The plight of the American worker and the middle class will be a central theme at the Democratic National Convention in two weeks as the party nominates Sen. Barack Obama to win back the White House for the first time in eight years.
There will be many firsts at the four-day meeting that begins Aug. 25 in Denver, where thousands of party loyalists, lawmakers and delegates will gather at the Pepsi Center to approve a platform, nominate a vice presidential running mate and anoint Obama.
The first-term senator from Illinois will make history as the first African-American to be nominated for president by a major political party, but the Democratic National Convention Committee didn’t want to stop there with its theme of “change.”
In unveiling the convention’s overall theme, “America’s Town Hall,” and headline speakers, the DNCC on Monday touted a new twist to the convention’s format — an interactive dialogue with the public that will feature the voices of everyday Americans who have been hit hard by the weakened economy.
The town hall format will feature prerecorded questions and stories from voters in eight U.S. cities and live answers from elected leaders, national policy experts and other speakers from the convention floor. The DNCC will send camera crews to Denver; Atlanta; Detroit; Columbus, Ohio; Philadelphia; Raleigh, N.C.; Richmond, and Tampa, Fla.
Featured speakers will also answer questions from the public that are submitted online.
“The town hall will be a nightly gathering of folks highlighted by a keynote speaker each night, but focusing on the discussion that matters to Americans sitting around their kitchen table worrying about gas and food prices and the direction the country is taking,” Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a convention co-chair who is considered a vice presidential contender, said during a conference call with reporters. “We will have the opportunity to include folks who have never been involved before.”
Against a backdrop of rising energy and food prices, mounting job losses and a deepening housing crisis, Obama and the Democratic faithful face the challenge of convincing voters that their platform can revitalize the economy and restore prosperity.
The Republicans, who are preparing to select Arizona Sen. John McCain as their nominee, will confront the same issues at the four-day GOP convention that begins Sept. 1 in St. Paul. The Republicans have not announced their convention schedule or themes.
In the weeks leading up to the conventions, a large swath of voters said they were anxious about the economy, rising prices and the lack of “good jobs,” according to the latest findings by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center for People and the Press. Of the 1,503 voters questioned late last month, 72 percent said the economy was either in a recession or depression, while just 10 percent said the economy is in “good shape.”
The Democratic committee has made Tuesday night’s theme, “Renewing America’s Promise,” featuring Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D., N.Y.) as the prime-time speaker. Clinton battled Obama for the nomination during a lengthy primary campaign. She endorsed him in June.
Sebelius said Clinton and other speakers will focus on the “economic challenges and issues that are so important to workers who lose their jobs, Americans who are losing their homes, folks struggling with the cost of college, their pay not keeping pace and Americans that don’t have access to health care and health insurance.”
Other convention themes include “One Nation” on Monday night with Michelle Obama, wife of the candidate, delivering the keynote address. The as-yet-to-be-named vice presidential nominee will deliver an acceptance speech Wednesday night around the theme of “Securing America’s Future.”
The final night will feature Obama’s acceptance speech, titled “Change You Can Believe In” before an expected crowd of 75,000 party faithful at Invesco Field at Mile High stadium.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty