The 5.500 Democrat delegates launched a vigorous defence of President Barack Obama on Tuesday and urged voters to give him another term to fix the economy as they opened their national convention with sharp criticism of Republican hopeful Mitt Romney.
A host of speakers at the gathering in Charlotte attacked Romney for his business record, refusal to release more tax returns and for spearheading a Republican war on women.
The Democrats even choreographed a swipe at the former executive from beyond the grave, by playing a video of late Senator Ted Kennedy getting the better of Romney during a debate in the 1994 election campaign for Kennedy's Senate seat.
The convention gives Obama a chance to seize the political spotlight from his rival who held his own nominating convention in Tampa last week, and offer a roadmap of how he would rekindle strong job growth.
While Obama himself is expected to concentrate on his own vision for the economy during his acceptance speech in a 74,000-capacity football stadium on Thursday night, many speakers took full aim at Romney.
One of the most exuberant attackers was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who recently made a controversial claim that the former Massachusetts governor had paid no income taxes for 10 years, which was shot down by Romney. Reid took up the tax argument again at the convention.
Mitt Romney says we should take his word that he paid his fair share? His word? Trust comes from transparency, and Mitt Romney comes up short on both, Reid said.
About two dozen Democratic women members of the House of Representatives and congressional candidates took the stage together to knock the Republicans for their opposition to abortion rights.
Seeking to further strengthen Obama's advantage with women, Hispanic Americans and young voters, the Democratic speakers hailed the president for promoting health care reforms, supporting gay marriage, and ending deportations of some young illegal immigrants.
First lady Michelle Obama offered a personal perspective on why her husband should be re-elected, telling the convention that the same values she fell in love with guide him each day in the White House.
In the end, for Barack, these issues aren't political -- they're personal, Mrs. Obama said, adding: Barack knows the American Dream because he's lived it, and he wants everyone, everyone in this country to have the same opportunity, no matter whom we are, or where we're from, or what we look like, or who we love.