USA Today: President Obama says he’s older and wiser than he was during the heady 2008 campaign, and he has a more complicated message urging voters to stick with him as the country slowly digs out of “a very deep hole” on the economy.
So is the election less fun, the second time around?
“Well, I’ll tell you, it’s different,” he says with a slightly pained expression on his face, then offers: “But the plane is a lot nicer.”
At this moment, Obama is perched on the edge of a swivel chair in his office on that nicer plane, also known as Air Force One, his shirt sleeves rolled up. On the first leg of four days of travel that will take him to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, he talked with USA TODAY about his Thursday acceptance speech, his policy priorities for a second term and the lessons he’s learned about the need to take his case to the American people over the heads of a polarized Congress.
DemConvention.com: The first two days of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Tuesday, September 4 and Wednesday, September 5, will be held at Time Warner Cable Arena. President Obama and Vice President Biden will accept the Democratic nominations for President and Vice President on Thursday, September 6 at Bank of America Stadium. Sign up now for your chance to attend this event. The convention committee will unveil additional convention program details and speakers in the coming days.
Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin * Congressman Xavier Becerra of California * Newark Mayor Cory Booker * Congressman G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina * Former President Jimmy Carter (via video) * San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro * Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee * Congresswoman Judy Chu of California * Congressman Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri * Former President Bill Clinton * Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina * Former Republican Governor of Florida Charlie Crist * Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina Walter Dalton * The Honorable Arne Duncan * Congresswoman Diana DeGette of Colorado * Former Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Tammy Duckworth * U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois * Congresswoman Donna Edwards of Maryland * Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel * Georgetown Law School Graduate Sandra Fluke * Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx * Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts * Former Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt * Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm * Congressman Charlie Gonzalez of Texas * U.S. Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina * California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris * Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper * Congressman Steny Hoyer of Maryland * Former Governor of North Carolina Jim Hunt * DCCC Chairman Congressman Steve Israel of New York * Montana State Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau * Former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine * Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy (ret.) * Congressman John Larson of Connecticut * Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California * Congressman John Lewis of Georgia * CarMax co-founder and former CEO Austin Ligon * President of NARAL Pro-Choice America Nancy Keenan * Caroline Kennedy * U.S. Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts * Women’s rights activist Lilly Ledbetter * Obama Campaign Co-Chair Eva Longoria * Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy * Delaware Governor Jack Markell * Boston Mayor Tom Menino * The Honorable Karen Mills * U.S. Senator Patty Murray of Washington * Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter * U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland * Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley * Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick * House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi * House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will also lead a presentation of the women of the House: Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of New York, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez of New York, Congresswoman Gwen Moore of Wisconsin, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz of Pennsylvania, Congresswoman Donna Edwards of Maryland, Candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives Joyce Beatty of Ohio, Candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii * California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez * Congressman Jared Polis of Colorado * Congressman David Price of North Carolina * Illinois Governor Pat Quinn * Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada * President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund Cecile Richards * Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak * The Honorable Ken Salazar * Journalist Cristina Saralegui * U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York * Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer * The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius * Costco co-founder and former CEO Jim Sinegal * Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland * Congressman Chris Van Hollen * Los Angeles Mayor, Democratic Convention Chair Antonio Villaraigosa * The Honorable Tom Vilsack * Senate candidate from Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren * DNC Chair Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida * Congressman Mel Watt of North Carolina