The Democratic National Convention: Live Report

As the last confetti falls, AFP is closing its Live Report on the Democratic National Convention.

President Barack Obama spoke for just shy of an hour, hoping to outline a clear choice between him and Republican rival Mitt Romney. Whether he was successful in convincing voters to choose his vision for the future remains to be seen over the next few weeks as we race toward election day in November.

0315 GMT: Antonio Villaraigosa, the mayor of Los Angeles and the chairman of this year's convention, entertains a motion to adjourn the convention, slams down his gavel and closes proceedings.

0308 GMT: Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, offers a benediction. Cardinal Dolan offered a similar prayer at the end of last week's Republican National Convention.

0305 GMT: Confetti cannons shoot red, white and blue throughout the arena as Obama welcomes his family onto the stage to the tune of Bruce Springsteen's "We Take Care of our Own." They are joined by the Biden family as the camera show tears streaming down the faces of supporters on the floor.

0302 GMT: The president gets down the nitty-gritty, asking supporters for their vote.The crowd is so worked up and loud that they drown out the last words of his speech.

"If you believe in a country where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules, then I need you to vote this November.

0300 GMT: After the Republican convention last week, Romney was slammed for not mentioning US troops or the ongoing war in Afghanistan. Obama, like Biden, is seizing on that and filling his speech with admiration for their sacrifice and highlighting the time he spends visiting with them.

"I don't know what party these men and women belong to. I don't know if they'll vote for me. But I know that their spirit defines us. "

0256 GMT: "As citizens, we understand that America is not about what can be done for us. It's about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government.

0249 GMT: The president is taking on the attacks on him after he said that small business owners "didn't build" their own businesses without government help.

"We honor the strivers, the dreamers, the risk-takers who have always been the driving force behind our free enterprise system ? the greatest engine of growth and prosperity the world has ever known. But we also believe in something called citizenship ? a word at the very heart of our founding, at the very essence of our democracy; the idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another, and to future generations.

0245 GMT: Obama has moved onto foreign policy, asserting that he is well qualified to be commander-in-chief while mocking his rivals as "new" to international affairs.

"My opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy, but from all that we've seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost America so dearly. You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can't visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally," he says of Romney's gaffe riddled trip to Britain.

0242 GMT: Another mention of the killing of Osama bin Laden. That makes at least three from the podium just tonight.

0238 GMT: Obama is touching on issues sure to please his liberal base, including climate change and education.

"Education was the gateway to opportunity for me. It was the gateway for Michelle. And now more than ever, it is the gateway to a middle-class life."

0230 GMT: Addressing the crowd, but also the millions watching at home, Obama is making his pitch for a second term by asserting that his plans for the economy are stronger than those of his rival.

"I don't believe that another round of tax breaks for millionaires will bring good jobs to our shores, or pay down our deficit. We have been there, we've tried that, and we're not going back. We're moving forward, America.

0224 GMT: "Madam Chairwoman, delegates, I accept your nomination for President of the United States."

0222 GMT: After a peck and a big hug from Michelle, Obama strides to the microphone waving to an ecstatic, adoring crowd. They should "Four More Years! Four More Years!" before he has the chance to speak.

0221 GMT: Michelle Obama makes an unannounced appearance at the podium to introduce her husband.

0215 GMT: One last movie before the headliner, this one narrated by A-list actor George Clooney. The film is full of iconic American images interspersed with quotes from and about Obama.

0210 GMT: At the podium is Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, who served in the US Senate with Obama and, as the senior senator from that state introduced him at the convention four years ago. Durbin also welcomed Obama to the stage at the convention in 2004 when the young state senator's keynote speech made such a splash.

0207 GMT: Biden is greeted with a hug on stage from his wife Jill after closing the introduction of Obama's with a passionate plea for four more years.

"In the light of that horizon, for the values that define us, for the ideas that inspire us, there is only one choice. The choice is to move forward, boldly forward. Finish the job and re-elect President Barack Obama!"

0206 GMT: A visibly moved Biden is choking back tears as he thanks the soldiers who have given their lives in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and vows to support the wounded.

