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Ever see one of those Dos Equis beer ads featuring the "Most Interesting Man in the World," the dapper fellow of a certain age who fascinates all who meet him?

The Democrats' version of that guy will be the featured speaker Wednesday at their convention in Charlotte.

Yes, we are talking about former two-term President Bill Clinton, whose life of accomplishment, scandal, statesmanship and occasional political pettiness (just ask the man he'll be vouching for tonight) are the stuff of legend and lore.

Thursday, President Obama addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. NPR's Ken Rudin, former Clinton White House speechwriter Paul Glastris and former Reagan White House speechwriter Peter Robinson talk about what the president should say to make his case for reelection.

The Political Junkie Recaps The DNC So Far

Sep 5, 2012

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NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The forecast drives the Dems back indoors, a wildcard on the presidential ballot in Virginia, and Paul Ryan runs into trouble. It's Wednesday and time for a...

PAUL RYAN: Two hours and fifty-something...

CONAN: Edition of the political junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

In public, at least, they're the best of friends. And no one will have a more public role extolling President Obama than his Democratic predecessor, former President Bill Clinton.

Clinton, who has already been featured in an Obama campaign ad, is speaking tonight at the Democratic National Convention in what is traditionally the prime spot reserved for the vice presidential nominee.

"He's clearly the best asset the Democrats have," says GOP consultant David Carney. "Clinton is their best surrogate."

Democrats Pulling No Punches At GOP Rivals

Sep 5, 2012

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. The Democratic National Convention is underway in North Carolina. We'll speak with the president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Philadelphia's Michael Nutter, about some of the local issues mayors are thinking about as they gather in Charlotte.

But first we want to talk about the message the Democrats are trying to send from the convention podium. Last night's keynote speaker was San Antonio's Mayor Julian Castro. He shared his American dream story.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, there are a lot of college ranking guides out there, but we're going to tell you about one of them that says it rates colleges and universities on their value to you and to the country. That's ahead.

But first, we're following the Democratic convention in Charlotte, and while the spotlight is on national debates during the convention, we remember that old saying that all politics is local.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, I had some thoughts about why we so love to show our scars. We, meaning the public and our leaders. That's my Can I Just Tell You essay and it's in just a few minutes.

But, first, it's time for our Wisdom Watch. That's the part of the program where we speak with those who've made a difference through their work and, in this political season, we're talking with a political pioneer.

There was one undeniably sweet moment, last night: As San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro got to the part of his speech where he mentioned his wife and his 3-year-old daughter, the camera panned over to Carina.

It seemed like she noticed herself on the big screens at the arena, because suddenly she stuck out our her tongue and flipped her hair.

President Barack Obama will not be in a stadium full of supporters on Thursday when he delivers his acceptance speech.

The Democratic National Convention said that because of the threat of thunderstorms, it was moving the events of Thursday from Bank of America Stadium to the Time Warner Cable Arena, the host of the first two days of events.

Bill Clinton will add yet another chapter to his storied career tonight when the former president places in nomination the name of the current president, Barack Obama.

It will be the focal point of the evening and for some, perhaps, the most newsworthy moment of the entire convention. The old Clinton-Obama feud remains an endless source of political gossip, and the convention planners are happy to have the former president's supposedly unedited and unvetted remarks as a rare source of suspense. Maybe it will help the ratings.

Just as they did during the Republican National Convention, independent fact checkers spent the first day of the Democratic National Convention listening for claims that don't add up — and found them.

-- FactCheck.org says it heard "a number of dubious or misleading claims" from the Democrats who spoke on stage Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C. Among the problems it found:

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Obama Needs Minority Voters On His Side

Sep 5, 2012

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Copyright 2017 KUNC. To see more, visit KUNC.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

The Democratic National Convention opened last night in Charlotte.

An occasional series, Fiscal Cliff Notes breaks down the looming "fiscal cliff" of expiring tax cuts and deep automatic spending cuts set to hit around the first of year.

