The time zone, temperature and humidity are the same, but Charlotte is NOT Tampa, and the DNC's vibe is a bit different from that of its RNC counterpart last week. Whereas folks in Tampa often declined the opportunity to talk on camera to our Hashout On Location team, people here in Charlotte have no such hesitation. Today's question was the same as the one we posed last Monday in Tampa: What five words do you want to hear the nominee (in this case, President Obama) use in his acceptance speech on Thursday night?
As we stood outside the Black Caucus meeting on the second floor of the Charlotte Convention Center, people lined up to share their answers to our question. In several cases, they shared much more than we'd asked. Patricia White-Boyd from Roanoke, Va., took over my mic, spoke directly to the camera, and made a pitch for celebrities to come to her event "so we can deliver Virginia for Obama!" There was Wisconsin delegate Thelma Sias, who blew through the five-word limit by at least 50 words but didn't care. This administration, she said, "cares about the American people," and she just wanted to get the message out.
To my surprise, we met a Maryland Democrat, Randy Haden, who included "borders" and "troops" in his five words. None of our interview subjects at the RNC mentioned those words.
There also was the group of kids who started singing a cappella when they saw our cameras; the man on stilts whom we couldn't quite reach; and a guy dressed up as Uncle Sam, who explained that he went over the five-word limit because the U.S. educational system didn't adequately teach him math.
So far, this DNC feels much more like a carnival than the RNC did, but I still haven't seen a single funnel cake, so I'm not ready to fully celebrate.
Let us know which five words you'd like to hear in President Obama's acceptance speech by joining HashOut online.