It's Party Time for Democrats, Clinton Speaks Tonight
Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA.
Photo by Joshua Barlow / Copyright ©NPR 2000
Los Angeles, Aug. 14 -- The Democratic National Convention officially opened on Monday afternoon in downtown Los Angeles. Over 4,900 delegates and alternates are attending the event at the towering Staples Center, better known as the home court for the L.A. Lakers basketball team.
On Wednesday, they are expected to nominate Vice President Al Gore as their presidential candidate in the race for the White House.
Listen as Morning Edition host Renee Montagne speaks with NPR's Cokie Roberts about the four-day political convention.
Clinton Bids Farewell
Tonight, President Bill Clinton takes to the podium in what will be a farewell speech to fellow Democrats who have stood by him through triumph, scandal and impeachment.
Clinton is expected to celebrate the accomplishments of the Democratic Party during the last eight years while he has been in the White House. During that time, the nation experienced the longest peacetime economic boom in history. Clinton will also give his best shot at boosting Gore's chances in winning the election in November. Listen as NPR's Melissa Block reports for Morning Edition.
"At this moment of unprecedented good fortune, our people face a fundamental choice, are we going to keep this progress and prosperity going," read excerpts of the president's speech that were released earlier today.
Fighting criticism by Republicans that the nation has been void of leadership in the White House, Clinton says "To those who say the progress of the last eight years was an accident, that we just coasted along, let's be clear: America's success was not a matter of chance. It was a matter of choice."
Clinton also credits Gore for much of the success in the administration. "We've worked closely together for eight years now. In the most difficult days of the last years, when we faced the toughest issues -- of war and peace, of taking on powerful special interests -- he
was always there."
First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton also addresses the gathering tonight.
Issues on the Campaign Trail
In Cleveland yesterday, Gore pledged to expand the Children's Health Insurance Program to provide coverage to all children. Today in Kansas City, Gore touted his plan to shore up Social Security. He rallies tonight in Saint Louis with running mate Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. Hear more as NPR's Anthony Brooks reports for Morning Edition.
Republican presidential nominee George W. Bush has used his presidential campaign and the Republican convention to try to build public support for his views on education. Gore, however, has not had a prominent role on education matters, as a vice president or as a member of Congress, with the possible exception of technology issues.
Listen as Morning Edition host Renee Montagne speaks with Sandra Feldman, President of the American Federation of Teachers, and Dennis Doyle, co-founder of SchoolNet.Com, about how the education issue will play in the presidential election this fall.
Clinton Arrived Early
The president spent the weekend in the City of Angels so he could attend fundraisers for his wife's New York Senate bid and the building of his future presidential library. Since late last week, Clinton aides have tried to blunt criticism that the president was dominating the run-up to the convention but that complaint has not been heard from convention delegates.
Listen as NPR's Cheryl Corley reports for Morning Edition that delegates say they will have honored the president and will then turn their full attention to the man they will nominate to succeed him.
Who Pays For it All?
The federal government gives each of the major parties more than $13 million to pay for convention costs, but most of the money is raised by local host committees. Large corporations and a few wealthy people stepped up to the plate, giving the L.A. host committee $48 million in cash and services. Listen as NPR's Ina Jaffe reports on the money behind the convention.
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