The Democratic Party has officially nominated U.S. President Barack Obama as its candidate for the November 6 election to face Republican challenger Mitt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor.
The nomination came at the Democratic Party’s national convention, with former President Bill Clinton appealing to Americans to support Obama for a second term in the White House.
Clinton remains a wildly popular politician among Democrats and abroad, and his appearance marked the first time in U.S. history that a former U.S. president has nominated another president.
In his address on the second night of the convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, Clinton launched on September 5 a full-throated defense of the president’s policies.
The Republicans held their nominating convention last week, challenging Obama's record as a catalyst for change and on the economy while introducing a ticket of Romney and the charismatic young Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan as vice president.
In his speech, Clinton argued that Obama was still in the process of cleaning up the Republicans' mistakes, saying, "No president, no president -- not me, not any of my predecessors, no one -- could have fully repaired all the damage that he found in just four years."
Clinton told cheering Democrats that Obama had "put us on the long road to recovery," laying the foundation for a “more modern, more well-balanced economy."
"President Obama's approach embodies the values, the ideals, and the direction America has to take to build the 21st-century version of the American dream -- a nation of shared opportunities, shared responsibilities, shared prosperity, a shared sense of community," he said.
Opinion polls show Obama maintains a thin lead over Romney.
Earlier on September 5, Democrats amended their policy platform to include references to God and Jerusalem whose absence Republicans had seized on for criticism.
They restored 2008 language on Jerusalem, declaring in the platform that it "is and will remain the capital of Israel,” and that it “should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths."
Democrats also reinstated language from the 2008 platform that said the United States needs a government that “gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential."
Citing poor weather forecasts, Democratic convention organizers meanwhile canceled plans for Obama to accept the party's nomination at an outdoor 74,000-seat stadium in Charlotte.
Republicans mocked the decision to move Obama's September 6 speech to the 15,000-seat convention arena, suggesting a lack of enthusiasm was the reason.
Democrats have used their convention to paint Romney, a wealthy businessman, as a product of privilege who doesn't understand the struggles of regular Americans.
Addressing the convention on September 4, First Lady Michelle Obama talked about her husband's humble roots and described him as a "man we can trust" to revive the nation's weak economy.
With reporting by AFP, AP, Reuters, and dpa