Democratic convention organizers rounded out their headline speakers Tuesday with a lineup designed to amplify President Barack Obamas campaign message while firing up his base.
San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro will be the partys first Latino keynoter. Hell speak Tuesday night, Sept. 4, just before first lady Michelle Obama.
Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard law professor and consumer advocate running for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, will speak Wednesday ahead of former President Bill Clinton. Vice President Joe Biden and Obama will wind up the convention Thursday night at Bank of America Stadium.
The six names top the list of whats expected to be dozens of other, most still-unannounced, convention speakers. But theyll get the most coveted prime-time slots to echo the campaigns theme.
Theyre going to focus on the choice that voters in North Carolina and the nation will have in November, said Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt, which is building the economy from the middle-class out or from the top down, rewarding the wealthy with special breaks and hoping the market takes care of the rest.
Republicans dubbed the lineup, The Liberal Dream Team.
If the goal is to emphasize President Obamas failed economic policies, poor management of the White House, and how disconnected he is from the general population theyve done a great job with the convention speaking line-up, GOP spokeswoman Rachel Adams said.
Republicans have yet to announce speakers for this months convention in Tampa, though New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been reported as a likely keynote speaker.
Dozens of other speakers will take the podium in Charlotte.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obamas former chief of staff, will speak. N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue said Tuesday she isnt sure whether she will. Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, like all host mayors, expects to. So does U.S. Rep. Mel Watt, a Charlotte Democrat whose district includes uptown.
As the host member of Congress, I assume Ill at least welcome people, he said.
In tapping the 37-year-old Castro, Democrats hope to appeal to young and Latino voters.
The mayor who has made education and energy hallmark issues was once named by Time Magazine as one of 40 under 40 leaders to watch. A New York Times profile called him cerebral, serious, self-contained and highly efficient.
(Castro) is a good choice, said California-based Democratic consultant Bill Carrick. Hes young, vibrant, obviously Latino and very charismatic.
The announcement of Castros selection led to the highest traffic day ever on the website of the Spanish-language Univision. Democrats hope that appeal transfers to Latino voters in states such as Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico. Up to 10 million Latinos will likely vote this November.
It will make a huge difference in electoral college math if we can secure those states and win them, then the maths that much more difficult for (Mitt) Romney, Carrick said.
Castro will share the podium with Michelle Obama. Polls have consistently shown her popular with Americans, more than her husband.
She has parlayed that star power into raising millions of dollars for her husbands campaign and galvanizing support despite being reluctant in 2008 to even get involved. She generally avoids the tough issues and sticks to her own causes of promoting healthy living, helping military families and defining the president in her own terms. She campaigns in Greensboro and Raleigh on Wednesday.
Warren helped conceive and build the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal agency that grew out of the financial meltdown. Now locked in a close Senate race against GOP Sen. Scott Brown, shes popular with Democrats but reviled by many on Wall Street.
Shes Ralph Nader in a skirt, the consumer advocate for the modern times, said Michael Franc, vice president of government studies at the conservative Heritage Foundation.
Warren also could help with women voters. Polls have shown her with an edge over Brown among women in Massachusetts. Staff writers Tim Funk, Elizabeth Leland and Franco Ordonez contributed.