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Democratic National Convention

Aired September 4, 2012 - 21:00   ET



ANNOUNCER: Starting tonight, a showcase for a popular first lady, Michelle Obama, makes a personal appeal for four more years.

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: We have to keep moving. Forward. Forward.

ANNOUNCER: And a Democratic convention first. A Latino will deliver the keynote speech, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro.

MAYOR JULIAN CASTRO (D), SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS: There is only one person up there that we see that has actually done anything on immigration reform and that person is President Obama.

ANNOUNCER: Democrats are using the convention to spotlight immigration issues and try to outdo Republicans in their pitch for the Hispanic vote.

CROWD: Yes, we can.

ANNOUNCER: Now, CNN turns the spotlight on one of the biggest platforms in American politics. In a crucial election battleground.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I promise, North Carolina, we will emerge stronger than we were before.

ANNOUNCER: Welcome to the Democratic National Convention. It's your vote. Your future. Your country. Your choice.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Now we'd like to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world to this, the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. We'll be hearing from the first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, very, very soon.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: But first, we're going to hear from two other members of the president's family, his half-sister and Michelle Obama's brother. Also this hour, a man who was inside the Oval Office for many of the president's toughest decisions, his former chief of staff, now Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

BLITZER: And our CNN correspondents, Brianna Keilar, Kate Bolduan, John Berman, they're all down here on the arena floor. They're also up in the stands with the delegates. Stationed above the podium close to where Michelle Obama will be tonight is our own Candy Crowley.

Candy, set the scene for us. What are you hearing from your sources?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Michelle Obama is going to do what only a wife can do which is give these folks and the folks in the viewing audience an idea of the private side of President Obama. This is something that you don't always see in public. In fact, almost never see in public. And what they say they want her to do is make the connection between the kind of person he is and the policies that he's pursued while in the White House.

In particular, she'll talk about how he makes decisions regardless of the political ramifications. She'll bring up the auto industry bailout, how unpopular that was but he knew it was right for America, et cetera, et cetera. Of course, now it is politically popular and especially true in Ohio and Michigan, two states that play big parts in the upcoming elections.

So this will be her time not to really introduce her husband, because let's face it he's been president for almost four years. People feel as though they know him. But to make that connection between the man and the policies. She'll also talk a bit about her work with military families. In fact, she's going to be introduced by a woman who sent her a note who is herself a military wife. That will be the introduction to her -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Candy, thanks very much.

Ted Strickland, the former governor of Ohio, a key battleground state, is getting the crowd pretty excited right now. Let's listen in.

TED STRICKLAND (D), FORMER OHIO GOVERNOR: Barack Obama knows our struggles and, my friends, he shares our values.


Now -- now, Mitt Romney, he lives by a different code. To him, American workers are just numbers on a spreadsheet. To him, all profits are created equal whether made on our shores or off. That's why companies that Romney invested in were dubbed "outsourcing pioneers."

Now you know our nation was built by pioneers. Pioneers who accepted untold risks in pursuit of freedom. Not by pioneers seeking offshore profits at the expense of American workers here at home.


Mitt Romney proudly wrote an op-ed entitled, "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt." You know, if he had had his way, devastation would have cascaded from Michigan to Ohio and across the nation. Mitt Romney never saw the point of building something when he could profit by tearing it down.

If Mitt was Santa Claus, he would fire the reindeer and outsource the elves.


Mitt has so little economic patriotism that even his money needs a passport. It's summers on the beaches of the Cayman Islands and winters on the slopes of the Swiss alps.

In Matthew -- in Matthew, chapter 6, verse 21, the scriptures teach us that where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.


And, my friends, my friends, any man who aspires to be our president should keep both his treasure and his heart in the United States of America.


And -- and you know, and you know, it's well past time, it's well past time for Mitt Romney to come clean with the American people on what he's saying about the president's policy from welfare to work. He's lying. As simple as that.


And on his tax returns, he's hiding. You know, you have to wonder just what is so embarrassing that he's going to such great lengths to bury the truth. But whatever he's doing to avoid taxes, can it possibly be worse than the Ryan-Romney tax plan that would have sliced Mitt's total tax rate to less than 1 percent?

