Obama was the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry North Carolina since Jimmy Carter in 1976, but his success in the South was offset in the 2010 elections, which saw Republicans win control of 93 of the region’s 130 congressional seats.
“This will be a different convention, for a different time,” First Lady Michelle Obama said in an e-mail to supporters. The e-mail labeled the event The People’s Convention and emphasized its grassroots nature, pledging to finance it differently in the past.
“Charlotte is a city marked by its southern charm, warm hospitality, and an ‘up by the bootstraps’ mentality that has propelled the city forward as one of the fastest-growing in the South,” she said. “Vibrant, diverse and full of opportunity, the Queen City is home to innovative, hardworking folks with big hearts and open minds. And of course, great barbecue.”
Charlotte beat out finalists Cleveland, Minneapolis and St. Louis for the convention. A week before Obama, who faces no serious primary threat, officially receives the Democratic nomination, Republicans will determine their challenger during their convention in Tampa, Fla., another battleground state.
“Today’s decision is fantastic news for North Carolina regardless of your political party,” Gov. Bev Perdue said in an official statement. “A national political convention is a keystone event that will boost North Carolina’s economy, while showcasing Charlotte and our state to the nation and the world.”