I planned on writing a second part to my previous "short" post about the DNC but I haven't really got too much more to say (unsurprisingly, given that last one!). So instead I will present a short summary, and then a link so all you non-US folk can see where your views fall in the politics of America.
While Clinton and Michelle Obama's speeches were rousing, touching, and inspiring, the President's speech was extremely calm, and far less of a show. He actually did what I would consider more of a party political broadcast, where specific policy details and eventual goals were covered. It still surprises me - and makes me feel a little bit uneasy - to see the political advertising on television here, as it's such a mud-slinging, fact-impoverished way of communicating with the voters. I don't think it does anyone any favours. I was glad that Obama dropped in a little joke about "approving this message" - I'm sick of hearing that daft phrase, and I hardly watch TV!
The President seemed quite sombre, although still hopeful, and focused more on what was still to be done rather than achievements so far. I guess asking people to stick with him to see initiatives like health reform and repatriation of industry is an even bigger ask right now, as so many are currently in dire financial straits and want to see change now (even if it is not lasting change, I think). The long game is a harder, but ultimately more rewarding one, hopefully with some permanent positive results. Overall, Obama came over as honest, determined, astute, and hopeful. Not flashy, but this is an election, not American Idol. I hope.
The impact on Charlotte was much talked about, and I know a lot of people were frustrated by the traffic restrictions and other safety precautions imposed uptown. I also heard a lot of excited chatter about the atmosphere up there, and people making plans to visit specifically because the DNC was in town. I didn't get a chance to travel that way, sadly, but it looked like a lot of fun!
Finally, as I mentioned before, politics here are extremely bipolar. The independent candidates, while they may have some sensible and worthwhile policies, get left by the wayside when it comes to the election. You're either red or blue. I used iSideWith.com to see what my political allegiance is (although I was pretty sure I would come out Democrat!), and found that while I was definitely a lefty over here, I actually side more with Jill Stein than Barack Obama. I had hardly heard of the woman! Click on the link to see who you'd be most likely to vote for, to see how other states are currently aligned, to compare candidates, and even to look at how people who came from various sites are most likely to vote. Feel free to share your results in the comments if you would like!