CHARLOTTE, North Carolina -- Wisconsin's delegation cast its ballots in Charlotte, North Carolina at the Democratic National Convention for the nomination roll call. President Barack Obama is expected to be formally nominated as the Democratic Party's presidential candidate Wednesday, September 5th. He'll accept that nomination Thursday as he delivers an address to the Convention.
Wednesday, it was all about getting delegates fired up to work on President Obama's campaign. Wisconsin delegates heard from one of the most passionate politicians in the Democratic Party -- Howard Dean.
Dean is the former governor of Vermont. He serves as DNC chair and was formerly in the running for the Democratic Party's nomination for president. He is perhaps most famous for the scream that essentially ended his 2004 campaign for the White House.
Dean was back on the campaign trail for President Obama in 2008, arguing for Obama's re-election.
He told Wisconsin delegates Wednesday at the DNC they will play a critical roll in a tough race.
"I don't even know that I want to touch what's been going on in Wisconsin," Dean said.
Dean then proceeded to not only touch the situation in Wisconsin, but assault it with both hands -- including a rhetorical slap to the face for Gov. Scott Walker.
"This is a really important state, and it's an important state because it's a proud progressive Democratic state, which somehow got hijacked by some smart ass kid who thought he could push around a whole lot of ordinary people who were making a living and making Wisconsin a great state. We're going to put an end to that in a couple of years," Dean said.
Gov. Walker's removal would have to wait, Dean said. First, Dean said Wisconsin Democrats have to stay focused on re-electing President Obama.
"Barack Obama was right. All those people at the Republican Convention did not build America. America was built right here by the unions and the working people of this country who started small business and worked their ass off so that we could do well in this country. We're going to continue that tradition and all of these Tea Party crackpots and whack jobs are going to be sent someplace else to be a little more comfortable," Dean said.
On full display were Dean's pugnacity and passion. He said the election boils down to the same question Republicans are asking: are citizens better off under President Obama?
"Are you better off than you were four years ago -- you bet we are. You bet we are. We were losing 6,000 jobs a month when Barack Obama took office. We're getting 150,000 or 250,000 a month. We know it's not much, and Mitt Romney wants to put in the exact same programs that George Bush put in to destroy the American economy -- giving tax cuts to people who don't need them and not paying for them and running up enormous deficits. What are we crazy? We've seen this move before. There is no chance," Dean said.
Dean said Wisconsin will be a battleground state in this presidential election.
"It's going to start in Wisconsin because you stood up when you needed to stand up, and we haven't won the battle. In fact, we've lost some battles but they can't stop us," Dean said.
Dean was also highly critical of Wisconsin-born Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan. The Wisconsin delegation will cast its ballots Wednesday to nominate President Obama and then hear from former president Bill Clinton as he delivers a prime time address.
While Dean was perfectly willing to criticize Gov. Walker, former Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle bit his tongue. Instead, he focused on re-electing President Obama.
"One thing I am most devoted to, and will do anything I can to help in any way is to see that Barack Obama is re-elected President of the United States. I had a front row seat to see what the Bush administration did to this country -- this idea that you give the rich people all the money and somehow the rest of us all get taken care of just is a disaster for America. So the question are we better off, my God do people remember where we were in 2008? The banks were filing, the stock market was cut in half. We were losing 500,000 jobs a month," Doyle said.
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