Thousands of Democrats have gathered in Charlotte, N.C., for the three-day Democratic National Convention, which starts on Tuesday.
On Monday night, the Democrats unveiled their formal 2012 election platform ahead of the convention, highlighting President Barack Obama's strengths while comparing the incumbent candidate to his rival, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Obama, who carries the burden of incumbency at a time when the economy is at an all-time low, has the tough task of convincing voters that he is better equipped to steer the U.S. away from its economic woes and toward a better future.
First lady Michelle Obama's will be the featured speaker on Tuesday night. The convention will conclude with President Obama's acceptance speech on Thursday at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. The Democrats will also re-nominate Joe Biden for vice president at the convention.
The convention gives Obama and the Democrats a chance to rebut Mitt Romney and the GOP's critical statements about Obama's economic leadership. The Republicans have described Obama's policies as directionless.
Romney launched a new line of attack against Obama at the Republican conference at Tampa, Fla., last week, where he asked voters if Americans were better off than they were four years ago.
On Monday, Democratic officials, who initially gave contradictory answers to the question, unequivocally said Americans are better off now.
"You want to know whether we're better off? ... I've got a little bumper sticker for you: 'Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive,'" the AP reported quoting Biden who spoke at a campaign crowd in Detroit. However, the Democrats will have to take this opportunity to convince voters that what they affirm holds true.
Obama is expected to speak in more specific terms about his plans for fixing the ailing economy at the convention.
Pundits seem to agree that Obama is fashioning himself as a crusader for women's rights and middle and lower class Americans -- his largest voter base in the 1998 elections -- with plans to "tax the rich," strengthen abortion rights and give explicit support to gay marriage. In doing so, Obama will draw sharp contrasts between Romney and himself.
On Monday, Obama visited tropical storm Isaac-hit areas in New Orleans and Louisiana and promised federal recovery help, Reuters reported. The president visited the St. John the Baptist Parish, one of the communities hit hardest by the hurricane, where he met with with local officials and respondents.
The president surveyed the devastation brought on by the hurricane in parts of Louisiana and lauded the administrations' efforts in limiting the loss of human lives and property.
"There has been enormous devastation in St. John's Parish," Obama told reporters.
In an interview with USA Today on Monday, Obama chose to hit out at Romney and the GOP for attacking a "fictional Barack Obama." He said his rivals have taken his record and his words out of context to the extent that they have created a fictional character in his name.
He was referring to the Republicans' allegation that he was "taking the work out of welfare reform," which he alleged was taken out of context from a speech.
Both the candidates are running fairly even in the recent opinion polls, indicating a tough and tight race ahead for the presidential post.
To contact the editor, e-mail: