CHARLOTTE -- The first difference I've spotted between this convention and the RNC is the ready availability of candidate kitsch. Real passion eludes Mitt Romney. He's like the median presidential candidate -- his base will vote for him, but not venerate him.
But the Cult of Obama staggers on. North Carolina is 21.5 percent black; Charlotte, 35 percent. In 2008, Obama won North Carolina by a scant 14,000 votes. He carried Mecklenberg County -- Charlotte and suburbs -- by 100,000. (That was up from a 12,000-vote margin here for the Kerry-Edwards ticket.) My plane into the city was chock-a-block with black delegates, and the streets near the convention zone are dotted with vendors selling for-us-by-us Obama merch. Below is James Hickman's "Keep the Dream" calendar, which I was offered by a man who identified himself as the maker's nephew and gave his name as "Red Storm."
The optimistic January 2013 page:
The sort of cryptic July 2013 page:
The faithful August 2013 page: