Live Blog: Democratic National Convention 2012; Barack Obama, Joe Biden

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It's the third and final day of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

President Barack Obama will accept his party's nomination - a formality - and make his case for reelection - a really important moment in a dead-locked race.

There's an all-star warmup show, as well as an introduction by Vice President Joe Biden. Gabby Giffords will lead the Pledge of Allegiance

For live coverage, analysis and more, tune into our live stream in the player above. Or head to our tri-caster to swap between anchored coverage and the live feed. That's from 7 p.m. ET thru 11:30 p.m. ET at abcn.ws/live .

John Kerry: "Ask Osama bin Laden if he's better off than he was four years ago" - 8:48 p.m. ET

and "I'll take the words of Israel's prime minister over Mitt Romney any day."

Brian Schweitzer, packin' heat and a bolo tie - 8:36 p.m. ET - From Elizabeth Hartfield:

In his address to the DNC, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer highlighted a part of Romney's record you might not expect to hear Democrats hit a Republican on: increasing the fee for a gun license.

"And here's the one that got a burr under my saddle: he quadrupled the fee for a gun license! Maybe that's okay for a guy who hunts "varmints." But for the rest of us, that dog don't hunt."

Note - Schweitzer is the second speaker in a bolo tie after Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

Jon Karl interviews James Taylor - 8:30 p.m. ET - On Obama, Taylor says - "As a shower singer, he's a natural. And it doesn't surprise me."

"The Eva longoria who flipped burgers at Wendy's needed a tax break. But the Eva longoria who works on movie sets does not" - 8:25 p.m. ET - Movie star and Obama campaign co-chair.

D is for Drive! R is for Reverse! - Jennifer Granholm wins pep award - 8:21 p.m. ET - Gesticulating and yelling, the former Michigan governor had the crowd on their feet and taking part in her speech. "When Mitt Romney said, 'Let Detroit go bankrupt,' who took the wheel? Barack Obama!"

"Too often, he made it at the expense of middle-class Americans. Year after year, it was profit before people. President Obama? With the auto rescue, he saved more than one million middle-class jobs all across America. In Colorado, the auto rescue saved more than 9,800 jobs! In Virginia, more than 19,000 jobs! In North Carolina, more than 25,000! Wisconsin: more than 28,000 jobs! Pennsylvania: more than 34,000! Florida: more than 35,000! Ohio: more than 150,000! And in the great state of Michigan? President Obama helped save 211,000 good American jobs. All across America, autos are back! Manufacturing is rebounding! Why? Because when Mitt Romney said "Let Detroit go bankrupt," who took the wheel? Barack Obama! When America was losing 750,000 jobs per month, who gave us a lift? Barack Obama! When American markets broke down, who jump-started the engine? Barack Obama! And when America needed it most, who got us rolling again on the road to recovery? Barack Obama!"

Caroline Kennedy highlights Catholic faith - 8:03 p.m. ET - From Elizabeth Hartfield:

In her address Caroline Kennedy highlights her Catholic faith, saying "as a Catholic woman, I take reproductive health seriously." The catholic vote will be very important in November, and it's a vote that is up for grabs. The fight has been highlighted recently as Paul Ryan has joined the ticket (Ryan is of Catholic faith, and he's only the second Catholic ever nominated for a presidential ticket by Republicans.)

"As a Catholic woman, I take reproductive health seriously, and today, it is under attack. This year alone, more than a dozen states have passed more than 40 restrictions on women's access to reproductive health care. That's not the kind of future I want for my daughters or your daughters. Now isn't the time to roll back the rights we were winning when my father was president. Now is the time to move this country forward."

Gabby Giffords - I pledge allegiance… 8:00 p.m. ET - Former congresswoman Gabby Giffords leads an emotional crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.

"@CoryBooker: Ok, now Gabby Giffords just made me cry. What a testimony to strength, resilience, perseverance and beauty!"

Democrats: Fired Up - 7:48 p.m. ET - Cokie Roberts says on the live stream "This is my 12th Democratic convention and I have never seen democrats behaving like this." The party faithful, she says, seems ready to do what Obama wants.

