| Greetings from Charlotte, where the Democratic National Convention heads into its second evening of business, featuring an impressive roster of speakers on a wide range of issues: immigration, small business, women's health, education, and energy. Rather than organize each night of the convention around one individual theme (as the RNC did), the Democrats demonstrate each and every night that we're better on a wide range of issues, and offer a broader array of policy solutions and ideas to address the challenges we face and move America forward.
Tonight's speakers feature a dizzying array of elected officials, candidates, distinguished party leaders, and regular folks who can testify to the positive impact President Obama's first term has had on their lives and livelihoods. Just a cursory glimpse at the prime-time coverage makes clear how much more diverse the Democratic convention is than the DNC in terms of ethnicity and sexuality. Heck, the line for the bathroom here in Charlotte probably has more people of color in it than the entire RNC delegation.
Join us for our liveblog of the event from Charlotte below the jump.
One of the featured speakers tonight is University of Texas grad Austin Ligon, Co-Founder and CEO of CarMax, Inc., the country's largest used auto seller. Ligon is also a well-known and widely respected Texas Ex: along with his wife, Pan Lamsan he donated $1 million to UT's Plan II study abroad program to ensure that students have the opportunity to experience international cultures during their undergraduate years. As Ligon said when he founded the fund, international travel "opened my eyes to the fact that my perspective on the world was just one tiny little portion of the ways in which the world could be viewed."
However, Ligon won't be speaking about the importance of broadening horizons and experiencing diversity -- he'll be talking about why President Obama is better for business than Mitt Romney. During the Republican National Convention Ligon was on hand to rebut erroneous GOP assertions about Obama's economic policies, so it should be interesting to see what he has to say tonight.
Ligon steps on the stage right before a section of the program about President Obama's rescue of the Detroit automakers, which kept manufacturing in America and prevented thousands of workers from being laid off. Given his background with CarMax it's plausible that Ligon could touch on that topic as well. We'll find out later tonight!
Update 7:20 p.m. Cecile Richards just left the stage to thunderous applause. This champion of women's healthcare and proud daughter of Texas gave a great speech about standing with the President who stands with women. She brought a few tears to the eyes of the Texas delegation with a mention of her mother, the late, great Governor Ann Richards:
Twenty-four years ago, my mother, former Texas Governor Ann Richards, spoke to this convention. She reminded us there was a time when folks had to drink from separate water fountains, when kids were punished for speaking Spanish in school, when women couldn't vote. Mom spent her entire life working to make things more fair. She believed the American dream wasn't meant for just a few; it promised opportunity for everyone. Just a couple of years before she passed, Mom had the chance to become friends with a young senator named Barack Obama. She saw in him the promise of the future, and the promise of America-the promise of an America that always moves forward. That's the America we believe in, and that's the future we'll be voting for this November. As women, we've come too far to turn back. And we won't. Mom wouldn't stand for it, and neither will we. So, this November, we're going to keep moving forward, and we are going to re-elect President Obama.
Join us for our liveblog from Charlotte below the jump!