Entries in DNC 2012 (4)


Gabby Giffords Leads Pledge of Allegiance at DNC

Alex Wong/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, whose political career was cut short when she was shot in the head by a gunman at a constituent event on Jan. 8, 2011, took the stage at the Democratic National Convention Thursday night to lead the crowd in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

With her longtime friend and colleague, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., by her side, Giffords, in black slacks and a white jacket, fought her way through the oath in a spirited but at times slurred voice, as conventioneers, some in tears, joined her before exploding into applause.

She walked haltingly off with the stage with Wasserman Schultz aiding her progress, but all the time flashing a broad smile as supporters stayed on their feet, chanting "Gabby! Gabby!" and, "Fired Up! Ready to go!" during a prolonged ovation.

"Ok, now Gabby Giffords just made me cry," Newark Mayor Cory Booker tweeted from the floor. "What a testimony to strength, resilience, perseverance and beauty!"

Rumors that the former Tucson, Ariz., congresswoman, who was shot in the head during a constituent event, would appear at the Charlotte convention began to spread Wednesday afternoon, but were only confirmed Wednesday night by a spokeswoman.

It's been a busy month for Giffords and her husband, the astronaut Mark Kelly. On Tuesday, they revealed the formation of a political action committee called Gabby PAC.

On Aug. 13, after 17 months at a rehab facility in Houston, Giffords moved back to Tucson, where she continues therapy.

Giffords resigned from Congress in late January.

 Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


DNC Convention Hall Reaches Capacity, Hundreds Shut Out

Mario Tama/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Nearly four hours before President Obama would accept the Democratic nomination for president, the gates outside the Time Warner Cable Arena were locked and hundreds of would-be attendees were turned away.

At one of the main entrances to the arena located at North College and East 5th streets in downtown Charlotte, hundreds stood like sardines, leaning against police barriers, hoping this was just a temporary delay.

It’s believed the gates were closed around 6:30 p.m. ET, but it took law enforcement over an hour and a half to inform the crowd that they weren’t getting in.

Delegates and dignitaries were among the crowd that shouted at police for answers.

Bloomberg News reported British opposition leader Ed Miliband, former chairman of the White House council of economic advisers Austan Goolsbee, and president of the American Federation of Teachers Randi Weingarten were all locked out.

“Can you just talk to us?” shouted one woman. “Tell us that we can’t get in and we’ll leave. Just please give us some answers.”

Finally, around 8 p.m. ET, Deputy Chief of Police Kerr Putney approached the crowd and informed them of the bad news.

“I want you to know, you’re in my city, I don’t want you standing out here. You’re not going to get in tonight,” said Putney.

“The fire marshal has closed. We’re over capacity in the arena. I apologize.”

Many members of the crowd had trouble believing their night was over.

“Even the delegates,” shouted one woman at the front of the crowd.

The deputy chief also seemed upset by the fire marshal’s decision. "I’m gonna tell you: This is my city, and it’s embarrassing,” he said.

As Putney walked away, a woman in her 30s started to cry as she informed her relative by phone that she couldn’t get in.

The crowd was told to walk a few blocks down the street to the Charlotte Convention Center, where a watch party sponsored by the campaign drew a few thousand.

It’s unclear whether the DNC oversold the arena, but the move from Bank of America Stadium back to the Time Warner Center for the Thursday-night session may have had an impact.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Cardinal Timothy Dolan Gives Pro-Life Prayer at DNC

Alex Wong/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York and a leading Catholic-American voice opposing abortion and President Obama’s health care reform law, inserted what some saw as an anti-abortion remark into his benediction Thursday night at the Democratic National Convention.

“Thus do we praise you for the gift of life. Grant us to defend it. Life, without which no other rights are secure. We ask your benediction on those waiting to be born, that they may be welcomed and protected,” Dolan said in prayer delivered immediately following President Obama’s address accepting his party’s nomination.

Dolan offered a similar benediction at the Republican National Convention last week in Tampa, Fla. Following his prayer there, he gave an interview saying he was non-partisan and would be glad to offer a benediction at the DNC this week in Charlotte, N.C. Democrats then extended an invitation.

In Tampa, he called life an “inalienable gift” and prayed for God’s “benediction upon those yet to be born and on those who are about to see you at the end of this life.”

The Catholic Church has long opposed Democratic Party platform planks that promote keeping abortion legal. More recently, the church assailed the administration over an Affordable Care Act provision that would require religious institutions to provide employees with contraception.


Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Temporary Lockdown of DNC Arena Leaves Attendees, Donors Stranded

Alex Wong/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Talk about pressing the flesh. The Time Warner Cable Arena, which is hosting the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., went on lockdown Wednesday night, with close to 200 people outside the entrance literally pressed up against the glass doors trying to get in.

Fire marshals on the scene said the building was “temporarily” at capacity. The temporary hold momentarily left donors, attendees and media that were not already in the arena stranded, unable to enter the complex or reach the floor.

A fire marshal said the situation was “going to get worse when the president comes.”

Former President Bill Clinton was scheduled to speak at Wednesday night’s event, and President Obama will be in the arena to watch.

The lockdown started just before 9 p.m. But moments later, as the number of unhappy delegates and dignitaries piled up outside, local police opened the doors to let 1,000 more people into the arena, and people streamed in.

However, police then told crowds still locked out that the arena was at capacity, and some delegates -- including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York -- and members of crowd appeared to be giving up on their chances of getting in Wednesday night.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio