Austin is a junior in the college of Arts and Science majoring in Economics and History. A native of Hermitage, TN- home of President Andrew Jackson- Austin has been active in Tennessee politics from an early age. He has worked for Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, the Tennessee Democratic party and currently serves as a lobbyist aid for the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Additionally, Austin takes great pride in supporting Vanderbilt Athletics as he is chairman of the Vanderbilt Programming Board's athletic committee and a member of the National Commodore Club.
Day 3- Bubba Nominates Barry
Wednesday began with the disappointing news that President Obama would no longer address convention supporters at the 70,000-seat Bank of America Stadium Thursday night due to the threat of inclement weather, but rather in the smaller Time Warner Cable arena. However, the sense of disappointment among convention goers would be long gone at night’s end as one of the most popular American politicians of our time, former President Bill Clinton, re-energized the party of Andrew Jackson with a revival-like oration placing President Obama’s name in nomination as the standard bearer for the Democratic party in the November election.
Preceded by U.S. Senate hopeful and prominent Massachusetts consumer advocate, Elizabeth Warren, President “Bubba” Bill Clinton levied the Democratic argument against the Romney/Ryan economic plan citing “simple arithmetic” and continued to paint the GOP as out of touch with ordinary Americans. His endorsement was both wholehearted and choc full of factual fortitude, specifically when it came to Medicare and Medicaid which are sure to be keystone issues of this election. The speech that went 28 minutes over the scheduled 20, and saw the teleprompter completely shut off halfway through, electrified the convention hall and reminded us all of the political genius that was our 42nd president.
Following the official nomination, the tradition roll call vote of the states ensued, with delegates officially pledging their support for President Obama. Little more than a procedural formality as Obama was the unanimous choice, the roll call went into the wee hours of Thursday morning, with Actress Ashley Judd speaking on behalf of Tennessee’s delegation. As convention attendees filled out of the arena well after midnight, Democrats not only officially had their candidate for the fall, but renewed hope and vigor courtesy of the comeback kid from Arkansas.
Day 4- Forward.
The 3rd and final day of the 2012 Democratic National Convention was, from gavel to gavel, a star-studded event that saw everyone from James Taylor and Eva Longoria to Caroline Kennedy and John Kerry appear on the convention stage in support of four more years of an Obama presidency. With heightened security around the arena with all the VIPs and many party stalwarts now ticketless due to the downsizing of venues, the scene in downtown Charlotte Thursday afternoon was a chaotic, yet excited one to behold; street vendors discounted their Democratic gear, making 2 for 1 deals on Obama paraphernalia, while potential convention goers took to the sidewalks begging delegates and staff for extra credentials needed to gain entrance into the convention hall. Hours before the President was set to take the stage, the seats were full and fire marshals had already blocked access into the arena even for ticketed guests. Once 5 p.m. rolled around, the Chairman of the Convention gaveled the session to order and the last night of proceedings were underway.
Kicked-off by one of the most moving scenes in recent political history, Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, injured in the 2009 Arizona supermarket shooting, conjured the strength to take the convention stage and lead those attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Preceded by an appearance by the Foo Fighters, Dr. Jill Biden introduced her husband, painting him as a genuine man who truly had “the interest of the middle class at heart.” As he often does, the Vice President took to the podium with an unassuming demeanor and spoke frankly about the election at hand. Continuing with the “they don’t get who we are” mantra, Biden took the opportunity to take a few jabs at Governor Romney’s car elevators and recent overseas gaffes. The nation’s second in command argued for government collaboration with business and promoted that the government should promote “the private sector, not the privileged sector.” Finishing by calling out the GOP nominee for not acknowledging American troops in his acceptance speech and alluding to the current administrations success in taking out Osama bin Laden, the Vice President concluded with a stirring plea to the electorate to allow the Obama/Biden ticket to finish what they started.
A short video and a brief introduction by the First Lady led up to the President taking the stage. With the flag-waving, sign holding delegates on their feet, President Obama stepped out to accept his party’s nomination for a second term. Promising that America’s best days were still ahead, a stark contrast from the doom and gloom that characterized the RNC last week in Tampa, the Commander-In-Chief surprisingly went on the offensive. Sarcastically claiming that the Republican cure to a cold would be to “take two tax cuts and call me in the morning,” President Obama promised to continue advocating for main street over the special interest of wall street. Plugging the campaign slogan, Barack Obama pleaded with voters to instill confidence in his ability to continue reviving America and outright asked for their vote so he could continue moving the United States forward. As he concluded with the confetti flying and signs waving, the President was joined on stage by his running mate and family.
Regardless of what happens in this election, it will surely be Barack Obama’s last. How the story ends, we do not know, but many Democrats leave the widely considered overwhelmingly successful convention feeling optimistic about the party’s chances in November and the opportunity that four more years of an Obama presidency will hold.