And so, my friends, there is a true choice in this election. Barack Obama is betting on the American worker. Mitt Romney is betting on a Bermuda Shell Corporation.


Barack Obama saved the American auto industry. Mitt Romney saved on his taxes.


Barack Obama is an economic patriot. Mitt Romney is an outsourcing pioneer.


My friends, the stakes are too high. The differences too stark to sit this one out. So let us stand as one on November the 6th and move this country forward by re-electing President Obama.

Thank you.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the Honorable Kathleen Sebelius.

COOPER: Former Governor Strickland clearly getting this crowd to its feet.

Let's check in with our floor correspondents, Brianna Keilar. She's keeping an eye on the president's relatives.

What will Michelle Obama say tonight? A lot of folks are going to be asking that question. Wanting to see her speech.

Brianna, what are you hearing?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, she's going to be talking about really his values. She's going to be serving as the ultimate character witness. And as I understand from a source, she's had a very heavy hand in writing this speech. She's really the person who's closest to him. Well, you've seen his top aides obviously be very close to him as he makes decisions. They're the ones in the Oval Office.

Michelle Obama is the woman that he goes home to at night and discusses these things with. So make no mistake, she'll be on message, she'll be talking about how he puts the middle class first as he's made decisions about things like health care reform and the auto bailout. But she's going to be putting more of a personal touch on her message -- Anderson.

COOPER: No doubt heard by now, President Obama earlier today said that he is going to be at home with his daughters watching this. One of his daughters had their first day of high school today.

Kate Bolduan is also standing by with an actress who knows Michelle Obama -- Kate.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, Anderson. I'm with three faces that many of our viewers are probably very familiar with, actress Alfre Woodard, Tim Daly, and John Leguizamo. They were kind enough to spend some time with me. Thank you.

But, Alfre, you do know First Lady Michelle Obama. She is the much anticipated speech tonight. What do want to hear from her? What do you think voters need to hear from her this evening?

ALFRE WOODARD, ACTRESS: Well, I worked with the first lady on the president's Committee on Arts and Humanities. And I also have worked since Iowa January 2008. And I have been struck by how in touch she is as a woman, as a mother, and as a daughter. She just -- she embodies what it is to be an American woman.

And so tonight I think she'll be able to talk to us, talk to -- everybody's so excited that she's coming, but she'll be able to talk to us, lift us up, put into context all of the progress that the president has made with one hand tied behind his back, for women. And when women move ahead, families move ahead. The whole family does.

So I think we'll be able to hear exactly from Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act all the way through to protections that the health care act provides for women and children. And so I think she'll put that in context tonight. That's what we need, is that people are being told that nothing has happened, but this president has been more active and accomplished more in this time period than any other president in the history of this country.

BOLDUAN: Now, Tim, I want to get your thoughts on that as well. We are awaiting the first lady's speech. There's also been a lot of talk among some of the president's biggest supporters. Some disappointment that he hasn't done enough or he hasn't done -- made good on his promises, especially among some in Hollywood. What do you think?

TIM DALY, ACTOR/DIRECTOR: Well, I think that he's faced an unprecedented amount of obstructionism from the Republican Party. I mean, there have been more filibusters during his term than in the history of the United States previously. And I think that the fact that he's achieved what he has, which I don't want to underestimate because it's significant, is miraculous. Considering the opposition.

BOLDUAN: John, what do you think is the major issue that voters need to be caring about? What is the major issue that's bringing you out here to Charlotte?

JOHN LEGUIZAMO, ACTOR: Well, it's the economy, of course. That's one of the big things that we're here. And we're also here with the Coalition for the Arts. And how arts programs help create jobs. You can invest $1 and you get $7 back when you invest in the arts, taxable dollars. So that's what we're here, to talk to the Coalition for the Arts. But I think the big thing here is Obama creates the egalitarian, equal opportunity America that I love to be a part of. It made me who I am today.

BOLDUAN: All right, John, Tim, Alfre, thank you very much.

Anderson, I'm going to toss it back to you. As you can tell, they're also waiting very much to hear from the first lady this evening.

COOPER: Yes, a lot folks are.

