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Democrats Take Their Convention Turn

Senate candidate Tim Kaine a speaker and part of Virginia's swing state delegation.

A group of 124 delegates will represent Virginia in Charlotte, N.C., as the 2012 Democratic National Convention gets under way Tuesday.

Virginia — along with Ohio, North Carolina and Florida — is considered a key swing state. Virginia, once a reliable Republican stronghold, went to President Barack Obama in 2008 — the first time the Old Dominion helped elect a Democratic president since Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

But this is not 2008, and political pundits say Virginia's 13 electoral votes are a tossup for 2012.

"It really does come down to 18 electoral votes in Ohio and 13 in Virginia, at least according to my calculations," Larry Sabato, head of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Sabato said he expects Virginia to receive the special treatment at this year's Democratic convention.

"I don't know what the floor plan is in Charlotte, but I'd be shocked if Virginia didn't have a prime spot," he said.

Virginia and Ohio also got sweet locations at last week's Republican National Convention in Tampa.

A few things to know about the convention:

Senate Candidate Tim Kaine is the only member of the Virginia delegation with a featured speaking role. Kaine is in a tough battle with George Allen (R) for Jim Webb's (D) U.S. Senate seat. Kaine will speak Tuesday between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Sen. Mark Warner delivered the keynote speech in 2008, but has no official speaking role at the 2012 convention. He will, however, be a featured speaker for numerous state delegations.

Former DNC chair and Northern Virginia businessman Terry McAuliffe is a member of the Virginia delegation and will also address the Virginia caucus.

For livestreaming of the convention, click here.

Along with Kaine, other featured speakers Tuesday include Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Newark Mayor Cory Booker. First Lady Michelle Obama, former president Jimmy Carter and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley.

Former president Bill Clinton will be a featured speaker Wednesday. President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will accept the party nomination in speeches Thursday.

The official convention website can be found here.

