CHARLOTTE, N.C. A massive crowd of New Jersey Democratic delegates and party supporters packed the Charlotte Renaissance Airport Suites main ballroom Tuesday morning to listen and cheer as several keynote speakers talked about party unity and the benefits of a continuing Barack Obama presidency.
While such notables as Connecticut Gov.Dan McCoy, former New Jersey Gov. Brendan Burns and New Jersey Congressmen Frank Palone, Robert Andrews and Bill Pascrell got supporters to their feet with calls for victory, it was DNC Vice Chair Donna Brazile's unexpected appearance that topped off the morning.
"I am proud to be in support of our values in this campaign," Brazile touted. "There's nothing controversial about a woman's right of choice. There's nothing controversial about marriage equality … and there's nothing controversial about basic human rights. All of that is in our platform."
The early morning event, which was open to the public, attracted party officials and hopeful onlookers alike.
"We had no idea [she] was going to speak," said Debra Ryan, an LGBT supporter who confirmed she had driven from New Jersey to be on hand for what she called "an historic event.
"There's so much positive energy in this room and in this campaign," she continued. "The Democratic party truly supports the well being of all Americans and has the best interests of the LGBT community at heart. I have no doubt that voters will see that on election day."
Andrews confirmed his outlook on President Obama's accomplishments during his four years in office by pointing to his achievements with a nationwide healthcare plan. "What Barack Obama did in one year, others could not do in a hundred years … a plan that includes no discrimination for pre-existing conditions, availability for all and … that includes visitation rights for [same-sex] partners and spouses."
While most of the comments were in praise of President Obama's work thus far and the bright outlook of his reelection, Palone reiterated the potential negative outcome of a Mitt Romney presidency.
"They lie, they cheat, and they're going to try and steal this election,' he said. "President Barack Obama is moving this country forward and we're proud to stand with him. [Some] of these people say the 1950s was a golden era, but I think I'm looking back at the 19th century when I listen to the stuff they're saying."
Pascrell reiterated the sentiment: "You cannot come together if the other side is irrational, and that's what we've faced from day one. One of Obama's major accomplishments, the Affordable Healthcare Act, has evened that playing field. Romney is making a promise to repeal that if he is elected."
It was Malloy who summed up the urgency of preventing a potential Romney presidency succinctly: "If Romney is elected, you will not recognize this country in four years."
Throughout the presentation a particular phrase was used multiple times by different speakers: "We need to fix this country. Not top to bottom, but bottom to top."
Brazile's closing line summed up the hopes and desires of the future of the Democratic party's view of the future: "We're going to win by telling the truth."