Politics & Government

5 moments to remember from 2012 DNC in Charlotte

James Taylor performs “Carolina In My Mind” for the crowd at the final day of the DNC in Charlotte, NC Sept. 6, 2012.
James Taylor performs “Carolina In My Mind” for the crowd at the final day of the DNC in Charlotte, NC Sept. 6, 2012. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Here are five moments to remember from the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte in 2012:

1. Bill Clinton’s speech

Political conventions often aren’t remembered for the nominee’s speech. Examples: The floor scuffles at the 1968 Chicago DNC. Clint Eastwood speaking to a chair at the 2012 Republican national Convention. Former Texas Gov. Ann Richards mocking President Bush in Atlanta in 1988.

President Barack Obama’s acceptance speech in Charlotte was mostly forgettable. But the night before, former President Bill Clinton gave a 50-minute speech, a point-by-point argument for Obama’s re-election. It’s widely credited as one of the most pivotal moments of the campaign.

2. The thunderstorm that wasn’t

The original plan was for Obama to deliver his acceptance speech at Bank of America Stadium, just as he did at a large, outdoor stadium in Denver four years earlier. But the Obama campaign said the weather forecast called for thunderstorms, which forced them to move the speech to Time Warner Cable Arena. Republicans said the campaign couldn’t fill seats at the football stadium, which would have been embarrassing. The weather was good that night.

3. James Taylor singing

An emotional moment for N.C. delegates – and North Carolinians watching at home – came when native son James Taylor appeared on stage the final day of the convention to sing “Carolina in my Mind.” He greeted “fellow Tar Heels and Democrats.” The N.C. delegates sat right up front, so they joined in from the floor.

4. Dancing traffic cops

Clayton County (Ga.) Sheriff’s deputies were in Charlotte, and two became instantly famous for dancing as they directed traffic uptown. They moonwalked and posed for photos with pedestrians.

5. Hardest ticket

It might not have been getting inside Time Warner Cable Arena, but for “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” which staged convention week shows at ImaginOn. Charlotte was invaded by an army of celebrities. CNN and MSNBC's “Morning Joe” set up shop at the EpiCentre.