John Berman is down on the floor also with somebody who knows the first lady quite well -- John.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, I'm here with Kamala Harris, who is the attorney general of California. I lost my train of thought because so many people are here getting their picture taken with her. Because she is seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party.

What's it like for you to be here today?

KAMALA D. HARRIS (D), CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: It's so wonderful. And to be standing here in the midst of the California delegation, I'm a proud Californian, and there's great energy around this election cycle and people are absolutely committed to doing everything we need to do to get out the vote and get folks engaged and get them to express their voice.

BERMAN: You were one of the first elected officials in California to endorse Barack Obama in 2008. You've been a supporter of his since way back in 2004. As you sit here tonight and look back on these past, you know, eight, nine, 12 years, how has he changed?

HARRIS: Well, I think he has become the president of the United States. I knew him when he was first running for U.S. Senate. And a lot has happened in his career. A lot has happened in our country. And he is -- he is as -- he is right now someone who I am so proud of as an American. He is a leader who has taken on some of the most difficult issues we face like the Affordable Care Act and pushed it through in a way that no administration could in generations.

He is someone who has really taken leadership around what we need to do to save America's auto industry. You know, there's -- the list goes on. From Lilly Ledbetter as one of the first act that he did as president, signing that into law to give equal rights for women that show each of those his courage and his commitment to the American people.

BERMAN: Kamala Harris, thank you so much for joining us. The attorney general of California. Obviously a very popular here. Rumored as a possible Supreme Court choice at some point?

HARRIS: You know, I don't -- I don't like to --


BERMAN: Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: John, thanks. We're standing by to hear from two members of the president's family we very rarely see, the first lady's brother and the president's half-sister are getting ready to address the delegates.

Also, Jessica Yellin's exclusive interview with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who's obviously the White House chief of staff during some of the toughest moments in the president's first term.


BLITZER: We're back here in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Democratic National Convention. The Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel spoke with our own Jessica Yellin while she was preparing her amazing documentary "OBAMA REVEALED."

Jessica, you're here. He was there, he was White House chief of staff during some of the most -- the toughest moments of this first term of the Obama administration.

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: He helped shepherd the stimulus bill through, health care reform where they did not pick up -- almost no Republican support, and then the auto bail he helped craft that, which the federal government did on its own. And I asked him about those early days. And Rahm Emanuel described him to me in his own colorful way.


YELLIN: Did you expect there to be a honeymoon period?

RAHM EMANUEL, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: You know, I don't know if I -- I don't remember walking the hall saying, should we get a honeymoon? Should we -- I don't really -- we got problems to solve. I don't have the luxury of looking at oil paintings and talking to them.

And the president didn't hire me to make that guess on whether we get a honeymoon or not. First of all, even if they gave us a honeymoon, the -- we don't get a honeymoon from the country. You got a set of problems, you've got to go tackle them and deal with them.


BLITZER: Never mincing any words, Rahm Emanuel. In fact he's not mincing words right now. He's speaking right behind me. Let's listen in to the Chicago mayor.

EMANUEL: -- to their life savings. It is their voices that President Obama brings to the Oval Office. It is their values I saw him fight for every day. In the first month in office, he fought for the American Recovery Act to cut taxes for the middle class. To put people to work building America's roads, rails and runways.

And today our economy has gone from losing 800,000 jobs a month to adding 4.5 million private sector jobs in the last 29 months.


Banks are slowly but surely lending again. And never again will taxpayers play foot the bill for Wall Street's excesses. In case we forgot, that was a change we believed in. That was a change we fought for. That was a change President Obama delivered.

President Obama took office knowing full well that for the last century presidents had tried to reform our health care system. Today, because of President Obama's courage, kids can stay on their parent's plan until they're 26. Insurers can't kick you off your policy because you have a pre-existing limit. Because you've hit the pre- existing limit. They won't be able to deny you because you have a pre-existing condition.

Because of President Obama's leadership, every American will have access to affordable quality health care. That was a change we believed in. That was a change we fought for. That was a change President Obama delivered.

I saw the president make the tough calls in the situation room. And today our troops in Iraq have finally come home so America can do some nation building here at home. That was a change we believed in. That was a change we fought for. That was a change President Obama delivered.

