As many as 2,000 people from around the region filled the concourse at Charlotte's Time-Warner Cable Arena this morning for the official kick-off rally for the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
National Democratic Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz unveiled the convention logo -- a red, white and blue circle patterned after President Obama's 2008 campaign logo.
And Wasserman Schultz made clear that the point of the convention is Obama's re-election.
"I don't have to tell you how important North Carolina is going to be to the next presidential election," she announced. "Together we'll keep North Carolina blue."
In 2008 Obama carried the state by 14,000 votes. Also today, the Republican National Committee launched a radio ad in North Carolina and seven other states Obama carried, blasting his record on jobs, health care and spending.
Former Mayor Harvey Gantt, like Wasserman Schultz, touted the fact that this would be "the first convention in history to be funded by the people."
Fundraisers are barred from taking corporate contributions, lobbyist's money or individual donations over $100,000 in raising the $37 million for the convention itself.
Republicans also criticized organizers for seeking corporate contributions in raising up to $15 million for the convention host committee.
"Taking corporate money is a violation of President Obama's pledge not to do so, and they should not be allowed to campaign on faulty rhetoric," N.C. Chairman Robin Hayes said in a statement.
The Democratic chair and Mayor Anthony Foxx touted Charlotte's 'can-do" spirit as one reason the city landed the convention.
"We ... know that great futures happen when we set the bar high and we pull together to reach it," Foxx said.