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Conventions 2012

Convention Daybook: Spotlight on Michelle Obama — Brought to you by CIT

September 4, 2012

Welcome to National Journal’s Convention Daybook, which provides a floor schedule and a list of major events at the Democratic National Convention each day.


Welcome to the first day of the Democratic National Convention, where first lady Michelle Obama and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro will give tonight’s major speeches in the Time Warner Cable Arena. The convention promises a full lineup of speakers, from all over the country. Here are the highlights:

5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Steny Hoyer, Maryland Representative

6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Bev Perdue, North Carolina Governor
Charles Gonzalez, Texas Representative
Nydia Velazquez, New York Representative
Pat Quinn, Illinois Governor
Tim Kaine, Virginia Senate candidate

7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Anthony Foxx, Charlotte Mayor
Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader
Jimmy Carter, former U.S. President (video)
Joe Kennedy III, Massachusetts House candidate

8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Jared Polis, Colorado Representative
Tammy Duckworth, Illinois House candidate
Lincoln Chafee, Rhode Island Governor
James Clyburn, South Carolina Representative
Xavier Becerra, California Representative

9 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Mayor
Deval Patrick, Massachusetts Governor

10 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Martin O'Malley, Maryland Governor
Julian Castro, San Antonio Mayor
Michelle Obama, first lady


Event times and information are subject to changes and updates throughout the day. For the latest information, please visit National Journal’s events page, log in to NJ’s mobile apps, or contact event organizers.

7 A.M. – Run For Your Life 

The convention lifestyle isn’t exactly healthy. Late-night parties, platters of cheese puffs, early-morning panels and bottomless coffee can wear a body down. Get moving with Run For Your Life, a Charlotte running specialty store; staff will lead daily 3-, 5- and 7-mile runs starting at Elizabeth Park at Little Sugar Creek Greenway, 101 N. Kings Drive. Free and open to the public. Get details here. Contact: 704-358-0713. 

7-7:55 A.M. – Yoga on the Greenway
Not a fan of running? No sweat. You can still stretch out cramped muscles while other convention-goers sleep in. Local studio Yoga Shala is running free, outdoor yoga classes. Attendees should bring a yoga mat, towel and water. Midtown Park, S. Kings Drive. RSVP here. 

8-10 A.M. – The Asian American and Pacific Islander Voter 
APIAVote holds a seminar to discuss the profile of the Asian American and Pacific Islander voting demographic. The Charlotte City Club, 121 W. Trade St., Mecklenburg Room. Open to the public, but please RSVP here. Contact: 646-502-5337.

8-10 A.M. – Playbook Breakfast
Politico Chief White House Correspondent Mike Allen will have been up for hours by the time he hosts this breakfast discussion with a newsmaker. Politico’s Playbook breakfasts are cohosted by The Charlotte Observer. Packard Place, 222 S. Church St. RSVP:

8-10 A.M. – Energy Policy in 2013
Republicans and Democrats have different energy-policy priorities. But how much will the outcome of the 2012 election really change energy policy? The Washington Post and Bipartisan Policy Center host a breakfast discussion with experts to tackle the question. The Ritz-Carlton Charlotte, 201 E. Trade St. Get details here

8 A.M.-1 P.M. – Golfing for Charity
Join members of Congress for 18 holes of golf and networking and help a good cause: The First Tee of Washington, D.C. The World Golf Foundation group helps expose young people to the game of golf and promotes healthy choices. Lunch is provided. Charlotte Country Club, 2465 Mecklenburg Ave. RSVP: Questions? Call 202-479-2588. 

8:30-8:55 A.M.Progressive Discussion With Jesse Jackson
The Rev. Jesse Jackson delivers remarks to kick off Progressive Democrats of America’s full day of progressive discussion. Community Outreach Christian Ministries, 1800 Brewton Drive. Purchase tickets, view details, and RSVP here. 