I remember when the president received the report that the auto industry had a few weeks before its collapse. We met in the Roosevelt Room late into the night. Some of the president's advisers said that in order to save General Motors, you had to let Chrysler go under. Others said it's like throwing good money after bad. Among all the experts, there were only guesses. And nobody put it at better than a 1 in 4 shot.

Only the president suggested going all in to save the industry and the jobs.


Rising above all the voices in Washington, President Obama listened to the voices that mattered to him most. The voices of the autoworkers in the communities that depended on them. Just like the voices of the steelworkers and the communities on the south side of Chicago where he worked earlier in his career.

President Obama -- to President Obama, they weren't just companies that needed a loan. They were communities that needed a leader to stand up for them. And because President Obama made the right choice, over one million Americans are still working today. The American auto industry is not just surviving. It's thriving.


Where Mitt Romney was willing to turn his back on Akron, Dayton and Toledo, Ohio, the president said, "I've got your back." That was a change we believed in. That was a change we fought for. That was the change President Obama delivered.

And in those first few month, the president worked to put accountability into our children's schools with "Race to the Top" so that every child has an education that measures up to their full potential. He was willing to demand change and embrace reform. The president never changed his views to suit the moment or the audience. And that is also a measure of leadership.


Every challenge was different. Every choice was difficult. But every time the leadership was steady.

Now, the one thing I know with absolute certainty, having served two great presidents, is that in the next four years, an unforeseen crisis, challenge or conflict is going to show up and seize this country. Whose leadership, whose judgment, whose values do you want in the White House when that crisis lands like a thud on the Oval Office desk?

A -- that's right, a person who said in four words, "Let Detroit go bankrupt," or a president who had another four words, "Not on my watch"?


A person who believes in giving tax cuts to the most fortunate or a president who believes in making college affordable for all Americans? A person who wanted to keep "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" or a president who believes that who you love should not keep you from serving the country you love?


Believe me, having served two great presidents, when the fog of uncertainty that surrounds a crisis storms into the White House, and all the advisers and chiefs of staff have only guesses and hedges to offer the president, it will be the president's leadership that determines how we as a nation meet the challenges that face the middle class. It is the president's values that shape the future in which the middle class has hope.

The person who takes the oath of office in the next four months will shape not just the next four years but the next 40 years of this great nation. And these next four years, we need proven leadership. Proven judgment. And proven values. America needs four more years of Barack Obama.

Thank you and God bless you.


BLITZER: There he is, the Chicago mayor, Rahm Emanuel, the former White House chief of staff.

Get ready. We're waiting to hear from the first lady of the United States and her brother and the president's half-sister. There's a lot, a lot coming up from the Democratic convention. We'll be right back.


COOPER: And welcome back to the Democratic National Convention. We just heard from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Candy Crowley is standing by with the mayor -- Candy.

CROWLEY: The Chicago mayor but also former chief of staff for Barack Obama. Also a top adviser to Bill Clinton and a congressman so --

EMANUEL: And mayor.

CROWLEY: That's right. Talk to me --

EMANUEL: Can't keep a job.


CROWLEY: That's right, I noticed that. Talk to me first about what a lot of folks are talking about, which is the plank in the Democratic platform which removed last -- last time around's language about Jerusalem is and shall remain the capital of Israel. But the parties agree that that should be part of the negotiations. Why was that removed?

EMANUEL: Look, I don't have -- I haven't been briefed on that, so, I mean what I do now is this president's position, which he's been consistent of, and that is it's a part of the negotiations. That I do know. I haven't been briefed on what happened with the platform.

Personally, I've been involved, as you just said, in a lot of jobs. I've never read our party's platform. I've worked with two great presidents who have been steadfast friends of the state of Israel.

CROWLEY: OK. Let me move you on to the -- you know that the president said at some point, you know, if we don't turn the economy around this will be a one-term proposition. He said, look, I get an incomplete on this. You talked about General Motors being alive, bin Laden being dead --

EMANUEL: Being not.

CROWLEY: Is it -- is being not alive. Is it enough though? When -- if you're unemployed and looking here tonight, what is the message to those -- to those 23 million or so?