Scarlett Johansson -

Awkward campaign moments of yore - 8:03 p.m. ET - Like Al Gore's smile, Rudy Giuliani's clapping, from Dan Kloeffler -

First taste of Obama's speech - 6:27 p.m. ET - Per Jake Tapper - The president claims the mantle of FDR and says solving the problems of this country s going to take more than a few years:

"I won't pretend the path I'm offering is quick or easy. I never have. You didn't elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. You elected me to tell you the truth. And the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades. It will require common effort, shared responsibility, and the kind of bold, persistent experimentation that Franklin Roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one.

"But know this, America: Our problems can be solved. Our challenges can be met. The path we offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place.

More excerpts her

After speech, Obama heads to battlegrounds - 7:43 p.m. ET - Devin Dwyer reports Obama will head to New Hampshire, Iowa, Florida, Nevada and Colorado in the week following the convention.

Obama campaign manager rejects venue switch - 7:39 p.m. ET - Sunlen Miller reports:

On stage tonight Obama campaign manager Jim Messina expressed regret that the more then 50,000 who originally held tickets to tonight's event could not attend due to the move to the smaller indoor venue to avoid the bad weather.

"I was disappointed that we could not have the tens of thousands of people who planned to be with us tonight in the stadium," Messina said, "but I am so happy that there are over five thousand watch parties happening all over America."

On the large screen a four box showed a few watch parties organized across the country, similar to those happening in Charlotte as a way to make up for it.

"Hey, New Mexico, can you hear me?," he said, "Alright, are you fired up?"

Many of the ticket holders were volunteers who had donated 9 hours of their time over three days to earn 1 ticket.

Obama Campaign Factoids- 7:12 p.m. ET - Meticulously maintained data from Devin Dwyer -

Total Estimated AF1 Domestic Flight Miles in 2012: 121,000 Total Bus Tours in 2012: 2 Overnights at Home in Chicago in 2012: 7 Visits to Chicago Campaign HQ: 2 Total Re-Election Fundraisers Attended in 2012: 139 Total Re-Election Fundraisers in First Term: 209 ( record-breaking; compares to 86 for George W. Bush) Top 4 Battleground States Visited in 2012: Ohio, Virginia, Florida, Colorado Most Visited State of 2012: New York (fundraising!) Total Campaign TV Ads: 57 Total TV Ads Mentioning Romney: 34

Campaign Visits:

Ohio and Virginia - 11 visits New York - 9 visits (including fundraisers) Florida and Colorado - 8 visits Iowa - 7 visits Nevada - 6 visits New Hampshire and North Carolina - 3 visits Pennsylvania - 2 visits

Standing ovation for Iowa son of lesbian couple - 6:56 p.m. ET - From Elizabeth Hartfield - A huge response for Zach Wahls with this line in particular:

"Governor Romney says he's against same-sex marriage because every child deserves a mother and a father. I think every child deserves a family as loving and committed as mine. Because the sense of family comes from the commitment we make to each other to work through the hard times so we can enjoy the good ones. It comes from the love that binds us; that's what makes a family. Mr. Romney, my family is just as real as yours."

Here's video of the speech he gave to Iowa legislators that made him something of a cause celebre among advocates of same sex marriage:

Definitive guide to Bill Clinton's epic ad-lib - 6:50 p.m. ET - Watch, follow along, and read how he changed in the moment

Joe Biden's bumper sticker lives on the DNC floor - 6:30 p.m. ET - From Arlette Saenz:

Twitter / Arlette Saenz

Mitt Romney vs. 'Myth' Romney - 5:42 p.m. ET - Barney Frank, retiring from Congress, assailed Mitt Romney's record in Massachusetts by calling the former governor's version of events there "myth' Romney. Ha ha.

