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Democrats Head To National Convention In Charlotte; Menendez Previews Obama

President Barack Obama (file/credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/GettyImages)

President Barack Obama (file/credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/GettyImages)

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CBSNewYork) – Democrats and supporters are flocking to Charlotte, North Carolina ahead of the Democratic National Convention, which begins Tuesday.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reports

The theme of last week’s storm-shortened Republican National Convention was that President Obama lacked the effectiveness, leadership or responsibility to earn a second term.

The Democrats will seek to counter that message during their party’s three-day convention this week.

Tuesday’s headlining speaker will be First Lady Michelle Obama. Former President Bill Clinton speaks Wednesday and the President and Vice President will address the crowd on the closing day of the convention.

Much of the convention will take place at the Time Warner Arena but to accommodate the crowd, Thursday’s events are scheduled for Bank Of America Stadium.

More than 70,000 people are expected to hear President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden speak.

Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey is looking forward to hearing the President speak, highlighting his accomplishments and rekindling the excitement from four years ago.

WCBS 880’s Jim Smith On The Story

Menendez said he believes the country has made great strides.

“He saved the auto industry, brought our sons and daughters back home from Iraq, changing the course in Afghanistan, [and] creating jobs.” he said.

He said the President doesn’t need to get bogged down responding to all of Mitt Romney’s criticisms.

“I think we do our own agenda, we tell our own story, we paint how we’re gonna fight for the middle class,” he said.

But Menendez also has another speaker he’s looking forward to.

“Bill Clinton just has the ability to communicate.” Senator Menendez said. He is expecting Clinton’s speech will remind Americans of successful democratic policies under the Clinton administration.

“We were the ones, Democrats, who balanced the budget for the first time in a generation. Record surpluses, low unemployment, low inflation, and the greatest peacetime economy in over a generation, and that we can go back to that again,” Menendez said.

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