EMANUEL: Both unemployed as well as struggling. I mean a lot of people in Chicago are, you know, pay stub away, man, they're just trying to make it to the 31st of every month. And the question is which president, which president or which nominee is going to have your interests at heart. And you can look at the past background.

A person who literally said Detroit should go bankrupt or a president who said not on my watch? A person who said on home values, said, let it hit rock bottom, or a president said, no, let's try to figure out how you can stay in that house by refinancing it. They have made decisions throughout their lives that directly impact middle class. And opposite decisions. Not close to the same.

And one who's really stood up for the middle class and helping -- and understands their struggle to own a home, have a job, get a college education, and have affordable health care.

CROWLEY: I've got to stop you there, Mr. Mayor, thank you.

We're going to go to the siblings of both Michelle Obama and Barack Obama. This is his half-sister speaking now.

MAYA SOETORO-NG, PRESIDENT OBAMA'S HALF SISTER: I'm Maya Soetoro-Ng, an educator, mother of two, and proud to be Barack Obama's little sister.


CRAIG ROBINSON, MICHELLE OBAMA'S BROTHER: I'm Craig Robinson, Michelle Obama's big brother, father of four, and head coach of Oregon State University's men's basketball team.

Any seven footers out there, give me a call.

SOETORO-NG: Craig and I come from different states. We've had different upbringings. And as you can see, we have different perspectives on the world.


ROBINSON: But no matter how different we may seem, we share a set of values our parents gave us. Values the same in Chicago as they are in Honolulu. A willingness to work hard. A commitment to education. And the responsibility to look out for each other.

They're the values at the core of how Barack and Michelle have lived their lives, raised our nieces and led this country as president and first lady of the United States.


SOETORO-NG: Four years ago, at this convention, I spoke with you all about how Barack and I didn't grow up with much in the way of wealth, but we were blessed with a mother who taught us that education is the surest path from limited means to limitless opportunity. She inspired me to become a teacher. And she inspired Barack's deep commitment to giving all our young people the opportunities our education gave us.

He's made sure more of our youngest children have the stable foundation that Head Start provides. He saved the jobs of teachers in our schools. And he's helped more of our students afford a higher education.

Our mother also taught us that everyone has worth, regardless of who they are or what they believe. That's what inspired Barack's vision for a more inclusive and compassionate America. Where everyone has a part to play in our shared story. He's made sure women can fight for equal pay for equal work and stood up for the freedom to make our own decisions about our health. He named two brilliant women who understand our lives to the Supreme Court.


And, I'll say it again, he ended "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," so no one would ever have to hide who they love to serve.


Making sure everyone in America has a chance to make it like he did. That's what my wonderful big brother is all about. And that's what he'll do for four more years.


ROBINSON: Four years ago, I told you how when she was a young girl Michelle used to talk to me about which kids at school were having a tough time at home. And didn't have anybody to stick up for them. And what inspired her most as she traveled this country on that campaign were the stories of brave Americans who juggle everything at home while their husbands and wives are off at war.

You see, America's military spouses and families make profound sacrifices, too. And Michelle promised that if she had the privilege to serve as first lady, she'd do everything she could to make sure America was there to honor, recognize and support their unique service.

I've been so proud to watch her rally Americans to give millions of hours of their time and service to our military families. She's working with schools that educate military children to add better courses. When Barack challenged businesses to hire 100,000 veterans and military spouses, Michelle and Jill Biden rallied CEOs to the cause.

And last month, they stood with CEOs to announce that they've hired 125,000 veterans and military spouses.


Surpassing the goal more than a year ahead of schedule.

She's still the kind little sister she always was. Now she's just sticking up for those who stand up for us. And I'm proud of her work to give our children a healthier start in life.

And let's face it, Maya, I could use the recruits.


SOETORO-NG: Barack and Michelle have always been there for us. Tonight, we are here for them. And with your help, we can fill the White House with their brand of warmth, compassion and commitment to all our people for four more years.

Thank you so much.


BLITZER: Maya Soetoro-Ng and Craig Robinson.

The convention delegates are about to hear a very different kind of speech. A red meat speech attacking Mitt Romney. It will come from Deval Patrick who succeeded Romney as the governor of Massachusetts.

