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Harford gearing up for Democratic National Convention

ElectionsBarack Obama2012 Democratic National ConventionJoe BidenRepublican PartyDemocratic Party

With the Republican National Convention coming to a close, the Democrats will have their turn at the convention business beginning Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C.

While there shouldn't be any surprises — President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are running for a second term — that doesn't mean the delegates attending the convention Sept. 3 through 6 aren't excited for the event.

Bel Air Commissioner David Carey and Harford County Democratic Party member Jerome Foster will be attending the Democratic National Convention for the first time as delegates this year, and both are thrilled to hear the president speak.

"The main focus of the convention is to spotlight the positive things that have happened in the last four years as a result of the Obama-Biden ticket," Carey said. Looking forward, there will also be talk of Obama's plans for the future.

Some familiar faces will be speaking during the convention, Carey said, such as former president Bill Clinton and Gov. Martin O'Malley. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will also speak.

Other big names who will be attending are Olivia Wilde, Don Cheadle, Alfre Woodard and John Legend, to name a few.

Of course, the purpose of the convention is to officially nominate Obama as the Democratic nominee for president.

Unlike the Republican convention, Carey pointed out, Obama will make his speech at the Bank of America Stadium where the Carolina Panthers play.

Carey believes between 60,000 and 70,000 people will be there to hear the president speak.

"He's such a great speaker," he said. "And as a delegate, I get to be on the floor there, very close."

As for Obama's speech, Carey expects it to be "consistent with the way the president has been the last four years — bringing people together."

He added that's he's impressed with the president's continued attempts to "try to work with the Republicans even though they made it clear they don't want to work with him," referring to people in Congress.

As president, Obama has had "a number of accomplishments," Carey noted, including the war in Iraq — "which should have never been fought," he said — bringing "Osama bin Laden to justice" and slowly improving the economy.

The commissioner commented on the economic stimulus, which he called "not popular, but necessary," and said the same about the Affordable Care Act.

The economy will be at the forefront of this election season, Carey said.

"Do we continue to move forward," he asked, "or do we got back to the Bush-era policies of trickling down and deregulating Wall Street or [build] the middle class?"

When asked if he had watched any of the Republican convention this week, Carey said: "The Orioles have had my attention this week."

Foster said he doesn't know what to expect from the convention, but he is "looking forward to seeing the president and hopefully have an opportunity to get up front and personal and maybe shake his hand."

He noted how special it is to be selected as a delegate and to attend the convention, which happens every four years.

"The president has had the most difficult time that I can imagine any president had had," Foster said. "He's had a Congress that won't work with him, tried to initiate different bills, resolutions [and] they won't work with him."

Despite this, Foster added, Obama continues to "hold the country together," which is a "very difficult task for anyone."

Pulling the country together is something Americans should focus on, he said, and not working against each other.

"The Republican Party just said, 'No, we're not going to work with you. Our whole thing is to bring you down.' And I find that kind of appalling," Foster said. "You don't have to like him, but you have to support him."

Aside from hearing the president's speech, Foster is looking forward to hearing O'Malley address the convention, especially with talk that the governor will run for president in 2016.

"I think he has a message that's going to resonate with the people who are going to be there," Foster said about O'Malley. "He's on the right track and has an understanding of what is needed in order to make this country great again."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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ElectionsBarack Obama2012 Democratic National ConventionJoe BidenRepublican PartyDemocratic Party
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