Tune into ABC News on Thursday. Diane Sawyer Interviews First Lady Michelle Obama tomorrow on World News, hours before Barack Obama takes the stage to accept his party’s nomination and argue he deserves a second term.
But first, lets live blog. Here’s what caught our eye Wednesday from the convention and the ABC News / Yahoo! News live stream – abcnews.go.com/politics/live
Clinton speech highlights – 12:07 p.m. ET
Best moments of DNC, day 2 – 12:08 p.m. ET
A step back – 11:52 p.m. ET – Russell Goldman takes a more expansive look at what Clinton said – “Articulating the successes of the Obama administration in 30 minutes more concisely and energetically than the Obama campaign has in six months, Clinton said President Obama’s policies were working to fix the economy.”
The Hug – click below despite the featured photo being of my colleague Devin Dwyer -
Obama joins Clinton on-stage after speech – 11:24 p.m. ET
“So far everyone who has bet against America has lost money” – 11:22 p.m. ET
Transcript of Clinton’s remarks (before he ad-libbed off them) is here – 11:21 p.m. ET
Michelle Obama Tops Obama on Twitter -
Clinton the professor – 11:17 p.m. ET – From Devin Dwyer -
Clinton is playing Professor tonight — “no, listen, this is important” … “You’re having a good time but this is serious” — trying to get through to voters on some complicated issues that people can’t really wrap their minds around in daily back and forth of the campaign.
This is his attempt to really “teach this course” when he’s got a captive audience, people on TV and here on edge of their seats.
Obama campaign aides and top Dem strategists have said based on focus groups that one of the biggest challenges they face is debunking complicated lies and disbelief that Ryan plan is really as bad as it sounds.
Clinton gives Obama props on Medicare – 11:06 p.m. ET – “Let me ask you something. Are we better off because President Obama fought for health care reform. You bet we are.”
And on raiding Medicare and Paul Ryan – “It takes a lot of brass to accuse a guy of doing what you did.”
Just 4 Years – 10:50 p.m. ET – No president, argues Clinton – not even him – could have solved the economic mess in “just four years.”
The top trending topic ton Twitter? #Hillary2016
Clinton says what other Democrats haven’t – Americans are better off- 10:54 p.m. ET – From Chris Good – Clinton says it directly, for just the second time of this convention by my loose count, that we are better off than we were four years ago.
“Are we where we want to be today? No. Is the President satisfied? No. Are we better off than we were when he took office? [CHEERS] with an economy in free fall, we were losing 750,000 jobs a month. Are we doing better than that today? The answer is YES.”
Steny Hoyer said it earlier tonight. That was the first time I can recall anyone saying directly that America is better off than when Obama took office. Clinton is making the case forcefully.
Clinton brings up 2008 primary -10:47 p.m. ET – President Obama appointed several members of his cabinet even though they supported Hillary in the primary. Heck. He even appointed Hillary.
“Democracy doesn’t have to be a blood sport, it can be an honorable enterprise.”
Clintonism – 10:44 p.m. ET – “Nobody is right all the time. And a broken clock is right twice a day.”
Terry Moran tweets – 10:44 p.m. ET – “Clinton has mentioned W more than the entire RNC.”
Jobs Score? 10:43 p.m. ET – Clinton says Democrats have created 42 million in recent presidencies. Republicans, 24. We’ll be fact-checking that.
Clinton – “We’re all in this together is a far better philosophy than you’re on your own!” – 10:39 p.m. ET
Bill Clinton – I want a man who is cool on the outside… warm for America on the inside.
“After last night I want a man who had the good sense to marry Michelle Obama.”
Bill Clinton saunters on stage to Fleetwood Mac – 10:36 p.m. ET – We can’t give you a transcript because such a creature doesn’t exist.
Warren – “People feel like the system is rigged against them. And they’re right.”
No, Governor Romney, corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they cry, they dance. They live, they love, and they die. And that matters. That matters because we don’t run this country for corporations, we run it for people. And that’s why we need Barack Obama.
Elizabeth Warren walks out to Michael Jackson – 10:16 p.m. ET – Gotta be startin’ something
Chris Van Hollen vs. Paul Ryan (The Budget Committee Duel) – 10:19 p.m. ET -From Chris Good -
Rep. Chris Van Hollen will play Paul Ryan in Joe Biden’s debate prep, and on Thursday night he offered some weighty criticism of Paul Ryan’s budget plan, and the Republican Party’s budget stance in general.
Van Hollen is the Democrats’ top member on the House Budget Committee. A promising member of Democratic leadership, he landed in that spot in January 2011 when Democrats lost the House majority.