8:30-10:30 A.M. – Breakfast With California’s Delegates
Sen. Barbara Boxer, women’s health advocate Sandra Fluke, Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett, and state Attorney General Kamala Harris are all slated to address the California delegation’s breakfast meeting. The Blake Hotel, 555 S. McDowell St. Open to press with convention credentials. Media contact:

8:30-10:30 A.M. – Building the Future of Energy Efficiency
Sixty-five percent of U.S. electricity consumption comes from buildings. The Hill and The Echo Foundation hold a breakfast discussion with thought leaders on commercial-building energy and operating efficiencies, “Building the Future of Energy Efficiency.” The Charlotte Observer, 600 S. Tryon St. By invitation.

8:30 A.M.-1 P.M. – Municipial Officials Training Session
Municipal Officials will learn how to both communicate with constituents and help other Democrats get elected up and down the ticket at this training session, hosted in cooperation with the Democratic National Committee and NGP-VAN. Training is free to Democratic Municipal Officials and their partners and staff. Urban League of Central Carolinas, 740 W. Fifth St. Preregistration required. Please click here to register. Contact:

9 A.M. – Big Tent Charlotte 
Remember Big Tent Denver? It’s back this election cycle with Big Tent Charlotte, a gathering space for new media and activist writers. There will be a blogger lounge, refreshments, and sessions with political, nonprofit and tech leaders. Click here to visit the PPL website. Packard Place, 222 S. Church St. Standard credential: $125. 

9-10 A.M. – What to Expect at the Convention 
Want to get a heads-up on what to expect—and watch for—at the convention this week? President Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett, alongside Bloomberg journalists and analysts, will discuss the coming days. Matt Dowd, former chief strategist for George W. Bush’s 2004 campaign (and National Journal columnist), is also among the participants. Bloomberg Link, 210 E. Trade St., Third Floor. RSVP:

9-10 A.M. – Interfaith Prayer with Derrick Harkins
Join fellow convention-goers in interfaith prayer, led by a local faith leader, followed by a discussion facilitated by Derrick Harkins of Washington, D.C. Possible topics include “Loving Our Neighbor” and “Caring for the Poor.” Charlotte Convention Center, 501 S. College St., Room 211AB/212AB. Open to the public. Click here to RSVP.

9:30 A.M. – Stars & Stripes Shootout 
Get your Elmer Fudd on at the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s quadrennial Stars & Stripes Shootout. The Fork: Farm & Stables, 3200 Fork Rd., Norwood. By invitation and closed to press. 

9:30-11 A.M. – The Election in Numbers
Join National JournalThe Atlantic, and CBS News for “The Election in Numbers: A Conversation With Leading Pollsters.” Featured guests include John Anzalone of Anzalone Liszt Research, Joel Benenson of the Benenson Strategy Group, Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners, and Margie Omero of Momentum Analysis. Ron Fournier and Beth Reinhard of National Journal and Bill Plante of CBS News will moderate. McColl Center for Visual Art, 721 N. Tryon St. Click here to RSVP.  

9:30-11 A.M. – Developments in Energy Technology
How America’s energy demands will be met in the future is a crucial question. Join National Journal and The Atlantic for a discussion of emerging energy technologies and development opportunities. National Journal's Amy Harder will moderate a discussion among featured guests Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, Marvin Fertel of the Nuclear Energy Institute, Mike Howard of the Electric Power Research Institute, Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations, and Richard Newell of Duke University's Energy Initiative. McColl Center for Visual Art, 721 N. Tryon St. RSVP: 

9:30-10:30 A.M. – Financial Football Workshop
Video games get educational at the “Financial Football” workshop. Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina, NFL Linebacker London Fletcher, North Carolina state Treasurer Janet Cowell, and Visa present an educational video game and classroom curriculum. Almost as good as Madden 13. Wake Forest University School of Business, 200 N. College St., Suite 150. Click here to RSVP.

9:30-11 A.M. – The Future of U.S.-Mexico Relations
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson will weigh in at this discussion of the future of U.S.-Mexico relations, hosted by the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands and the Woodrow Wilson Center. The Mimosa Grill, 327 S. Tryon St. Free and open to the public. Contact: 202-691-4188.

10-11:30 A.M. – Latino Voters and 2012
The Latino community’s electoral clout keeps growing. But where will it matter most, and how much will it matter in 2012? The NALEO Educational Fund hosts a presentation and discussion on the impact Latino voters may have in November. Holiday Inn Charlotte-Center City, 230 N. College St. RSVP:

10 A.M.-12 P.M. – U-FUTURE Cybersummit
Students from local colleges and universities will mingle with elected officials at the Congressional Black Caucus Institute’s U-FUTURE cybersummit. Actors Hill Harper, Nicole Ari Parker, and Alfre Woodard will host, and the panel will feature Reps. Emanuel Cleaver, James Clyburn, Bennie Thompson, and Melvin Watt. Can’t attend? You can still submit questions on Twitter using the hashtag #UFUTURE. Johnson C. Smith University, 100 Beatties Ford Rd., Brayboy Gymnasium. Media credential required. Contact: 704-330-1338.

10 A.M.-12 P.M. – 'How to Survive a Plague'
“How to Survive a Plague” kicks off the 2012 IMPACT Film Festival at the convention. The film tells the story of young activists who challenged Washington and the medical establishment to recognize and find treatment for AIDS. Mez and EpiCentre Theatres, 201 E. Trade St. Get tickets here. 

10 A.M.-1 P.M. – Local Gardens Tour
Tour local community gardens and learn about the challenge of ensuring access to healthy, affordable food at this forum, presented by the Junior League of Charlotte and Communities in Schools. Garden tours are in various locations and vans will be available to transport attendees with pickup info provided to those who RSVP. Free and open to the public, but please RSVP: Contact: 704-375-5993.

10 A.M.-6 P.M. – Women in Leadership Positions
Women may be half the population, but they don’t fill anywhere near half the highest posts in the U.S. government. Political Parity hosts this event focusing on new research and outreach efforts to get female leaders into high office. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California will deliver welcome remarks. Kanvas Gallery, 525 E. Sixth St. #117. By invitation.

10:30 A.M. – The Challenge of Being an Antiabortion Democrat
Can you be against abortion in a pro-abortion-rights party? Former Reps. Bart Stupak of Michigan and Kathy Dahlkemper of Pennsylvania will be among the panelists discussing the challenge of being an antiabortion Democrat. Suggested donation: $100. Crowne Plaza Hotel, 201 South McDowell St. RSVP here.

11 A.M.-12:30 P.M. – Cuts to National Defense
There aren’t many areas where Democrats and Republicans in Washington agree, but concerns over how sequestration and budget cuts could impact national defense are generally shared. Obama campaign national-defense cochairs Doug Wilson and Michèle Flournoy and former Rep. Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania will speak at this luncheon, hosted by Bloomberg Government. Bloomberg Link, 210 E. Trade St., Third Floor. RSVP:

Noon – Millennial Impact in 2012
Young voters played an important role in the 2008 election. The Harvard University Institute of Politics convenes a panel of experts for a luncheon discussion on the millennial impact on the 2012 election, including Rock the Vote President Heather Smith, MTV correspondent Andrew Jenks, and IOP Director of Polling John Della Volpe. Crowne Plaza Hotel, 201 S. McDowell St., Carolina BC Ballroom. RSVP:

Noon-1:30 P.M. – Politico Jobs Panel
Jobs, jobs, jobs. You know the mantra—but how can policy impact employment? Former Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Austan Goolsbee, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, Rep. Brad Miller of North Carolina and Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia will weigh in on this panel, convened by Politico. Packard Place, 222 S. Church St. RSVP required. Contact:

12:30-1:30 P.M. – Path to Power Luncheon
Political strategists and advisers from both sides of the aisle will forecast the next four years of presidential leadership at this “Path to Power Luncheon,” hosted by National Journal and The Atlantic. Featured guests include House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, Gov. Dannel Malloy of Connecticut, Melody Barnes of Melody Barnes Solutions, Stephanie Cutter of Obama for America, and Gene Sperling of the National Economic Council. NJ’s Ronald Brownstein and Major Garrett will moderate. McColl Center for Visual Art, 721 N. Tryon St. By invitation.

