Posted at: 09/01/2012 11:34 PM
By: Dan Levy
ALBANY - The republicans have had their turn, now it's time for the democrats. With the Democratic National Convention on the verge of gaveling into session on Tuesday, local delegates are getting ready to head to Charlotte, North Carolina to officially nominate President Barack Obama for reelection.
The DNC will open at a time when several national polls have the presidential race in a virtual dead heat, and when most people understand that what happened in Tampa will most definitely not stay in Tampa.
"You know there's something wrong with the kind of job he (President Obama) has done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him," asserted GOP nominate Mitt Romney, as he addressed the RNC last Thursday night after accepting their nomination.
The very words used by Romney to motivate the GOP are having the same motivating affect on Obama supporters.
"After the DNC, I think you're going to see a big bump," said Gustavo Santos, of Guilderland, who will be attending his second democratic convention.
Despite what he's been hearing from republicans, Santos says the president has been doing a terrific job given the economic mess he inherited.
"I'm very confident that things will improve," Santos says. "He still needs four more years to finish his job and people have to give him that opportunity."
For Bethany Schumann-McGhee, an attorney from Amsterdam, and the mother of three young children, Charlotte marks her first convention, and she's mindful that republicans have been playing up national unemployment numbers that have been above 8% ever since Obama took office.
"What would it have been without the stimulus package?" Schumann-McGhee asks rhetorically. "What would it have been without the policies that congress and the president put into place during these last four years? Maybe it would be double digits."
"I believe that the Capital Region is definitely better off," opined Marion Porterfield, a delegate from Schenectady.
Porterfield, a Schenectady city council member, thinks portrayals of the president's record by republicans have been misleading and unfair, especially, she believes, because there are obstructionists in the congress who have prevented Mr. Obama from getting much of his agenda passed.
"My goal is to come back with information so that I can help people so that we can get boots on the ground and makes sure we get people organized so that President Obama can win this election," Porterfield said.
New York delegates are also mindful that the outcome of the presidential race in New York State is not in doubt, which is why when they return from Charlotte, they'll be ready to organize in other nearby battleground states including Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire.