Charlotte, North Carolina was named for Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who became the wife of England’s King George III the year before the city was founded. To this very day, Charlotte retains the nickname the ‘Queen City’, although Charlotte is also known as ‘The Hornet’s Nest,’ a second nickname derived from a statement made by British Revolutionary War General Cornwallis whose forces were ousted from the city by hostile residents. More than two centuries later, the 2012 Democratic National Convention starts in earnest tomorrow and no hurricanes are currently threatening to upend the procedural nomination of incumbent Democrat president Barack Obama.
Following on the heels of last week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa, the Democrats chose Charlotte early in 2012 knowing full well that North Carolina’s 15 Electoral College votes went to Obama in 2008 by a narrow margin and that the state would be hotly contested in this year’s election. Many Democrats called for the convention to be moved after voters approved in May an amendment to the North Carolina State constitution that bans gay marriage in the state, but the show will go on with Los Angeles’ Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa swinging the gavel as the Democratic Convention Chair.
What will the Democrats accomplish at their 2012 National Convention? How will the week of speeches and balloons affect the final two months in the race for the White House?
Tom Hanchett, staff historian at the Levine Museum of the New South