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Conventions 2012 / CONVENTIONS 2012

Highlights From Wednesday's National Journal Events — PICTURES

photo of Cory Bennett
September 5, 2012

The second day of the Democratic National Convention featured a full slate of National Journal events. Thought leaders converged to discuss budget plans, energy policy, the youth vote, and health and energy policy at the city level. 

To start, National Journal took a moment to look ahead to the House and Senate races in Wednesday's Daily Briefing. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., discussed Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan's budget plan and how he says it has benefited Democrats in House races around the country. 

The session also included the executive directors of both the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The two explained that states like California have suddenly come into play for Democrats running for the House due to significant redistricting since the last election cycle. 

The panel ended with Jennifer Duffy and David Wasserman of The Cook Political Report. Duffy gave her take on toss-up Senate elections in Connecticut, Hawaii, Montana, and Nevada. Overall, she said, the Democrats have a 55 percent chance of maintaining their Senate majority.

Later, at the American Petroleum Institute luncheon on energy policy, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and former Democratic Vermont Gov. Howard Dean shared thoughts on fracking, the Keystone XL pipeline, and renewable energy.

Both agreed that the pipeline will eventually get built regardless of who the next president is. But Dean wants the government to push harder for renewable energy by favoring the biotech industry. "It's OK to pick winners and losers sometimes," he said.

Later on Wednesday, National Journal held "Conversations With the Next Generation," featuring NBC special correspondent Chelsea Clinton, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd, and National Journal's Chris Frates.

Sitting on the panel, actors Kal Penn — who has worked in Obama's administration — and America Ferrera discussed youth-voter engagement. Common wisdom is that apathy has returned to the youth electorate since its historic 2008 enthusiasm. Rod Snyder, president of the Young Democrats of America, pointed out that 84 percent of registered young voters do not show up on Election Day. 

But the panel pushed back against the notion of apathy, discussing ways to foster youth engagement. It's about outreach through youth-favored communication channels, said Michelle Rhee, former chancellor of the Washington, D.C., public school system. Filmmaker Andrew Jenks added that this engagement can't wane between elections. 

National Journal also convened a panel on "Building Healthier Cities." Leaders on the issue from the public and private sectors gave their best public-private partnership solutions for raising a healthier generation.

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak explained how partnerships with local Minnesota farms and businesses created programs to reinvent his city's "food-delivery system" without siphoning significant public funds. For the first time ever, he said, we have a population wanting to be inspired to become healthier.

The day wrapped with a discussion of energy policy during the "Powering the City" panel. With energy demands set to rise nearly 40 percent by 2030, public- and private-sector leaders discussed solutions for cities to meet this demand. Democratic Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer mentioned that 99 percent of his city's wastewater is recycled and all new city buildings must be LEED-certified.

Others discussed the need for renewable energy. Currently, 45 percent of America's energy is coal-based and 10 percent is from renewables, said CH2M HILL CEO Lee McIntire.

On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., National Journal hosts the final Daily Briefing, "A Conversation with Campaign Managers and Senior Strategists."

(Check out Tuesday's National Journal event highlights)

The Atlantic and National Journal hosted "Building Healthier Cities" on Wednesday in Charlotte. Panelists discussed ways the government can engage schools and local businesses to change children's diets.(Liz Lynch)

Democratic Mayor R.T. Rybak of Minneapolis makes a point about canning food during National Journal and The Atlantic's event, "Building Healthier Cities."(Liz Lynch)

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer (right), a Democrat, talked about his city's efforts to replace all traffic lights with LED bulbs during the panel discussion "Powering the City" on Wednesday in Charlotte.(Liz Lynch)

 

Gloria Brown of the Kirschner Group engages the "Building Healthier Cities" panel about access to food within cities.(Liz Lynch)

Chelsea Clinton (left), NBC special correspondent, interviews filmmaker Andrew Jenks during "Conversations with the Next Generation" at Discovery Place in Charlotte on Wednesday. Jenks said the youth electorate is energetic, but parties must consistently engage the group to tap into that enthusiasm.(Kristoffer Tripplaar)

(From left) Kal Penn, actor and former associate director at the White House Office of Public Engagement; America Ferrera, actress and Voto Latino leader; Alfre Woodard, actress and member of the Creative Coalition; and Chuck Todd, chief White House correspondent for NBC News, participate in "Conversations with the Next Generation."(Kristoffer Tripplaar)

 

(From left) Penn, Ferrera, and Woodard rejected the notion that the youth electorate is less engaged today than in 2008, despite poll numbers revealing increasing apathy.(Kristoffer Tripplaar)

(From left) Democratic Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, National Journal correspondent Chris Frates, and Chuck Todd talk about the decrease in federal money going to cities, and increased funds going to states, during "Conversations with the Next Generation."(Kristoffer Tripplaar)

Michelle Rhee (left), founder and CEO of Students First, and Ronald Carter, president of Johnson C. Smith University, participate in "Conversations With the Next Generation." Rhee said that during her time as chancellor of Washington, D.C.'s, public schools, only 40 percent of public school funding actually went to schools.(Kristoffer Tripplaar)

 

Former Democratic Vermont Gov. Howard Dean at the American Petroleum Institute luncheon in Charlotte on Wednesday.(Kristoffer Tripplaar)

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., talks with Amy Harder, National Journal energy and environment correspondent, about energy policy during the National Journal and The Atlantic API luncheon in Charlotte on Wednesday.(Kristoffer Tripplaar)

National Journal's Amy Harder with Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., (center) and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean during the API luncheon in Charlotte on Wednesday.(Kristoffer Tripplaar)

 

John Dickerson (left), CBS News political director, asks Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., a question during the National Journal and The Atlantic Daily Briefing in Charlotte on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012.(Kristoffer Tripplaar)

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., (left) thought the nomination of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., for vice president has hurt Republicans in House races. National Journal Hotline Editor Reid Wilson looks on.(Kristoffer Tripplaar)

(From left) John Dickerson, political director of CBS News; Guy Cecil, Democratic Senatorical Campaign Committee executive director; Robby Mook of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; and Reid Wilson, National Journal Hotline editor, discuss the benefit redistricting has had for Democrats during National Journal and The Atlantic's Daily Briefing in Charlotte. Guy Cecil was misidentified in an earlier version of this slideshow.(Kristoffer Tripplaar)

 

Jennifer Duffy, The Cook Political Report senior editor, gives the Democrats a 55 percent chance of retaining control in the Senate come November. David Wasserman (left), The Cook Political Report house editor, and Hotline Editor Reid Wilson look on at the National Journal and The Atlantic Daily Briefing in Charlotte.(Kristoffer Tripplaar)

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