1-3 P.M. – Romneycare Works
Massachusetts’ health care system helped inspire the 2010 health care reform law. Find out how the state is faring at this panel, headlined by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and a number of Bay State health care experts. Expect glowing reviews: the event, after all, is titled “Romneycare works.” K&L Gates, Hearst Tower, 214 N. Tryon St., 47th Floor. Hosted by the Massachusetts delegation. Free and open to the public.  

2-4 P.M. – IMPACT Film Festival: The Invisible War
The IMPACT Film Festival continues with The Invisible War, an investigative documentary on rape within the U.S. military. Mez and EpiCentre Theatres, 210 E. Trade St. Get tickets here.

2-4 P.M. – Apps and Drinks
Social network in real time with Facebook staffers, developers, and others from the tech community at this “apps and drinks” event. Elder Gallery, Main Gallery, 1520 S. Tryon St. By invitation.

2-4 P.M. – Access, Influence, and Empowerment
IMPACT, an organization dedicated to furthering civic engagement and leadership among young people of color, convenes a roundtable to discuss “Access, Influence and Empowerment.” Grammy winner Anthony Hamilton and Rep. Andre Carson of Indiana will be among the panelists. Charlotte Convention Center, 501 S. College St., Room 213ABC. RSVP here

2:30-4 P.M. – After the Health Care Ruling
The Supreme Court may have ruled on the individual mandate, but the political battle over President Obama’s health care law continues. Chris Jennings of the Bipartisan Policy Center, Andy Stern of SEIU, Glen Tullman of Allscripts, and Christopher Flavelle of Bloomberg Government discuss the next phase of the conflict at this panel. Bloomberg Link, 210 E. Trade St., Third Floor. RSVP:

3-4:15 P.M. – Albright Speaks
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former New York Yankees slugger Bernie Williams don’t often headline the same event. But they’ll both be participating in ARTSspeak@DNC, a panel on the importance of the arts and arts education. Mint Museum Uptown, Levine Center for the Arts, 500 S. Tryon St. Please RSVP here. Contact: 202-371-2830.

3-4:30 P.M.  National Journal’s Compare the Candidates
President Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney have both framed the election as a choice between two fundamentally different visions for America. National Journal and The Atlantic take a close look at the candidates’ policy differences with this panel, moderated by NJ’s Ronald Brownstein and Major Garrett. Featured guests include Jackie Calmes of The New York Times, David Gergen of CNN, and Neera Tanden of the Center for American Progress. McColl Center for Visual Art, 721 N. Tryon St. RSVP here

4 P.M. – VIP Cocktail Reception
Hobnob with the Hollywood set at The Creative Coalition’s VIP Cocktail Reception, cohosted with the National Association of Broadcasters. Dressler’s Restaurant, 1100 Metropolitan Ave. By invitation. Press should contact Mike McGuiness at 310-927-8333 or for credentials.

4:30-5:30 P.M. – Heartland Monitor Poll Discussion
Leading media, business, academic and political leaders will discuss the Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll results and what they mean for the presidential race. Featured guests Anna Greenberg of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, Michael Podhorzer of the AFL-CIO and Ed Reilly of FTI Consulting will weigh in. McColl Center for Visual Art, 721 N. Tryon St. By invitation; please e-mail if interested.

