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Florida DNC Chairman previews President Obama’s acceptance speech

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Florida DNC Chairman Rod Smith is at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

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The Democratic National Convention concludes tonight in Charlotte, N.C., with President Obama’s acceptance speech. Florida DNC Chairman Rod Smith will be there, and he shared his thoughts today with WUFT-FM about the convention’s speakers.

Smith said former president Bill Clinton’s speech energized the audience.

“President Clinton’s speech last night was, as one would expect, both moving and enlightening. I think he made the case for why this president should be re-elected.”

Clinton’s popularity remains steady, Smith said, because his administration reduced the federal deficit to zero, saw budget surpluses and spurred the highest peacetime economic expansion in the nation’s history.

“Every side listens [to Clinton] because he’s proven he can do it,” he said.

The Florida DNC Chairman was further impressed by stories from American citizens who shared their stories at the convention, like a mother whose four children serve in different branches of the military or families affected by healthcare and economic policies.

“[Political values] translate only if they translate at your house, and there are people out there suffering, and we need to make sure they realize that this really does matter. If we do that, we’ll win this race.”

Smith expects Obama to comment on the dire economic circumstances he inherited upon his election in 2008 and how his administration was able to create a safety net to prevent the country from collapsing further. He said the president will likely highlight the 29 months of relative economic growth and his desire to stay the course with his policy.

As for any pressure Obama will face addressing the DNC delegates, Smith said the president has handled more pressing issues during his term to worry about the speech.

“Those are pressure decisions. This is just politics.”

George Pappas edited this story online.

About Ethan Magoc

Ethan is a journalist at WUFT News. He's a Pennsylvania native who found a home reporting Florida's stories. Reach him by emailing emagoc@wuft.org or calling 352-294-1525.

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