"This is a hard one for me because of my diction," said Frank. "It turns out our governor was Mitt Romney, what we should have had was Myth Romney"

Image Credit: Rick Rowell / ABC News

Diane Sawyer Interviews Michelle Obama for World News - 4:20 p.m. ET - Greg Krieg writes:

As some Democrats waver over whether the country is "better off today than four years ago," first lady Michelle Obama told ABC "World News" anchor Diane Sawyer her answer is yes, and that Americans "are growing to understand just how much we've accomplished."

The first lady pointed to the end of the war in Iraq, a planned departure from Afghanistan, and an economy "on the brink of collapse," that's "now consistently creating jobs."

"Our grandparents can afford their medicine," she said. "Our kids can stay on our health care until they're 26 years old. I could go on and on and on."

Democrats would like nothing more. Michelle Obama is, with former President Bill Clinton, among the party's most popular figures. She also may be the president's most powerful campaign surrogate.

"I didn't think it was possible," she said during her convention speech Tuesday night, "but, today, I love my husband even more than I did four years ago, even more than I did 23 years ago."

John Lewis moves some to tears telling of Civil Rights apology - 6:11 p.m. ET - It looks like some delegates have been moved to tears by the speech of civil rights activist and Georgia Rep. John Lewis A particularly poignant passage of his speech came after Lewis told the story of a time he was beating by an angry mob in Rock Hill South Carolina in 1961: "A few years ago, a man from Rock Hill, inspired by President Obama's election, decided to come forward. He came to my office in Washington and said, "I am one of the people who beat you. I want to apologize. Will you forgive me?" I said, "I accept your apology." He started crying. He gave me a hug. I hugged him back, and we both started crying. This man and I don't want to go back; we want to move forward."

Here's a GMA segment on that reunion:

Biggest moments of the DNC… so far - Click here

Obama regrets 'syntax' of 'you didn't build that' - Devin Dwyer reports:

President Obama says he regrets the "syntax" of his "you didn't build that" remark at a July campaign rally in Virginia that has since become a rallying cry for Republicans.

"Obviously, I have regrets for my syntax," Obama told Norfolk, Va., TV affiliate WWBT in an interview that aired Wednesday. "But not for the point, because everyone who was there watching knows exactly what I was saying."

The president was making his case for higher taxes on wealthier Americans to fund greater government investments in education and infrastructure to boost the middle class.

Obama's 2 other convention speeches - 4:00 p.m. ET - This is Barack Obama's third address to a DNC. Julie Percha has the last two:

As President Obama takes the stage tonight to accept his party's nomination in Charlotte, he'll make his pitch as an embattled president in a virtually neck-and-neck race for a second term. Here's a look at Obama's evolution on the convention speech stage, from up-and-comer in 2004 to inspiring nominee in 2008 - and now, to a president arguing he needs more time to fix the economy and didn't betray his promise of change in his first term.

When he took the stage at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, Barack Obama was a first-time U.S. Senate candidate who was largely unknown outside his home state of Illinois. He delivered the keynote address on the second night of the convention, spellbinding attendees with a message of unity and spurring speculation of a potential presidential bid, himself: Watch them here.

What to expect tonight? An argument and a look 'forward' - 6:03 p.m. ET - From Devin Dwyer and Mary Bruce:

The president plans to use the moment to "savor" his first term accomplishments, he told supporters in an email this week. Political strategists said he'll need to present a compelling case for how the country is better off four years on.

Only 31 percent of Americans believe the country is on the "right track," according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll. Sixty-seven percent say it's on the "wrong path."

… On the economy, voters give Romney a slight edge when asked who would do a better job, 46 percent to Obama's 44 percent, in the same ABC/Post poll.

While Obama has outlined a broad economic vision for the country - an approach that emphasizes higher taxes on wealthier Americans to fund greater investments in education and infrastructure - he has offered scant detail about if and when the recovery will proceed more quickly and create millions of new jobs. He is asking voters to trust that the status quo will be the better path.

Their full scene setter.

Or, as Russell Goldman puts it - " Obama to sell status quo, not change."