And we're also awaiting the first lady's speech, Michelle Obama. She'll address this convention as well. And we're told she's going to take the high road and avoid attacking Mitt Romney.

Right now, a CNN "Convention Flashback."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Probably the most memorable moment of the Gore convention was the long kiss that he gave to Tipper. Again, there was a sense of just a visual that you couldn't take your eyes away from. Normally, it's just a peck on the cheek for the wife. This was something much more than that.



COOPER: Hey, welcome back to the Democratic National Convention. We're awaiting a speech by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

Well, we've heard earlier from Rahm Emanuel, Alex and James Carville. And listening to that speech, you both agree, do you think that was the best speech so far this evening?

ALEX CASTELLANOS, REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT: I think it's the most powerful and important political speech at the convention. Others may have gotten people to stand up a little more but he was smart. He helped his candidate. And he did something that nobody else really has done. Took the election to a new place.

He said, look, these are uncertain times. Stormy economic seas. Problems a world away can end up on our doorstep. Who you want the big chair? I've seen it. I've been there. Strong leadership. Tested, proven. All of --

COOPER: Who do you want answering that 3:00 a.m. phone call?

CASTELLANOS: I thought that was -- yes, I thought that was a better campaign than frankly I've seen out of the Obama people so far. I thought it was very powerful.

COOPER: It really surprises me because in the hall more people were sort of getting up for other speeches that were more fiery. But James, you think this was very effective for the larger audience.

JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I do. And I want to make a disclosure here. I talked to Rahm Emanuel every day on the phone for the past 20 years. And I also detected the fine hand of our own Paul Begala in that speech, too.


CASTELLANOS: I didn't like it as much -- I didn't like it as much as I thought I did now.

CARVILLE: Having said that --


CARVILLE: This is what you're supposed to do. You're -- Chris Christie, Marco Rubio is supposed to promote the candidate.

COOPER: Not talk about themselves? CARVILLE: Rahm didn't talk about Rahm, he talked about Obama. Obama is on the ballot. When Rahm was on the ballet, President Obama endorsed him and talked about Rahm. That's what you're supposed to do in politics. That's the idea here.

CASTELLANOS: And he's the anti-politician. He's got that John McCain, "lay it out there" thing which frankly people are so tired of, I thought it was very effective.

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: So far, no one's auditioning for 2016 and we saw an awful lot of that in Tampa. I think the other thing is reframing the question, are you better off than you were four years ago to, will you be better -- under whom will you be better off four years from now?

COOPER: Right.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Nobody's auditioning because Barack Obama has not seen his transition. I mean --

GERGEN: I agree with that.

BORGER: They're behind him, but the thing about Rahm Emanuel's speech was that I think the world leadership was used at least half a dozen times in two pages that I was counting. And what he was doing was saying to people -- because right now the president's polling numbers are a little bit behind Mitt Romney's -- after Mitt Romney's convention on the leadership issue.

What he is saying is this man can be trusted to lead. He has the values to lead. He has the judgment to lead. And he's -- and he's strong. And that's the case that somebody needs to make for President Obama.

CARVILLE: But I think you actually promote yourself when you promote the candidate. I think you --


CASTELLANOS: Thirty-minute leadership.

CARVILLE: Yes, he ran a disaster (INAUDIBLE). Let's just assume that Obama get reelected. You can say, I did everything that I could. I stood there for Mitt Romney because I knew that he was blah, blah, blah.

CASTELLANOS: But to get my Republican credentials back here --


CARVILLE: You got to work on it.

CASTELLANOS: This is a very different convention than last week. The answer here has been, how can we make government bigger? How can -- what can government do for you? We heard the opposite of that last week. What should the economy do for you? Not government. So at the end of the day, yes, they're going to rouse the base here but the one message I thought reached across the middle was Rahm Emanuel's.

BORGER: Right.

GERGEN: Yes, I --


CARVILLE: You (INAUDIBLE) your Republican credentials.


GERGEN: There are a lot of conservatives who are really turned off by this convention. Let's just say --


GERGEN: But it makes a big difference when running the convention, if you run for -- run one before, if you've run for president, succeeded, and it's your second convention, as this is tonight, you're better, you're more professional at it. And the Romney people are for the first time out.