In star power, Van Hollen has been outshone by Ryan. But his criticisms were forceful and detailed, bringing up Obama’s deficit commission and refuting Republicans’ repeated claim that Obama has never submitted a budget to Congress.
I’ll admit, I was glad Paul was picked. I hoped it would result in a serious debate about the choice before us. Then I heard his acceptance speech—it kept the fact-checkers up all night. The Republicans had this gigantic clock in the arena showing the size of the national debt. Paul told America, “If you elect Republicans, we can fix that.” But, if Paul Ryan was being honest, he would have pointed to that debt clock and said: “We built that.” …
[Obama] established a bipartisan commission to get smart folks from both parties together to develop a plan to reduce the deficit and grow jobs. Guess what? It worked. They produced a balanced, bipartisan plan that would cut $4 trillion from the deficit. Lots of Republicans supported it, including Senator Coburn from Oklahoma. And Paul Ryan. He was on the commission. He voted against the plan.
[Ryan] said that President Obama doesn’t have a plan to reduce the deficit. But the president does have a plan. Here it is. He submitted it to Congress. It’s on the Internet.
In other news – Woodward book chronicles failure of debt talks – 10:14 p.m. ET -From Rick Klein, who has seen the book, which leaked tonight -
An explosive mix of dysfunction, miscommunication, and misunderstandings inside and outside the White House led to the collapse of a historic spending and debt deal that President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner were on the verge of reaching last summer, according to revelations in author Bob Woodward’s latest book.
The book, “The Price of Politics,” on sale Sept. 11, 2012, shows how close the president and the House speaker were to defying Washington odds and establishing a spending framework that included both new revenues and major changes to long-sacred entitlement programs.
Sandra Fluke on a dire choice for women, and two roads, she says, for women – 10:11 p.m. ET -
During this campaign, we’ve heard about the two profoundly different futures that could await women—and how one of those futures looks like an offensive, obsolete relic of our past. Warnings of that future are not distractions. They’re not imagined. That future could be real.
In that America, your new president could be a man who stands by when a public figure tries to silence a private citizen with hateful slurs. Who won’t stand up to the slurs, or to any of the extreme, bigoted voices in his own party. It would be an America in which you have a new vice president who co-sponsored a bill that would allow pregnant women to die preventable deaths in our emergency rooms. An America in which states humiliate women by forcing us to endure invasive ultrasounds we don’t want and our doctors say we don’t need. An America in which access to birth control is controlled by people who will never use it; in which politicians redefine rape so survivors are victimized all over again; in which someone decides which domestic violence victims deserve help, and which don’t. We know what this America would look like. In a few short months, it’s the America we could be. But it’s not the America we should be. It’s not who we are. We’ve also seen another future we could choose. First of all, we’d have the right to choose.
Tonight, Bill Clinton addresses the Democratic National Convention. And so does Elizabeth Warren. They’re two big voices in the Democratic party, but she’s something of a throwback to old-school progressivism and he was father of the New Democrats. An senior campaign advisor told ABC today they’ll have the same message.
“It’s not about the size of government, it’s what you’re investing in?” according to the adviser.
‘Spanish Oprah’ for Obama – 9:48 p.m. ET – ABC’s Arlette Saenz reports -
Cristina Saralegui, who is often cited as the “Hispanic Oprah,” wooed the Latino vote, telling them “Si se puede!”
“America was the place that said it doesn’t matter where you come from, it doesn’t matter what your last name is, it doesn’t matter if you drink cortaditos, or lattes, or café con leche, coffee with milk. Here, if you work hard, anything is possible. That’s what I did. And that’s what I did, si se puede”
“Governor Romney’s plan is really just one word: pa’trás—backward. We need to move forward—pa’lante!Pa’lante!We need to re-elect our President Obama.”
But as Chris Good pointed out, Saralegui also used a debunked attack against Romney in her speech when she said: “He said that Arizona’s immigration law should be a ‘model’ for our country.” Romney’s campaign has said he was talking about e-verify, not the Arizona immigration law. Politifact HERE.
Obama and Clinton by the numbers – 9:47 p.m. ET – From Bruce/Dwyer:
4 – The number of joint fundraisers Bill Clinton and Obama have done this year.
1 – The number of paid TV ads that Clinton stars in for Obama.
1 – The number of Obama campaign videos Clinton is featured in.
1 – The number of appearances Clinton has made for the pro-Obama SuperPac Priorities USA
Gov. Deval Patrick: I Like Being the Boss – 9:35 p.m. ET – The Massachusetts governor deflects questions by Jonathan Karl of a run in 2016.
