DNC goers highlight candidate differences
Delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. are featured in this video.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Several of Michigan’s top-elected officials spoke Wednesday of the sharp contrast between Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama as they recalled past political campaigns while at the Democratic National Convention, or DNC.
At a state delegation breakfast meeting, Michigan’s two U.S. Senators, Democrats Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, spoke about previous election campaigns they’ve witnessed, but both said they never had seen as many differences between two candidates as there are between Obama and Romney.
Obama is set to accept the Democratic Party’s official nomination Thursday night in Charlotte, N.C.
Romney accepted the Republican Party’s official nomination last week, alongside running mate Paul Ryan.
Stabenow said between Romney and Obama, the decision for voters couldn’t be any clearer.
“There has never been a stronger choice of visions in America. Never,” said Stabenow, who is running for re-election on Nov. 6 against Republican Pete Hoekstra. “There’s a lot at stake in this election.”
The platforms of both parties have pitted Obama and Romney against each other in a war of ideology, which likely has contributed to an aggressive political climate.
To former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota, who spoke to the delegation, the Republican Party’s general acceptance of the Tea Party has changed political discourse.
He said the introduction of Tea Party ideals into the Republican Party is “the most radical transformation of any mainstream party we’ve seen in all of American history.”
Levin said he, too, has been involved in campaigns and elections since 1960 but this year has been the most politically divided in terms of where the candidates stand.
“I’ve seen a lot of elections,” he said. “I’ve never seen, in any election, contrast as sharp with differences between parties so great.”
“(On a) list of things we can compare, you go down the entire list and the contrast is extraordinarily sharp,” he said.
The delegation also praised First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech Tuesday night, and looked forward to former President Bill Clinton’s speech Wednesday night.
Former Michigan Gov. Jim Blanchard, laughing, said he recalled telling the 1988 Democratic National Committee he had “found the next president” in Bill Clinton, and he wanted to feature the then-Arkansas governor at the DNC.
Despite a speech that Blanchard described as “long” and “boring,” Clinton did go on to become president, Blanchard said.