Surprise in store before President Obama's speech at DNC - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Surprise in store before President Obama's speech at DNC

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

There was no question whether the Democrats would nominate President Barack Obama for re-election. Now the question is, will he sway enough independent and undecided voters to win a second term?

But in Charlotte, there's no swaying that needs to be done at the convention. Everyone is looking forward to Mr. Obama's address.

After the rave reviews for former president Bill Clinton's speech Wednesday night, and for First Lady Michelle Obama's remarks the night before, some in the Illinois delegation said Thursday that the pressure will be on the president.

"It is pressure, but you know, some people call the president Cool Hand Luke," Rep. Danny Davis said. "Even though there is pressure, he will maintain and have the posture of control in terms of what he says, how he says it and how he conveys it to the American public."

This audience will be ready to jump up at the very first good line. They have a captain of team Obama, they will be 20,000 strong, erupting for their nominee.

There's no doubt there's some disappointment among the 65,000 people who had community credentials for the big outdoor event that was originally planned, which was canceled because of weather concerns. But they're probably going to vote for Mr. Obama anyway.

President Obama's former chief of staff Bill Daley had some advice for the president. He pointed out that the venue change does not affect the huge television audience the president really needs to reach.

"He's got to obviously, at a high-profile event, make the connection with the American people, make the connection to those who may be on the fence," Daley said, "and remind the American people not only the difficulty that the country faced when he came in, but those things he wants to do in the next four years - because elections really are always about the next four years, not the last four years."

As President Obama prepares to take the stage at the convention, the buzz in Charlotte is all about what or who will be the big surprise in store for the American people.

This final night of the Democratic National Convention will not feature a Hollywood novelty act like Clint Eastwood provided at the Republican National Convention last week.

But close ally and friend of the president, a man who will help to introduce Mr. Obama at Thursday night's convention said that there will be a surprise.

Sen. Dick Durbin is scheduled to speak immediately before the president. The surprise will come immediately after Durbin's speech – and he said it'll be fun.

You don't to be a political junky to watch conventions because they're not about choosing the nominee – that's all done ahead of times. Some people said they've become nothing more than becoming a revival. But if you like good entertainment, both parties have become known as putting on a good show.

There are rumors of Hollywood starlets making an appearance Thursday night, like Eva Longoria, Kerry Washington, Scarlett Johansson or even Natalie Portman.

James Taylor put on a wonderful mini-concert in his sound check Thursday afternoon. He'll be singing "Carolina On My Mind," "You've Got A Friend" and "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You."

Vice President Joe Biden also speaks Thursday night, before the president.

Obama and Biden will be leaving for a series of campaign stops in swing states after closing the convention, for what promises to be an almost nonstop marathon between now and election day Nov. 6.

More household names will make special appearances Thursday night - former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords will lead the pledge of allegiance.

Giffords resigned from the house earlier this year so she could focus on recovering from that attempted assassination. Six other people were killed that day.

The democrats have also made two big changes to their party platform after a wave of criticism.

President Obama personally asked the platform committee to place language in the platform that said Jerusalem "is and will remain the capital of Israel." Many Jewish groups were outraged when Jerusalem was not acknowledged as the capital.

The committee also added the phrase "make the most of their god given potential." Religious groups had blasted democrats for not mentioning god once in the platform.

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