5 P.M. – Party in Honor of Bill Clinton
It’s hard to believe, but it’s true: Gov. Bill Clinton of Arkansas accepted the Democratic nomination for president 20 years ago. The Democratic Party of Arkansas is throwing a party to celebrate the anniversary of Clinton's ascendance, featuring musician, actress Ashley Judd and, of course, Clinton himself. Westin Charlotte, 601 S. College St., Ballroom. $150. Get tickets here.

7-9 P.M. – Politics and Pints

D.C. denizens love bar trivia. They also love politics. Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post’s “The Fix” blog, combined both and created one of Washington’s best-loved trivia events. Bring a team of up to six players for “Politics and Pints,” Charlotte-style. RiRa Irish pub, 208 N. Tryon St. Doors open at 6 p.m.

7:30-11 P.M.  National Journal Watch Party
The first night of the convention will feature speeches from first lady Michelle Obama and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro. Watch them with National JournalThe Atlantic, and convention stakeholders at this nightly watch party. McColl Center for Visual Art, 721 N. Tryon St. By invitation. 

8 P.M.-2 A.M. – Stonewall Democrats Watch Party
The National Stonewall Democrats invites LGBT delegates, elected officials, and allies to mingle and watch the convention on the big screen. $25 without a convention or PPL credential. Packard Place, 222 S. Church St. RSVP to

9 P.M. – One World Comedy Jam
Comedy fans won’t want to miss this. Funnymen D.L. Hughley, Tommy Davidson and Aries Spears will share the stage for the first time in their careers at the One World Comedy Jam. A portion of the proceeds from this show will go to the Democratic National Committee and Obama 2012. Belk Theater, 130 N. Tryon St. Get tickets online here. Price varies by seat location.

9 P.M-1 A.M. – RealClearParty
RealClearPolitics may be your homepage, but even the most avid fans won’t be able to get into the news organization’s bash, RealClearParty, without an invitation. Sponsored by BlackBerry. Vivace, 1100 Metropolitan Avenue #100. By invitation.

9:30 P.M. – Sex, Politics, and Cocktails
Sex and politics mix just fine with a few cocktails. Planned Parenthood Action Fund holds one of its signature “Sex, Politics, and Cocktails” parties. 223 S. Brevard St. By invitation. Media

9:30 P.M.-11 A.M. – ARTSjam Concert
Mingle with Grammy-winning musicians and arts advocates before settling down for ARTSjam's musical performance. $25 for show, $50 for show and VIP reception. Free for students, teachers, military personnel, and municipal workers with valid ID. Proceeds benefit Americans for the Arts. McGlohon Theatre at Spirit Square, 345 N. College St. Get tickets here.

10 P.M.-1 A.M. – Musicians On Call Concert
Hip-hop artist Common will headline this concert to raise money for Musicians on Call, an organization that brings music to the bedsides of wounded soldiers. Legendary music producer Jermaine Dupri will deejay. The Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd. By invitation.

10 P.M.-2 A.M. – Latinos Unidos
From NALEO and CHCI to NCLR and LULAC, an array of major Latino organizations have joined forces to throw a “Latinos Unidos” party celebrating the Democratic National Committee Hispanic Caucus and Hispanic delegates. Over 1,000 guests are expected. Charlotte Convention Center, 501 S. College St., Ballroom ABCD. Contact: By invitation.

11 P.M.-2 A.M. – Party Animals
From the rainforest exhibit to the aquarium, it gets pretty wild inside Charlotte's Discovery Place. That may be why BuzzFeed, a website known for its animal slideshows, chose the venue to throw a “party animals” bash. 301 N. Tryon St. By invitation.

11 P.M.-2 A.M.  The Future Party
Are you a young progressive? Mingle with your peers at “The Future Party,” cohosted by the New Leaders Council, the Roosevelt Institute, the Truman National Security Project, and a number of other organizations. Carolina Ale House, 201 S. College St. RSVP and tickets required. Email

Convention Daybook is compiled by National Journal’s Catherine Hollander and Sophie Quinton. To provide information on events such as tips or updates, please contact

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