Murfreesboro City Schools Boardmember Jared Barrett said “meeting other Democrats from throughout Tennessee and from across America” was the best part of the experience.
Barrett also enjoyed the diversity of people he met at the convention. A statement that was backed up by Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester.
“Earlier this year, our Executive Committee made a commitment to sending a delegation to Charlotte that is wholly representative of who we are as Tennessee Democrats, as well as the future of our state party,” Forrester said.
Adding to the diversity was Joan Hill, an executive committee member of the Rutherford County Democratic Party and educator from the United Steelworkers of America. Hill said being with like-minded people was the highlight of the convention for her.
“Overall, it’s just being with all these folks who know where this country has been and where we are going …” she said. “It’s a very warm and a good feeling to be around so many people that share the same passion I have for justice and doing what is right and fair for working families.”
Despite the talking points and speeches, the Democrats have a hard row to hoe when it comes to convincing Tennesseans to re-elect President Barack Obama.
While a summer poll from Vanderbilt University showed Obama virtually tied with his Republican challenger former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a more recent Rasmussen poll had Romney leading 41 percent to 48 percent over Obama. Further, Obama’s statewide approval rating is only 40 percent, with 50 percent disapproving, according to an MTSU Poll.
The main focus of the convention has been getting through to Tennesseans and the rest of the American public all the Obama administration has done during the past four years and making a case for four more.
Barrett said the party did a good job laying the groundwork “to move forward,” which is the general theme of Obama’s re-election campaign.
“I think the American public will take away that President Obama is looking out for working Americans with health care, student loans and public education,” Barrett said.
These issues were pushed by nearly every speaker at the three-day convention, including First Lady Michelle Obama and former President Bill Clinton, who were the keynote speakers on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, respectively.
“The first lady was inspiring and a dynamic figure,” Hill said. “She did a good job talking about who she is and why she believes in her husband.”
As for Clinton’s speech, Hill said it was impressive and hit the mark.
“I believe he responded to every argument that the Republicans made last week in Tampa, Fla., and reminded the voters what is at stake in this election,” Hill said.
Clinton defended Obama against Republican attacks on his management of the economy, health care reform and financial reform, among a host of other topics in his 48 minute speech.
Hill said the convention really opened her eyes about issues are important to her – women’s rights, worker’s rights and voter’s rights.
“I think (the convention) really showed what the president has done to push forward despite having a republican House,” she said.