COOPER: And Deval Patrick's about to speak. We anticipate this speech really to be very frontal attacks against Mitt Romney. Let's listen in as Deval Patrick takes the stage.

GOV. DEVAL PATRICK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Good evening, Democrats. Are you fired up? Are you ready to go?

Well, I hope so. This is the election of a lifetime. Because more than any one candidate or policy, what's at stake is the American dream. That dream, the ability to imagine a better way for ourselves and our families, and then to reach for it, that dream is central to who we are and what we stand for as a nation.

Whether that dream endures for another generation depends on you and me. It also depends on who leads us.

In Massachusetts, we know Mitt Romney. By the time he left office, Massachusetts was 47th in the nation in job creation during better economic times and household income in our state was declining. He cut education deeper than anywhere else in America. Roads and bridges were crumbling. Business taxes were up. And business confidence was down. Our clean energy potential was stalled. And we had a structural budget deficit.

Mitt Romney talks a lot about all the things he's fixed. I can tell you Massachusetts was not one of them.


He's a fine fellow. And a great salesman. But as governor, he was a lot more interested in having the job than doing the job.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) So -- so when I came to office, we set out on a different course. Investing in ourselves, in our future. And today Massachusetts leads the nation in economic competitiveness, student achievement, health care coverage, life sciences and bio tech, energy efficiency and veteran services.

Today -- today with the help of the Obama administration, we are rebuilding our roads and bridges and expanding broadband access.

Today, we're out of the deficit hole Mr. Romney left and we've achieved the highest bond rating in our history. Today, today, with labor at the table, we made the reforms in our pension and benefit systems. Our schools. Our transportation system and more. That Mr. Romney only talked about.

And today in Massachusetts, you can marry whomever you love.


We still have much more to do. Much, much more to do. But we are on a better track because we placed our faith not in trickle-down fantasies and divisive rhetoric but in our values and our common sense.

The same choice faces the nation today. All that Republicans are saying is that if we just shrink government, cut taxes, crush unions and wait, all will be well. Never mind that those are the very policies that got us into recession to begin with. Never mind that not one of the governors who preached that gospel in Tampa last week has the results to show for it.


But we Democrats, we owe America more than a strong argument for what we are against. We need to be just as strong about what it is we are for. The question is, the question is what do we believe?

Well, we believe in an economy that grows opportunity out to the middle class and the disenfranchised. Not just up to the well- connected. We believe that freedom means keeping government out of our most private affairs, including out of a woman's decision whether to keep an unwanted pregnancy and everybody's decision about whom to marry.

We believe that we owe the next generation a better country than we found and that every American has a stake in that. We believe that in times like these we should turn to each other, not on each other.


And we believe that government has a role to play. Not in solving every problem in everybody's life, but in helping people help themselves to the American dream.

That's what Democrats believe. That's what Americans believe. And if we want to win elections in November and keep our country moving forward, if we want to earn the privilege to lead, my message is this. It's time for Democrats to grow a backbone and stand up for what we believe.


When waiting -- when waiting for -- when waiting for pundits or polls or super PACs to tell us who the next president or senator or congressman is going to be, we're Americans. We shape our own future.


And let's all start by standing up for President Barack Obama.


This is the president. This is the president who delivered the security of affordable health care to every single American in every corner of this country after 90 years of trying.


This is the president who brought Osama bin Laden to justice, who ended the war in Iraq and is ending the war in Afghanistan.


This is the president who ended "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" so that love of country, not love of another, determines fitness for service, who made equal pay for equal work the law of the land.


This is the president who saved the American auto industry from extinction. The American financial industry from self-destruction, the American economy from full-blown depression. Who added 4.5 million private sector jobs in the last 2 1/2 years. More than in George Bush's eight years in office.


My friends, the list of accomplishments is long, impressive and barely told. And even more impressive when you consider that congressional Republicans have made obstruction itself the centerpiece of their governing strategy. With a record like that, and a vision that hopeful and powerful, I, for one, will not stand by and let him be bullied out of office and neither should you.


I want you to be clear. What's at stake is real. It's real. The Orchard Gardens Elementary School in Boston was in trouble. Its record was poor, its spirit was broken, and its reputation was a wreck. No matter how bad things were in other urban schools in the city, people would say, well, at least we're not Orchard Gardens.