Yahoo! News’ Olivier Knox isn’t buying a stadum conspiracy – 9:15 p.m. ET – “It seems unlikely, especially in North Carolina, that [the Obama campaign] would risk alienating volunteers for a 20 percent chance of rain,” Knox said. “Do we really think that that was their big clever move?”
‘Nun On the Bus’ Gets DNC Standing Ovation – Sister Simone Campbell shares Americans’ struggles with health insurance.
Where is Hillary? Timor Leste – 9:09 p.m. ET – From ABC’s Dana Hughes -
When Bill Clinton hits the stage tonight, his wife Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will literally be 10,168 miles away on a coffee plantation in Timor Leste, a tiny Asian nation near Indonesia.
Secretary Clinton is making history as the first U.S. Secretary of State to visit the country since it gained independence a decade ago, following a 24-year war with Indonesia that killed at least 100,000 people. A Senior State Department official told the traveling press that Secretary Clinton will also announce a $6.5 million scholarship program for young Timorese to study in the United States, before getting back on a plane tonight (or this morning EST) to head to Russia where she’ll be representing the Obama Administration at the Asian Pacific Economic Summit.
Obama will be in arena for Bill Clinton speech – 9:08 p.m. ET – First reported by George Stephanopoulos.
Arena on Lockdown – 8:56 p.m. ET – More here.
The Time Warner Cable Arena is now on lock down. Attendees are not able to enter the complex or reach the floor. Per fire marshalls building is “temporarily” at capacity. Temporary hold they say. But ABC’s Cecilia Vega notes there are several hundred people waiting to get in.
‘Card Carrying Capitalist’ – 8:52 p.m. ET – Both Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Deleware Gov. Jack Markell have played up their businessmen backgrounds. It’s becoming something of a theme among executive office speakers. Markell called himself a “card carrying capitalist.
Pictures of people in crazy convention outfits – 9:05 p.m. ET -
Pool Party – Rubin dunked at Ritz – 8:36 p.m. ET – Twitter tells us this: CNBC/NYT reporter John Harwood tweets:
Photo proof from reporter Lois Romano.
Planned Parenthood head Cecile Richards mentions Todd Akin – 8:39 p.m. ET – From Falcone/Kaye Foley:
First mention of Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin by name tonight.
“Two years ago, when John Boehner, Paul Ryan, Todd Akin and the Tea Party took control of the House of Representatives, they promised to create jobs and jump-start the economy,” she said. “But instead, on day one, they came after women’s health and they haven’t let up since.” (Didn’t get much reaction in the arena).
It’s impossible to understate the prominence that women’s issues, in particular abortion rights, has played on the convention stage over the last two days. We’ve collected several instances where speakers have invoked the word “rape” — which is what got Akin into hot water in the first place.
Silver Spoons – 8:38 p.m. ET – Richards, by the way, is the daughter of former Texas Gov. Ann Richards, who died several years ago. She famously attacked George H. W. Bush in 1988. “Poor George,” she said, “he was born with a silver foot in his mouth.”
Watch that archival video here:
Steny Hoyer says it – ‘We’re better off today’ – 8:28 p.m. ET – Chris Good reports:
This is the first direct statement at the DNC that America is better off now than it was when President Obama took office. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer:
After listing jobs numbers change, from losing 800k when Obama took office to gaining 172,000 in July … “it’s a turnaround of nearly one million jobs from when President Obama took office. Surely Mr. Romney thinks we’re better off today than we were then.”
Other speakers have said, obliquely, that things have improved under Obama. But we’ve been tracking, and Hoyer is the first to say it directly. Romney campaign aides had noted Tuesday that no speakers said the phrase – in answer to a question from Rep. Paul Ryan – during the first day of the convention.
Senate Democratic women take the stage – 7:34 p.m. – Democrats introduce their Democratic senators like the Harlem globetrotters. They come onstage one at a time to applause. From Arlette Saenz:
Senators Barbara Boxer, Maria Cantwell, Dianne Feinstein, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kay Hagan, Amy Klobuchar, May Landrieu, Patty Murray, Jean Shaheen and Debbie Stabenow
Sen. Barbara Mikulski, described as ”Dean of America’s women’s senators” and the longest serving woman in Congress, walked out to the start of Katy Perry’s “Firework”
“We’re the Olympic team as you see we come in different sizes but we sure are united to do the best for our country,” she said, roughly.
She described women in party – “our shoulders square, our lipstick on” – “We the women of the senate, with President Obama by our side, we’re going to keep fighting – our shoulders square, our lipstick on, because you deserve equal pay for your hard work.
Katy Perry’s Firework played again as they left the stage, and all the women held hands together and waved them in the air.
