Charlotte Gets Its Turn in Convention Spotlight

BY Christina Bellantoni  September 2, 2012 at 4:53 PM EDT

DNC Stage

CHARLOTTE || After a wild week in Tampa, Team NewsHour headed north to prepare for the Democratic National Convention here.

It will be another 3-day affair, sort of. On Labor Day, the Democrats have planned a major music festival with James Taylor as the headliner, to warm delegates up to the festivities for the week. The NewsHour will come to you from the Time Warner Cable Arena Monday night.

Our livestream will officially kick off Monday morning and we’ll have a feed from the CarolinaFest, along with our regular features like the Political Checklist and the Doubleheader.

Tuesday the convention begins and the NewsHour will bring it all to you online and each evening from our skybox in the arena.

Keep an eye on our Flickr feed of images from the convention. Every image in the stream is free for use under a Creative Commons license. Kudos to freelance photographer Mallory Benedict (@mallorybenedict) for a great week in Tampa. This week, Jared Soares (@jaredsoares) is in charge.

Here are Jared’s first slide shows:



So with all of that in mind, here are a few things we’re watching for this week:

Protests — with better weather than Tampa and more tension on big issues, the Democrats are already getting their fair share of protesters. We’re expecting shows of force from immigration advocates, the Occupy movement and anti-war protesters. How much of a disturbance will they cause, and will that highlight divisions within the party?

The stage — we’ve gotten a sneak peek of the arena’s focal point, a blue-toned, curved projecter screen of sorts that depicts various scenes depending on the speaker at the podium. Among the options that scrolled through during our technical rehearsal were the Washington Monument, a chalkboard and fields resembling the heartland.

The chair — will Democrats poke at the Republicans with a nod to Clint Eastwood’s rant toward the empty chair? They aren’t telling, but consider this stat: Twitter said Sunday that the tweet below was the most RTed of the entire convention last week, with more than 51,000 people broadcasting it to their own followers.

The weather — the forecast for the president’s big speech Thursday in the open air Bank of America stadium is scattered thunderstorms and a 40 percent chance of rain. He lucked out in Denver four years ago, will that luck hold for his re-nomination address?

We’ll keep an eye on all of it for you. Stay tuned.