Next week you need to know about . . . the Democratic National Convention


This week saw Mitt Romney’s official nomination as a US presidential candidate at the Republican National Convention, in Florida. Next week the other side grabs the spotlight, at the Democratic National Convention, in North Carolina. President Obama will be pitching for a second term with his nomination-acceptance speech on Thursday.

Since 1956, when Dwight D Eisenhower occupied the Oval Office, the incumbent’s party has always gone second, which is seen as more advantageous; it will allow the Democrats to respond to the attacks on Obama’s record that came out of Tampa this week.

With Obama already in the White House, the Democrats’ primary season was a formality, so the 5,556 delegates won’t have any divided loyalties to failed primary candidates. Speakers will include Bill Clinton, Michelle Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden. Look out also for speeches by Massachusetts senate candidate Elizabeth Warren and Obama campaign co-chair Eva Longoria (above, listening to President Obama talk in May).

There’s also a local edge to proceedings: North Carolina is a key battleground state, and Charlotte’s young finance and tech workers are pivotal to Obama’s chances of holding the state he took in 2008.