The Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia ends tonight. The action begins at 4 p.m.
Here are three things to look for:
1. After all the build-up, will Hillary Clinton deliver?
The Democratic nominee will give her acceptance speech in prime-time – an acknowledgment that her real audience will be the voters watching TV in their living rooms.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
Since Monday, a parade of all-star speakers – Bernie Sanders, Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, Joe Biden and Barack Obama – have come forward to praise her smarts, her commitment, her experience, and her dedication to everyday people.
Now it’s up to Clinton to close the deal with voters, many of whom have told pollsters they don’t like or trust her.
The speeches by the president and those other character witnesses will be hard acts to follow, especially for Clinton, who is more at home with policy than political theater. But she needs to connect with voters, and tell them how she will take it to ISIS, address their angst about the economy, and pursue change by expanding on Obama’s agenda. Finally, she needs to make the contrast with Trump, portraying herself as a steady and uplifting fighter for the future and Trump as a dangerous fear-monger who wants to turn back the clock.
Clinton needs to give the best speech of her life.
2. Chelsea Clinton will set the stage for her mother.
Last week in Cleveland, Trump picked daughter Ivanka to introduce him. Clinton has turned to daughter Chelsea to perform that role for her.
Look for the former first daughter to answer the attacks made on her mother at the Republican convention by showing Clinton’s personal side: as a mom, a grandmother, a life-long advocate of children and a strong role model for younger women who want to lead and make a difference.
3. Cue the music . . .
Besides the speeches, delegates and viewers at home will get to sing along with a few musical superstars.
Carole King. Sheila E + Family. And, before the finale, Katy Perry.
On tap for the Carolinas: Among those scheduled to speak to the full convention Thursday are U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C.; the Rev. William Barber, leader of the “Moral Monday” movement in North Carolina; and Dave Wils, an 8th grade social studies teacher from Guilford County who has more than $35,000 in student debt.
On TV: CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and C-SPAN will offer all-day coverage. PBS will start its coverage at 8 p.m., while broadcast networks ABC, CBS and NBC will begin theirs at 10 p.m.