If you work, you've probably been getting this tax break: Since January 2011, the government has knocked 2 percentage points off the payroll tax.

For someone making $50,000 a year, the payroll tax holiday works out to about $20 a week.

"We definitely notice it," says Steve Warner of Winter Haven, Fla., while on vacation with his family recently in the nation's capital.

If you missed the opening night of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., we live blogged it here.

We've also compiled five things that struck us about the night:

'Mom In Chief' Takes A Stand: There is no question that the first night of the convention belonged to first lady Michelle Obama, who delivered a sweeping, personal and dramatic endorsement of her husband, President Obama.

On Tuesday, NPR's Frank James hosted a live chat during the Democratic convention. He was joined by Neal Carruth, NPR's elections editor; political science professors Sarah Treul of the University of North Carolina and Melody Crowder-Meyer of Sewanee: The University of the South; and Jake Silverstein, editor of Texas Monthly.

Read below to see how it unfolded.

There were a lot of preliminaries, but it was Michelle Obama's show Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention, and she used it masterfully — carrying a rapt crowd along with a narrative of family, hard work, and truth-telling.

Largely wrung of politics, the first lady's speech plotted parallels in her life and that of her husband, President Obama. She pointedly tracked their humble beginnings and strivings in an unspoken but clear contrast to the privileged upbringing of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

They billed the gathering in a Charlotte, N.C., Holiday Inn conference room Tuesday as the first national meeting of Mormon Democrats.

Don't laugh. Crystal Young-Otterstrom says she figures there are 1 million of them out there, and she's determined to find them.

"It's like a missionary effort," Young-Otterstrom said in a room packed with the curious, the media and a cadre of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints making the argument that the Democratic Party best represents their personal and religious values.

Democratic Convention: A Viewer's Guide

Sep 4, 2012

Speakers of interest at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

Over the past four years, the presidential narrative has shifted for African-Americans like Louisiana state Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith of Baton Rouge.

"I'm 66 years old," said Smith, at an event Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C., for black state legislators here for the Democratic National Convention. "And before 2008, I didn't think I'd live to see a dream come true."

Good evening from Charlotte, N.C., where Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz gaveled the convention to order promptly at 5 p.m. ET. in Charlotte's Time Warner Cable Arena.

Schultz, who is also the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said that throughout the next three days, "we will demonstrate we need to keep President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden four more years."

Hispanics were a major focus of the program at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. Democrats, beginning their convention in Charlotte, N.C., are hoping to capitalize on their current advantage with Hispanic voters.

Robert Siegel and Melissa Block report that as the Democratic National Convention gets underway, the other running record of Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan is taking the spotlight. Debate over his reported marathon time has become a popular subject in the blogosphere. Ryan misstated his over four hour time as being under three hours.

On Wednesday, Elizabeth Warren will take the national stage when she speaks at the Democratic National Convention. Audie Cornish spoke with her about the origin of the now infamous "you didn't build that" phrase, the state of the economy and her close Senate race in Massachusetts.

Democratic Platform Endorses Gay Marriage

Sep 4, 2012

It's been a momentous year for the LGBT community. At the Democratic National Convention, delegates are voting to approve a platform that includes a gay marriage plank. This follows President Obama's announcement in May that he supports gay marriage. These developments, on top of other support from the administration, have led gay and lesbian donors to step up their contributions to the president's re-election campaign this year. Audie Cornish talked with gay delegates and fundraisers about what this year has meant for them.

The Democratic National Convention began Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C. Robert Siegel talks with Mara Liasson about the day's events.

Julian Castro is the 37-year-old mayor of San Antonio. And on Tuesday he will make his national debut as the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention. Audie Cornish talks to him about his Latino heritage, the possibility of post-racial politics and whether he sees a presidential run in his future.

Are you better off than you were four years ago?

As Mark reported earlier, that's the question Republicans want Americans to ask themselves as they head to the polls this November.

The question was brought to the forefront after Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley was asked that question on CBS' Face the Nation.

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