Counting the minutes til the Democratic National Convention begins? Here's what has been happening in advance of tomorrow's kickoff, and what you can expect when the Democrats' big shebang begins:
- Yesterday saw weaker-than-expected protests: Some 800 protesters took to the streets in Charlotte to slam big banks, lax environmental policies, and more. Two were arrested. Police had predicted a far bigger protest of between 2,000 and 10,000, the Charlotte Observer notes.
- The Romney camp is looking to grab some headlines: Paul Ryan will campaign a few hundred miles away today, asking voters, "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" Some 50 GOP staffers are already camped outside the DNC, and plan speeches of their own from luminaries like Nikki Haley, the AP reports.
- Yes, we are better off: Democrats are defiantly pushing the message that the nation is indeed better off, Politico reports, with Obama deputies such as Stephanie Cutter saying, "By any measure, the country has moved forward over the last four years. It might not be as fast as some people would have hoped, [but] the president agrees with that, he knows we need to do more.”
- Show Dems the money: Leading Democrats are hoping for a cash windfall from the convention, with super PACs offering tickets to party with Jessica Alba and musician Pitbull to donors of $100,000. They'll also get tickets to a gathering with top Democratic officials, with food from chef Alice Waters, Politico reports.
- Tomorrow's bigwig No. 1: Michelle Obama: She's got a tough task—convincing voters to support the president's economic plans—but insiders think she's up to the job. The campaign considers her "the closer" whose warmth and family stories can generate as much enthusiasm as the president himself, the Hill reports.
- And No. 2: San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro will deliver the keynote address.
(Read more Michelle Obama