As plans for the Democratic National Convention take shape, the party's general-election strategy is becoming increasingly clear: The Democrats will attempt to rally their core constituencies more than ever before and make a particular appeal to women and Latinos.
Thematically, Democrats will argue that President Obama has done well in fighting the severe recession that he inherited, and is much more of a protector of the middle class than Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
The lastest announcement about the convention came Tuesday when party officials said first lady Michelle Obama will address the convention on opening night, September 4, in Charlotte, North Carolina. This is part of a bid to mobilize women voters, especially single women, with whom Mrs. Obama is popular.
Also on September 4, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro will deliver the keynote address, the first time that a Latino has been given that opportunity.
Mrs. Obama and Castro are leaders whose "life stories both embody the promise of America, that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can make it," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, chairman of the convention.
The Democrats announced earlier this week that former President Bill Clinton will speak on September 5.
Democratic strategists consider Clinton the political figure most able to rally the party's base and to make the case for Obama's economic policies. His era is remembered as a time of relative prosperity. and he left office with the government running a yearly surplus.
Today, annual deficits are at a record high. "That economic progress was squandered in the following decade by a set of decisions that exploded our deficit, crashed our economy, and hurt the middle class," Villaraigosa told reporters. "So, there is noone better [than Clinton] to lay out the choice in this election between moving forward with President Obama or falling backward with Mitt Romney, who supports the same failed policies that led to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression."
President Obama is scheduled to accept the Democratic nomination on Thursday, September 6. Vice President Joe Biden will speak prior to Obama on September 6 in an effort to rally working-class voters.