, North Carolina
Time Warner Cable Arena
September 4th - 6th 2012

Convention Chairperson:
Antonio Villaraigosa of California
Presidential Nominee:
Barack H. Obama of Illinois
Vice Presidential Nominee:
Joseph R. Biden of Delaware
 


The 2012 Democratic National Convention was held in Charlotte, North Carolina at the Time Warner Cable Arena, a stadium with a seating capacity of approximately 20,000 and home to the Charlotte Checkers hockey team, the Charlotte Hornets men's basketball team, and the Charlotte Sting women's basketball team. Charlotte beat out other finalists Cleveland, Ohio; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and St Louis, Missouri to host the event.

There was little mystery about the Democrat's choice for the general election, with incumbent President Barack Obama's nomination a foregone conclusion going in. Obama was scheduled to deliver his acceptance speech on Thursday, September 6 at the larger Bank of America Stadium, an event which officials at the Convention had promised would go on “rain or shine”; however, the venue for this speech was ultimately moved to the Time Warner Cable Arena, with Democrats citing fears of severe thunderstorms. Questions were rampant following this decision, as many wondered whether the move really came as a result of the Convention's perceived inability to fill the American Airlines Arena's 70,000 strong capacity (leading to the potentially embarrassing image of many empty seats at Obama's speech). Meteorologist Brad Panavich has stated that the danger of severe weather that day was virtually nonexistent, and the chance of any rain at all was only 20%.

The choice of North Carolina as host for the Convention was itself controversial. Earlier in the year, voters in that state had passed by referendum Amendment 1, banning same-sex marriage within their borders. Several gay rights and other left-leaning groups, demographics traditionally favoring the Democratic party, called on the Democratic National Committee to change plans and move the Convention in protest. The DNC decided not to heed these requests. Chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz explained that this was because of North Carolina's status as “a critical battleground”, a likely reference to the fact that the state was hotly contested in 2008 but ultimately voted Democratic, not only for President but also in an important Senatorial race and the race for Governor. Schultz hoped to preserve North Carolina's support in 2012. It should be noted that this strategy did not bear fruit; in the general election, North Carolina contributed its 15 electoral votes to Mitt Romney.




Both Charlotte police and the Democratic National Committee took security at the event seriously, particularly when it was learned that an alliance of over 90 groups were banding together to form the Coalition to March on Wall Street South, with principles similar to those of the better-known Occupy Wall Street movement. The city received a $50 million grant from the federal government for security, which it spent on expanding the municipal police force, and also on providing them with more bicycles, better computer software, and an upgrade to their command center. Restrictions on the possession of numerous items were also announced, including backpacks, pepper spray, body armor, and police scanners. Additionally, camping on public property was banned during the Convention.

Speakers at the event were many, and included such Democratic names as Senator Elizabeth Warren and former President Bill Clinton. Vice President Joe Biden also spoke, as did First Lady Michelle Obama.

When the Convention ended, in a surprise to no one in attendance, President Barack Obama had been nominated to seek a second term in office, with Joe Biden again serving as his running mate. The decision was unanimous, all 5,556 delegates lending Obama their support, and the outcome was so clearly known that many delegates had already left by the time the last ones cast their votes. Obama would go on to win the general election in November, defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney in a close race.


Brokered and Contested Democratic Conventions


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July 25-28 2016
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