ALASKA – Wednesday was day two of the Democratic National Convention and Alaska Democratic Delegate Matt Claman said that First Lady Michelle Obama, in her speech Tuesday night, set an overall positive mood for the four-day event.
“There is a lot of excitement, the convention mood is very positive,” said Claman.
He said that in some ways Governor Mitt Romney and President Obama are similar.
"It is very apparent from Michelle Obama’s speech, and all that we've heard from the president, that he really has a strong core set of values, and that's what Michelle Obama talked about last night,” Claman said. “A real commitment to family, to her family, to their family and to all the families of America, and to create and want for all Americans to have the same opportunity.
“In that sense I think both Governor Romney and President Obama are equally committed to family.”
But he said despite those family values, Alaska needs Obama in the White House for another term.
“Just in arctic oil development, we had eight years of George W. Bush and there was no arctic oil development, and now, here in the first term of the Obama presidency, we've got oil development going forward in the arctic.”
Claman said it’s “a perfect example of an administration working for all 50 states.”
But right now he said Romney looks like he will take the 49th state in the upcoming election.
“The majority will probably vote in favor of Governor Romney, and that’s been the prediction for months and I don't think that will change, but that doesn’t mean that all Alaskans will vote for Governor Romney.”
The one-time acting Anchorage mayor expects that about 40 percent of Alaskans will vote for the Democratic Party in the November election. He said those numbers were fairly similar in the 2008 election, when then-Governor Sarah Palin was on the ticket.
On a national platform Claman said Obama has saved the American auto industry.
At the Republican National Convention (RNC) last week, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan blamed the Obama administration for the closing of the General Motors plant in Janesville, Wisconsin. and in turn fueled the greatest economic fall since the Great Depression.
“Right there at the plant candidate Obama said, ‘I believe that if our government is there to support you, this plant will be here for another hundred years.’ That is what he said in 2008,” Ryan said at the RNC on August 29. “Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day. And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight.”
Claman said that’s not true.
That plant's last full day of work was in December 2008; Obama didn’t present his speech until February (for the full speech, click here).
According to Claman, GM and Chrysler would both have seen much harder times had Obama not stepped in.
“One of the really impressive features that we really haven’t heard about in Alaska was President Obama’s work to save the auto industry. Business analysts were saying both General Motors and Chrysler were really ready to go under, and there were people that said, including, I think, Governor Romney, saying let General Motors go under, let the market take its way.”
Claman said that kind of proposal is “risky” and takes “courage,” and in the end he said it was beneficial. Former President Bill Clinton backed up those statements in his public address Wednesday night (watch the video of his entire speech at the end of this story).
“Today we have a very strong General Motors, a very strong Chrysler, and I think if President Obama had not taken that leadership we would not have the auto industry in the U.S. that we have today,” Claman said.
The final day of the Democratic National Convention has had an abrupt change of plans. On Thursday, the day President Obama will accepting his nomination, the speech was supposed to take place in an outdoor arena, where more than 65,000 people were expected to be in the audience. But due to heavy rains and wind, they will be moving back inside the Time Warner Cable Arena, which holds about 20,000.
“It's actually interesting; yesterday I know Anchorage had huge wind storms and rain storms, and I think the rain is still going on, and because of rain storms here in Charlotte they had to cancel the plans to have the acceptance speech tomorrow night outdoors.”
The final call on the venue change was made Wednesday morning.
"It’s a reminder that we all have to deal with the weather."