CHARLOTTE — Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre of Lumberton knows the question before its asked. Yes, Im here.
Here is the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. A question entering the convention was whether moderate Democrats particularly electorally endangered ones would appear at event. To appear allows opponents to paint them with the broad brush of the party, when candidates like McIntyre often distance themselves.
U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell, who represents the 8th District, is not attending. The other major Democrat not scheduled to make an appearance in Charlotte is Attorney General Roy Cooper, state officials said. Cooper is running unopposed this year.
McIntyre, who will speak to the state delegation Tuesday morning, is also hosting a fundraiser at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He called the convention a great way to showcase North Carolina. Its also a great way to boost the economy.
McIntyre made headlines earlier this year for refusing to endorse President Obama. He is staying through Wednesday and will miss the presidents acceptance speech. Republicans didnt take long to try and make political hay.
Mike McIntyre is all dressed up and ready to party with President Obama, while North Carolina families are suffering the consequences of their reckless spending policies, Andrea Bozek, the National Republican Campaign Committee spokeswoman, said in a statement.
State Dems keep on coming
Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and State Treasurer Janet Cowell spoke to the North Carolina delegation breakfast Monday. Im here all week, Cowell told them.
Other Democrats Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, Superintendent June Atkinson, Auditor Beth Wood and labor candidate John Brooks are expected later this week, as is Patsy Keever, whos running against Republican Patrick McHenry in the 10th District.
Dalton speaks, Perdue hugs
Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, the Democratic candidate for governor, had a prime speaking spot at Charlottes CarolinaFest celebration Monday, introducing headliner James Taylor. But it was Gov. Bev Perdue who got her hands on Jeff Bridges, aka The Dude, who was also performing at the event.
Dalton described North Carolina as a state of restless energy that led to the creation of Research Triangle Park.
Taylors restless energy took him to the world of music, Dalton said.
Dalton reminisced about Taylors performance on the freezing day of former Gov. Jim Hunts fourth inauguration.
When Taylor started singing Carolina in My Mind, the crowd warmed up, Dalton recalled.
Some in Mondays crowd released some of their restless energy during the intro, chanting James, James, James as it began to drizzle.
Taylor got a few songs in before the drizzle became a downpour.
RNC was a circus
Patrick Gaspard, the executive director of the Democratic National Committee, called the GOP convention a circus in Tampa.
Speaking to the state delegation, Gaspard said the Republicans made no mention that the economy was shedding 800,000 jobs per month when Barack Obama took office, that 8 million jobs were lost before a single Obama policy was enacted, that the automobile industry was about to go belly up, that there was a foreclosure crisis and the country was fighting two unfunded wars.
We will remind them we managed to grow the private sector by 4.5 million jobs in the last 29 months, he said. He has increased manufacturing down here for the first time since the mid 90s.
While some yahoos like Donald Trump were running around trying to find the presidents birth certificate he was too busy smoking Osama bin Laden, Gaspard said.
McCrory: Welcome to Gitmo
GOP gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory is not impressed with all the security he sees in Charlotte, the city where he served as mayor as 14 years.
Youll not meet many people from Charlotte this week, McCrory told The National Review. The security is keeping everybody away. They wouldnt even let me in this building which is outside the security zone until a local cop recognized me. Welcome to our Gitmo.
He made the remark at a reception opening up the Republican response office in the NASCAR museum Sunday evening. The National Review noted that security is heavier than at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., with 4,000 police, 500 cameras and two helicopters
Staff writers John Frank and Rob Christensen