Obama ordered ‘God,’ Jerusalem’ back into Democratic platform – 7:38 p..m. ET – From Devin Dwyer – An Obama campaign official confirms reporting that President Obama personally directed that the Democratic Party’s platform language be changed to include God and affirm Jerusalem as the proper capital of Israel. More on that below.
Conn. Gov on women’s rights – 7:08 p.m. ET – From Arlette Saenz – Gov. Dannel Malloy got fired up talking about women’s rights, saying it is “personal” to him and should be to anyone with a “sister, mother or a daughter.”
“Let’s talk about women’s rights. And this is personal my wife ran a rape crisis center for 11 years. The Republicans want to take away a woman’s right to choose, even if she’s a rape victim. That’s in their platform. That’s what they believe. Put it this way That’s why there are three simple reasons for anyone to support Barack Obama over Mitt Romney: “Your sister, your mother, and your daughter. Let’s stand for them. Let’s stand for the women of America”
He also said the Romney/Ryan budget would leave Americans with “Romney’s Raw Deal”
“That’s the Romney-Ryan budget. It isn’t conservative. It’s harsh, it’s radical, and it’s wrong. It would shred the safety net that protects the middle class and those striving to get there. It would undermine FDR’s New Deal, unravel Harry Truman’s Fair Deal and leave us with Mitt Romney’s Raw Deal!
Emanuel Cleaver, animated – 7:02 p.m. ET – From Chris Good – Stirring lines from Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (MO), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, who delivered the most animated speech of the convention so far:
“Color me Democrat, color me liberal … we are the ones who protected Social Security, Meciare, and Medicaid … We are Democrats – and don’t you ever forget it!”
Tells Obama to “hope on—hope on! When everything else is gone, hope on!” Mentions throne of God, did not catch exact line. Cleaver made a marching motion onstage while imploring the crowd to march on. “It is our hope that instructs us … to move our feet … to march on.”
Much (perhaps most) of Cleaver’s speech was off the script. DNCC released a much shorter version ahead of the speech.
Here’s a pretty unbelievable animated gif of Emanuel Cleaver.
Chuck Schumer Brags about ‘New Yorker’ Bill Clinton – in his 6 p.m. hour speech, New York senator points out Democrats are showcasing their former president and Republicans didn’t bring theirs to the convention.
The big news today? Obama’s Thursday speech will be moved indoors due to weather - 6:52 p.m. ET Republicans looked at the weather report and argued it was because of lack of enthusiasm. Read more from Falcone and Dwyer about the big move indoors and whether it signals a lack of enthusiasm or a lack of enthusiasm to get wet. In any case, what was to be an event open to the public and volunteers is now open only to the delegates and press who can get into the Time Warner arena. Meet some sad teenagers.
Caroline Kenney tells David Muir she’s still inspired by Obama – 6:24 p.m. ET –
“I think he did a tremendous job bringing our economy back from such a difficult, difficult recession, and our country is safe, we’re getting out of the wars, the auto industry is coming back, he’s done a lot on education,” Kennedy told Muir. “I can go down the list. … I really always find it puzzling when people sort of ask, you know, what has he done, because anyone else who’d done that much could pretty much take it easy, but he needs four more years to keep it going.” More here.
What to watch for tonight? Todd Akin – 6:21 p.m. ET – From Michael Falcone -
Be on the lookout for mentions of Todd Akin tonight — Especially since there has been such an emphasis in this convention on women’s issues and abortion rights.
Democrats change platform to include Jerusalem, God – 5:57 p.m. ET – From Jake Tapper
A Democratic source tells ABC News that the 2012 Democratic Platform is being “updated to reflect the president’s position that Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel.”
The Platform will also will be updated to include language mentioning “God” that had been taken out, specifically the 2008 language saying “we need a government that stands up for the hopes, values and interests of working people and gives everyone wiling to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.”
The changes in the platform had met with criticism from not only Republicans, but Democrats.
Bill Clinton and Barack Obama; A rocky road – 5:38 p.m. ET – Clinton twice endorsed Obama’s opponent in Democratic primaries. It’s gotten better recently. But there have been other odd moments. Remember Bill Clinton hijacking Obama’s press conference? More here.
Monica Lewinsky’s former Rabbi to deliver benediction after Bill Clinton speaks at DNC – 5:37 p.m ET – From Michael Falcone-
Rabbi David Wolpe of Los Angeles’ Sinai Temple, where Monica Lewinsky and her family were congregation members for decades and where Lewinsky attended religious school, is scheduled to deliver the benediction at the Democratic National Convention tonight — not long after Bill Clinton speaks.
