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Mike McIntyre is here -- and so are most N.C. Democratic officials

Democratic Congressman Mike McIntyre knows the question before it's asked. "Yes, I'm here. I'm Mike McIntyre."

"Here" is the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. A question entering the convention was whether moderate Democrats -- particularly electorally endangered ones -- would appear at event. To appear allows opponents to paint them with the broad brush of the party, when candidates like McIntyre often distance themselves.

U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell is not attending. But the other other major Democrat not scheduled to make an appearance in Charlotte is Attorney General Roy Cooper, statye officials said. Cooper is running unopposed this year.

McIntyre, who will speak to the state delegation Tuesday morning, is also hosting a fundraiser at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He called the convention "a great way to showcase North Carolina. It's also a great way to boost theeconomy."

Gov. Bev Perdue will speak Tuesday, former Gov. Hunt on Wednesday

A quick rundown on a few North Carolina speakers on the big stage at the Democratic National Convention: Gov. Bev Perdue (right, from CNN on Sunday) speaks Tuesday at 6 p.m. along with Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx.

Former Gov. Jim Hunt will take the stage at 7 p.m. Wednesday, N.C. officials said. U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan's time is unclear. Congressman David Price, former Mayor Harvey Gantt and Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton will speak Thursday but the times aren't set in stone yet. Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers is also scheduled to speak.

Perdue and Dalton get to test out the stage Monday morning starting at 11 a.m.

Morning Roundup DNC edition: The deubutante turned Obama money machine

When Barack Obama began his quest for the presidency, one of the first people he hired was a former Eastern North Carolina debutante-turned star political fundraiser named Julianna Smoot. 

Her job four years ago was to raise a campaign war chest large enough to take on the vaunted Bill and Hillary Clinton money machine. This year, it’s to raise more money than Republican Mitt Romney. She raised $880 million for the 2008 election. So far this election cycle, she has raised $600 million. That makes her the $1.4 billion woman and counting. Read the full story here.

More political headlines from the News & Observer and Charlotte Observer:

--National political conventions used to be about just two things: Nominate a presidential ticket, then sell it to the American electorate with a big TV show. This year, there’s a third goal: Win North Carolina’s 15 electoral votes – and perhaps a second term in the White House – by using the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte as a campaign organizing tool.

Romney pollster says North Carolina race within margin of error

Just blocks from the site of the Democratic convention, Republican national chairman Reince Priebus Sunday geared up for a GOP response effort that he said would “shame what they did to us.” 

Republicans plan to open a “rapid response center” Monday at NASCAR Plaza, an operation Priebus said would dwarf the Democratic response effort in Tampa. “We’re going to put them to shame,” he told the Observer Sunday. “Whatever they did to us we’re going to do to them 10 times over.”

N.C. delegation starts convention with moonshine and grits

The N.C. delegation began the Democratic convention with a party at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Sunday evening.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC chairwoman, told them "we're going to put North Carolina in the win column for Barack Obama once again."

Wasserman Schultz said there are two paths and visions for America. "We could do it the Romney and Ryan way. We could go back to trickle down economics hoping that if we take care of the millionaires and billionaires maybe the crumbs will fall down to the rest of us," Wasserman Shultz said.

Protesters target banks in Charlotte

Protests dominated Sunday at the Democratic National Convention. See a full photo gallery here and read the story here.

North Carolina's demographics shift political landscape

The South’s relationship with the Democratic Party is in flux, and its future is entwined with race, poverty, immigration and education, a panel of UNC Chapel Hill experts told journalists on Sunday.

“The South is no longer either Mayberry RFD or the booming sunbelt,” said professor Jesse White, who specializes in growth and economic development.

He was one of eight speakers who talked about what the South is and what it’s becoming at a forum on “The South and Presidential Politics 2012: Red States and Purple States.”

Mount Obama survived rain storm but needed a few repairs

So it appears the rumors of the demise of a sand sculpture in the likeness of President Barack Obama have been a bit exaggerated.

The Washington Times reported Saturday that heavy rains had damaged the sculpture at BlackFinn Saloon in uptown Charlotte, which was described as “an ominous beginning to what many fear is a plagued convention.” The headline of the post on the Inside Politics blog stated “Heavy rains wash away ’Mount Obama’ in Charlotte.”

To be fair, there is a little truth to the post. Saturday’s afternoon rain storm did cause some damage to the 15.5-ton sculpture. The water made the sand look like it had “melted” a portion of the bust and arm, said Nora Battle, a spokeswoman for the Myrtle Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, which commissioned the sculpture. But Battle said sculptors still in the area were able to repair the piece within 45 minutes.

DNC neckwear defines your importance

One thing you learn quickly at the Democratic convention: your importance is defined by your neckwear.

All the folks walking around Charlotte are wearing a necklace with colorful cards dangling as they hustle between convention venues. Organizers call them credentials. It's like the entire town is going to see a NASCAR race with pit passes and such. (See photo above for it takes to cover the convention for a reporter. It's enough to give you neckpain.)

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