TaterSalad September 04, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Liberals.........when will you wake up and realize that Obama is using you as his "Useful Idiots" to collapse the American system to usher in communism. When? http://weaselzippers.us/2012/09/04/poll-majority-of-americans-say-obama-does-not-deserve-a-second-term-country-in-worse-condition-since-he-took-office/
Dave September 04, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Speaking of idiots.................................
Karen Goff September 04, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Can we please keep this conversation respectful ?
Jason Atkinson September 04, 2012 at 05:57 PM
As evidenced by previous political article comment threads...I think that answer is obvious. Hence I just don't comment on them anymore.
Karen Goff September 04, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Jason - true. And could be a good strategy. It is going to be a long political season.
the-stix September 04, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Of course it is your choice not to offer your opinions Jason. This is a highly contested election year and one should expect some heated rhetoric not unlike that from the candidate campaigns themselves. I would contend that most posts on Patch are "respectful" even though the opinions expressed are not always agreeable. In my opinion the Patch staff does a good job in keeping order without the being restrictive to the free flow of ideas.
Joy M. September 06, 2012 at 10:18 AM
Ashburn itself has 3 delegates to the convention, plus the county has several more. This article didn't seem very Patch-like (micro local). Maybe you can interview them when they get back?
Keith Best September 06, 2012 at 12:46 PM
All Americans need to see the movie "2016, Obama's America".
don dunkin September 06, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Sandra spoke right before Bill, dangerous.
Uncle Smartypants September 06, 2012 at 02:08 PM
All Americans need to read "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right" by Al Franken.
Cheryl Darby September 06, 2012 at 02:39 PM
2016 is fear-mongering at its worst. Like Clinton, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I am so sick and tired of this hatred of the president and anyone who doesn't march in lockstep with the far right wing faction of the Republican Party. They label anyone who is a progressive as a communist. Several Republican members of Congress even claim there are at least 80 Democratic members of Congress who are communists and must be thrown out of the country. This would be funny if it weren't so scary. Anyone who has already bought into the demonization of Obama will love 2016. Any rational person will see it for the piece of garbage it is,
Skip Endale September 06, 2012 at 03:18 PM
D'Souza is a defender of the muslim terrorist cause and at the same time a Christian. A wolf in sheeps clothing. And his 2016 flic - if anyone cares - its not "a movie", its a documentary.
Adam September 06, 2012 at 03:46 PM
@ Skip Endale "Documentary"? Heck, I thought for sure with how ridiculous the film is it was a mockumentary.
Colter95 September 07, 2012 at 10:52 PM
What do you think Michael Moore's film, Fahrenheit 9/11? Now that was fear-mongering at its worst. Were you as outraged at that film as well? I'm not supporting 2016; just curious. As for people being accused of being communists - well, maybe they are. Who knows? But it's not one sided at all. Mitt Romney and/or the GOP have been compared to Nazi's by at least three Democrats in recent weeks. All of this is needless distraction from the issues at hand. Namely the economy, which is in the tank. And unemployment, where the president got more bad news today. I don't hate Obama at all, but I think after four years in office, we should at least be moving in the right direction economically, and we're not. Our economy is in a free fall right now, and it's just not sustainable. Four more years of Obama could dig us into a hole in which we may never find a way out.
CentrevilleDavid September 08, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Why I am voting for Obama (no hostility or insults, just logic): 1. Obama inherited an economic mess caused by the Republicans 2. I knew 4 years ago that nobody from either party could fix the mess in 4 years 3. Romney refuses to release tax records 4. Romney has not explained any clear, defined plans to resolve the economy 5. Republican Congress has damaged our country with inability to perform 6. I support marriage equality, gay rights (I'm straight) and education 7. I strongly believe in the separation of state and church 8. Trickle down theory has proven not to work and employers have learned to use present workforce more efficiently 9. The Medicare voucher system is a bad idea I have many other reasons but those are the main ones.
Kathy Keith September 08, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Have you seen the movie, Cheryl?
Kathy Keith September 08, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Rebuttal: 1. No one questions that the economy was a mess. But the workforce has not grown in four years and the entitlements have increased dramatically. 2. Good for you! Personally, I think it could be in better shape than it is. 3. Romney has released last year's tax records and he will release this year's record. Have you any idea how many pages and details are in his records? No one questions that he is an extremely wealthy man. He has paid millions of dollars in taxes. He also gives away millions of dollars. Obama gave away less than 1% even when he and Michelle were making way in the upper $200,000 range ten years ago. Last year he gave away more. I'm more concerned about how Obama spends my money. 4. Romney has explained far more than Obama. He gave five basic points in his acceptance speech and has laid out a very detailed plan on his website. Perhaps you don't like it, but he has laid out a plan. 5. We had a Democratic Congress during the free fall. Obama had a Democratic Congress for two years of his term--and what did that get us? An unaffordable Affordale Health care plan. 6. The social issues are not important to me. I am pro-Choice, but believe that women and men who can afford their birth control should pay for it themselves. I taught school in another life, and I can assure you that the money poured into education does not get where it needs to. It needs to go back to the local level.
Kathy Keith September 08, 2012 at 04:12 PM
rebuttal continued: 7. I too strongly believe in the separation of church and state. That is why the government should not force religious institutions to violate their beliefs. 8. Trickle down does work as proven by Reagan. Hand outs do not work. Government picking winners and losers does not work. I'm happy for the GM workers who have jobs--but the government picked the winners and losers: Winners-union members. Losers--many, many dealers and the Delphi workers. 9. Romney/Ryan is offering the voucher idea as an option-not a requirement. And, for your information, Obama's HHS is now offering a voucher option to 2 million people on a trial basis.
Richard Holmquist September 08, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Our economy is not in "freefall", as Colter95 says. Any objective observer would say we're showing lukewarm growth. When Obama took office the economy definitely was in freefall. By all measures, the policies of the administration helped the country pull out of that death spiral. You can argue with the measures that were used or whether things would be better now with different policies, but don't misrepresent the facts. Three years ago, economists on all sides said we were in for a long period of slow growth with the potential to slip back into recession. We've avoided a new recession, stock prices are up, job growth is slow but positive and housing prices are on the rise. The stage is set for accelerated growth during the next four years, whoever is president. The question to me is what does the country look like at the end of that time. Will we have slashed support to the poor and elderly, gone back to a health care system where the insurance companies can run rampant, and turned over our environment to the oil companies and polluters?
T Ailshire September 18, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Do the political parties honestly believe they'll get stronger participation from their delegates - who are ALREADY partisans - by bribing them with better seats? Sometimes I just shake my head at what passes for important.

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