Democrats' Dilemma and What Obama Needs to Do - 6:19 p.m. ET - Amy Walter's analysis:

Most Americans would agree with the spirit of President Clinton's "we are in this together" philosophy. They help their neighbors. They volunteer at their churches and schools. They want to see a society where everyone gets an equal opportunity to succeed.

…If Obama couldn't deliver his promise to change Washington, it is tough to convince voters that re-electing him will ensure that he can now make Washington work for them.

The challenge for Obama isn't convincing Americans that government is important. It is convincing them that government is competent.

Kennedys: The Next Generation - 3:30 p.m. ET - ABC's Jonathan Karl interviewed Ted Kennedy Jr. and Patrick Kennedy stopped by. They compared Obama's race against Mitt Romney to their father's in 1994. Take a look:

Cory Booker hints a guv run - 3:16 p.m. ET - Arlette Saenz reports:

Addressing the LGBT caucus meeting in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday afternoon, Booker, the mayor of Newark, N.J., hinted at a potential run for governor, telling the gathering he hopes to "have a very good seat" when marriage equality is achieved in the Garden State.

"I'm telling you right now, it's not a matter of if we're going to win marriage equality in New Jersey, it's a matter of when we're going to win it," Booker said. "And I know in my heart of hearts, if God is willing, I will be there on that day that bill is signed. I might even have a very good seat when it gets done."

The last 'jobs Friday' before voters start voting - 3:08 p.m. ET - Elizabeth Hartfield reports:

Election Day isn't until Nov. 6, which gives Democrats and Republicans three more monthly jobs reports to anticipate, right?

Not exactly. Although job numbers for August, September and October will be released before Election Day, August's jobs report, which comes out Friday, is the last one before general election voting begins, thanks to early voting.

Between Friday's jobs report and September's, which comes out Oct. 5, several key swing states, including Iowa, Ohio and Virginia, will have already started to vote through early and in-person absentee ballots. And while historically speaking, the majority of votes are not cast early in these states, a sizable percentage (although less than half) of the voting population still gets to the polls before Election Day. In 2008, 30 percent of the total votes cast in Ohio came in early. In Iowa, it was 36 percent, and in Virginia, 14 percent.

By the time October's jobs report is released Nov. 2, much of the vote could have already been cast in additional swing states, such as Colorado, Florida, Wisconsin and North Carolina, where President Obama will accept his party's nomination tonight.

With polling showing Romney and Obama in a virtual dead heat, these early votes in key swing states could make a difference.

Steelworker featured at DNC didn't work at Bain - 12:32 p.m. ET - ABC's Jon Karl reports:

The Democratic National Convention on Wednesday featured three speakers billed as "former employees of companies controlled by Bain Capital."

They each told compelling stories about jobs lost, allegedly because of the actions of Bain under Romney's leadership.

But it turns out one of those employees never actually worked for a company controlled by Bain Capital.
David Foster was supposedly one of those former employees on the convention schedule. He told the story about 750 steelworkers who lost their jobs when the Bain-controlled company GST steel filed for bankruptcy in the early 1990s.

"In 2001, with GST bankrupt and Romney still CEO of Bain, I stood in front of hundreds of steelworkers in their 50s and 60s, and retirees in their 70s and 80s, and told them Romney and Bain had broken their promises. Jobs, vacation pay, severance, health insurance and pension benefits that were promised - they were all gone," he said. Read his full speech here

Instead, Foster was a union organizer representing workers who did work there.

More on GST steel and a new Romney pushback about that company is in Jon's post .

REWIND - A fact-check of Bill Clinton and Elizabeth Warren - From ABC's Greg Krieg:

Example: Bill Clinton: 'So here's another job score. President Obama: plus 4.5 million, congressional Republicans: zero.'

In January 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 106.8 million Americans in paid jobs. In July of this year, the figure came in at 111.3 million. That's a gain of 4.5 million. The problem: President Obama was sworn in to office in January 2009. On his first day in office, the private payroll count stood at 111 million. So if Obama is to take full responsibility for all his time in office, his administration has only created a net of 300,000 jobs.

The more realistic number probably falls somewhere in between.

The rest is here.

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