Not only was Wolpe the Lewinsky family’s rabbi, he also sharply condemned President Clinton at the time his sexual relationship with Lewinsky, then a 24-year-old White House intern, was dominating national headlines.
“He was a brilliant, talented, extraordinary child, and for the leader of the United States we need an adult,” Rabbi Wolpe told his temple, according to a 1998 Associated Press account. He said Clinton needed to “cleanse his soul.”
DNC Purgatory – Which delegation got the worst hotels? -6:03 p.m. ET – From ABC’s travel section.
GOP SuperPAC ad calls Biden a ‘drunk uncle’ – 5:48 p.m. - From Arlette Saenz
Paul Ryan says Dems ‘God’ omission not compatible with ‘founding documents.’ But they didn’t mention ‘God’ in Constitution – 5:26 p.m. ET – Read more from Shush Walshe
Convention Panorama -click here:
Snap! Beau Biden on Ryan’s marathon: ‘I think my mom could take him’ – – 5:25 p.m. ET – From Arlette Saenz – Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden, bashed Paul Ryan Wednesday for shaving more than an hour off his marathon time and even turned his attack into a family matter, saying “my mom could take him.”
“The Romney-Ryan budget means what it says. I believe his math as it relates to his budget. I’m not sure if I believe his math as it relates to his marathon times,” Beau Biden told the Veterans and Military Families Council Meeting in Charlotte, N.C. “You know those runners out here, Army personnel, Navy guys and women, Marines, airmen, Coast Guard. You know your times, right? You know what your PT score is right? That’s not something you forget.
Ryan seeks to connect with ‘kindred spirits’ in Iowa – 4:32 p.m. ET – He’s got the accent and the family background to help Romney in a battleground state where he lost caucuses in 2008 and 2012. Today in Iowa, Shush Walshe reports that Ryan said he felt like he was home.
Could fact check fury hurt Ryan’s political brand? – 4:08 p.m. ET – ABC’s Greg Krieg investigates -
Ryan has given rise to a furious fact-check revolution, with analysts warning his claims — about everything from Health Care reform to his best marathon time — could imperil what many had painted as his cardinal virtue: Honesty.
It’s a stark departure from just two months ago, when The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza called Ryan the leader of the Republican party’s “attack and propose faction,” an ideas man (and counterpoint to some of his obstructionist Republican colleagues) who had written and passed budgets in the House and drafted two versions of his fiscal manifesto, “The Roadmap.”
ABC / Univision Immigration Special- 4:04 p.m. ET – Catch up on our special DNC live stream with Univision. It featured Jake Tapper -
“It’s not if, it’s when,” Rep. Xavier Becerra told ABC News’ Jake Tapper in response to a question about passing immigration overhaul. “It makes no difference if it’s a Democrat in the White House or a Republican, we’re going to get immigration reform.”
Becerra of California was one of several Hispanic leaders who joined Tapper, National Journal’s Ron Brownstein and Univision’s Maria Elena Salinas at today’s panel event in Charlotte, N.C., titled “Tomorrow’s America: The Hispanic Surge and the New Landscape in American Politics.” More here from Elizabeth Hartfield
Introducing Clinton – Elizabeth Warren, intellectual forbear to Obama’s ‘You didn’t build that’ comment – 8:15 a.m. ET – The Republicans built their entire convention around the theme that Elizabeth Warren sparked when she said this at a fundraiser in 2011:
“You built a factory out there? Good for you — but I want to be clear: You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for.”
The Massachusetts senate candidate has become something of a lightning rod for Democrats and her race to unseat Scott Brown is one of the most closely watched – and interesting – in the country. But she also represents the sort of old-school progressivism that Bill Clinton eschewed as president in favor of moderate New Democrats.
Obama’s embrace of Warren’s ideology signals a move away from Clintonism. Warren made her name opposing big banks and bankruptcies and arguing that government’s role is that of protector. Bill Clinton deregulated those banks. He put the work requirement in welfare.
Obamagirl returns. Sounds the same. Looks totally different – 8:10 a.m. ET – From Jake Tapper -If Obama Girl looks different but sounds the same, that’s because Leah Kauffman — the original singer/songwriter behind the 2008 “Crush on Obama” song and video — actually stars in this one. Last time Kauffman and partner Ben Relles, who is not involved with this new video, hired a model, Amber Lee Ettinger, to lip-synch the song. This year Kauffman steps center-stage.
“You didn’t get the change you wanted to,” Kauffman sings in the new video. “But here’s your chance.”
Rahm Emanuel previews Clinton speech – 8:05 a.m. ET – Should Obama be worried about Bill? – Ridiculous, says Rahm.
First, a recap of last night from GMA -8:00 a.m. ET