Today, thanks to a host of new tools, many enacted with the help of the Obama administration, Orchard Gardens is turning itself around. Teaching standards and accountabilities are higher, the school day is longer and filled with experiential learning, art, exercise and music.

The head of pediatrics psychology from a local hospital comes to consult with faculty and parents on the toughest personal issues in students' home lives. Attendance is up. Thanks to a mentoring initiative. And less than a year, Orchard Gardens went from one of the worst schools in the district to one of the best in the state. The whole school community is engaged and proud. So am I.

At the end of my visit about a year and a half ago, the first grade led by a veteran teacher gathered to recite Doctor King's "I Have a Dream" speech. And when I started to applaud, the teacher said, "Not yet, Governor." Then she began to ask those six and seven- year-olds questions. What she asked just creed mean. What does nullification mean? Where is Stone Mountain?

And as the hands of those six and seven-year-olds shot up, I realized that she had taught the children not just to memorize that speech, but to understand it.

See, today's Republicans -- today's Republicans and their nominee for president tell us that those first graders are on their own. On their own to deal with their poverty, with ill-prepared young parents maybe who speak English as a second language, with an under funded school, where neighborhood crime and life with no access to nutritious food and no place for their mom to cash a paycheck with a job market that need skills they don't have with no way to pay for college.

But those Orchard Gardens kids should not be left on their own. Those children are America's children, too, yours and mine.


And among them, among them are the future scientists and entrepreneurs, teachers, artists, engineers, laborers and civic leaders we desperately need.

For this country to rise, they must rise. And they and their cause must have a champion in the White House. That champion is Barack Obama. That cause is the American dream. Let's fight for that. Let's canvass and phone bank and get out the vote for that.


Let's go tell everyone we meet that when the American dream is on the line, we want Barack Obama in charge.

Thank you so much. God bless you and God bless the United States. Thank you.


BLITZER: The governor of Massachusetts, the man who succeed Mitt Romney as governor of Massachusetts, getting their crowd really, really excited. Anderson, it's only just beginning.

COOPER: It certainly is. Within the next hour obviously Michelle Obama will be making the speech that everyone is looking for tonight. In terms of how that speech, Deval Patrick's played, effective?

CARVILLE: Look, I thought he did what he needed to do. He talked about Barack Obama. It was rallying the convention. It was what we're supposed to do again and again and again. And I bet you O'Malley does it, too, and I bet you Castro does it in the keynote tonight.

This is what the first night of a convention is supposed to be about. For the people in the hall and the people watching it. It's setting up the president. He's the guy on the ballot.

CASTELLANOS: I think to James' point, Marketing 101, problem, solution, set up the problem that your candidate can come in at the end and solve. But this is to John's point, too, that this is a base election for the Obama people. They're really making very few efforts to reach across the middle. Let's pump up our base. If you don't say anything that changes what people already think, they don't change.

COOPER: Do you think that changes over the next couple of nights or do you think --

CASTELLANOS: I think you're -- I think Barack Obama has got to go back to what's going to be different over the next four years. Otherwise, if you tell people what they already know, they stay where they already are.

GERGEN: But he had an enthusiasm gap coming into this convention. And he is raising their -- effectively starting to erase some of that enthusiastic gap. They are firing up their base. They're setting up a lot of conservative teeth on edge. There are people all over this country who hate what they're hearing.


GERGEN: Yes, they're firing up the Republicans today.

BORGER: And you know, they're setting -- they're setting the Romney campaign on edge because my BlackBerry has been buzzing (INAUDIBLE) with the Romney campaign saying the Massachusetts record is not as was portrayed here tonight. They talk about unemployment rate actually falling, not rising. Adding tens of thousands of new jobs.

GERGEN: That 2 percent.

BORGER: Closing the $3 billion shortfall. I think the most damaging thing that the governor said here about Mitt Romney and Massachusetts was the line where he said he was more interested in having the job than doing the job. Because he only served one term, which is odd not to run for re-election one year ago. COOPER: The governor of Maryland, Martin O'Malley, is speaking as James is mentioning. Let's listen in.