Earlier, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, brought the gala into session with a stroke of the gavel
Shortly after the convention opened, delegates cheered their backing for the party’s new platform in an open voice vote.
Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, brought the gala into session with a stroke of the gavel
Among the changes found in the text of the party’s 2012 platform was the removal of language from the Middle East section referring to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
That message was replaced with a passage referring to the party’s “unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security” and Mr. Obama’s “steadfast opposition to any attempt to delegitimize Israel”.
The change prompted criticism from Republicans and Mitt Romney, who accuse Mr. Obama of “selling out” a key US ally.
Tuesday’s first session saw a series of Democratic governors, members of Congress, mayors and electoral candidates speak in support of Mr. Obama and his policies, most notably his much-criticized healthcare reform law.
A video tribute to the late Senator Edward Kennedy included clips from his 1994 Senate debate with Mr. Romney, and independent Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee argued that his former party – the Republicans – had lost their way and had forfeited the label of conservative.
Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said the next president would set the tone for the next 40 years.
Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said, ” It is the president’s values that shape a future in which the middle class has hope.”
“It will be the president’s leadership that determines how we as a nation meet the challenges that face the middle class. It is the president’s values that shape a future in which the middle class has hope,” he said.
Julian Castro, the Latino Mayor of San Antonio, Texas, gave the keynote address immediately before Mrs. Obama
Julian Castro, the Latino Mayor of San Antonio, Texas, gave the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention 2012. He became the first Latino to deliver such a speech at a major political party’s national convention
The Democratic gathering will see Mr. Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden formally re-nominated as the party’s presidential and vice-presidential candidates on Wednesday.
Later that evening, there will be speeches from Elizabeth Warren, who is fighting Republican incumbent Scott Brown in a high-profile race for a Massachusetts Senate seat, and former President Bill Clinton.
The convention culminates on Thursday, September 6 with speeches from Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden.
Republican nominee Mitt Romney is expected to spend the week preparing for a series of debates with Mr. Obama.
The gala also offers the Democrats the chance to make a high-profile pitch to voters in North Carolina, a state that narrowly voted for Mr. Obama in 2008, but is now firmly up for grabs.
As they did four years ago, the Democrats will take the event outside the convention centre for the president’s prime-time speech, taking over a 74,000-seater stadium in Charlotte for the final night of speeches – despite a poor weather forecast