staged spectacular, Obama will deliver the speech at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, in early September as he enters the final stretch of his reelection bid, Democratic officials said.
Steve Kerrigan, chief executive of the Democratic National Convention committee, said that in 2008 when Obama accepted the party nomination, “a new chapter opened in American history.” “I’m excited to announce to you... that we plan to make history once again and break with conventions of the past by opening the doors to more people than ever before,” Kerrigan said in an email to Obama supporters.
Obama’s speech in 2008 broke with precedent when it was moved from the ice hockey arena in Denver hosting other convention events to the home of the NFL Denver Broncos before a 70,000- strong crowd.
The move was a historical nod to the generational political shift engineered by John F
Kennedy, who also accepted his party’s nomination in a cavernous outdoor stadium in 1960. But the event did not escape Republican mockery, as Obama’s foes accused him of betraying hubris after photos leaked of the set for the speech, which included gray column structures which were likened to a Greek temple.
The choice of Bank of America stadium, home to the National Football League Carolina Panthers, may also draw Republican fire.
Obama’s populist campaign theme, arguing that Wall Street greed has deprived middle class people a “fair shake” at the American dream may jar with the fact the venue for his speech will be sponsored by a big US bank.
The Obama campaign sees the use of the large stadium venue as a chance to electrify party activists in a swing state Obama is hoping to win and to create a televised spectacular to suggest large-scale support for his reelection.
Wealthy campaign donors will also be courted to buy big money tickets for executive boxes ringing the stadium.