0158 GMT: The hallways of the convention center are virtually deserted, with no lines for food or the restrooms as delegates crowd the arena to hear Biden -- and save their seats for the big show: Obama.

0154 GMT: Biden's recount of the auto bailout ends with the money line:

"Osama Bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive!"

0152 GMT: Biden is taking the chance to slam Romney, yet again, for his perceived strength, business experience. He targets Romney's resistance to bailing out the auto industry.

"I don't think he understood that saving the automobile worker, saving the industry, what it meant to all of America, not just the auto workers. And I mean this sincerely, I think he saw it the Bain way. Balance sheets. Write-offs.

"Folks, the Bain way may bring your firm the highest profits. But it's not the way to lead your country from its highest office.

0930 GMT: He gets right down to business, praising Obama's leadership.

"Day after day, night after night I sat beside him as he made one gutsy decision after another to stop the slide and reverse it. I watched him. I watch him stand up to intense pressure and stare down enormous, enormous challenges the consequences of which were awesome. But most of all, I got to see first hand, what drove this man, his profound concern for the average American.

0130 GMT: A beaming Biden, after a long riff of thanks to his wife as "the love of my life and the life of my love" accepts the nomination for a second term as vice president.

"I accept!"

0128 GMT: Biden saunters onto the stage to the tune of Jackie Wilson's "Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher and Higher" as the crowd waves placards reading "Fired Up" and "Ready for Joe!"

0119 GMT: Dr. Jill Biden is introducing her husband of 35 years, Vice President Joe Biden. She recounts the story of how he lost his first wife and daughter in a car accident and almost gave up his career in politics.

Now the crowd is watching a movie highlighting Biden's oft-recounted hard-scrabble childhood, his Catholic faith and his commitment to middle class families.

104 GMT: Retired US Navy admiral John Nathman steps up to the microphone backed by dozens of military veterans in civilian clothes, all ages, some visibly wounded.

"For every veteran who comes home wounded, the president invested in the (Veterans Affairs Administration) and expanded care to more than a half million returning troops who deserve that care.

He is the first to bring up Michelle Obama's efforts on behalf of military families, leading the camera to cut to her. She is shown wearing a purple and white flowered dress, slightly off the shoulder, as she joins in the standing ovation offered the veterans.

0056 GMT: Obama rolls away from his hotel neighboring the convention center in the heavily armored presidential limousine, dubbed "The Beast," with a US flag on one front fender and one with the presidential seal on the other.

0056 GMT: On the heels of Kerry's tribute to Obama's approach to foreign policy, the crowd is watching a video, narrated by superstar Tom Hanks, praising veterans. Also in the highlights? The mission to kill Osama bin Laden.

0049 GMT: Kerry, who fought a reputation of flip-flopping on issues, slammed Romney's similar reputation.

"Mr. Romney?here's a little advice: Before you debate Barack Obama on foreign policy, you better finish the debate with yourself!

0045 GMT: The theme moves to foreign policy with Senator John Kerry, who lost his Democratic bid for the presidency to George W. Bush in 2004, at the podium. He sings the praises of Obama's nuanced foreign policy and targetted attacks on terrorists.

"Ask Osama bin Laden if he's better off than he was four years ago!"

0037 GMT: The parade of marquee speakers continues as we are well into prime time for television audiences. At the podium is Charlie Crist, the former Republican governor of Florida.

"I'll be honest with you, I don't agree with President Obama about everything. But I've gotten to know him, I've worked with him, and the choice is crystal clear.

He goes on to praise Obama's moves to help his home state, which also happens to be a key battleground in the general election.

"He didn't see a red state or a blue state. He simply saw Americans who needed help. And that's the reason I'm here tonight, not as a Republican, not as a Democrat, but as an optimistic American who understands that we must come together behind the one man who can lead the way forward in these challenging times: my president, our president, Barack Obama!

0031 GMT: Next up? Brian Schweitzer, the colorful Democratic governor of the very Republican Western state of Montana. Wearing his trademark bolo-tie, he continues the relentless attacks on Romney by recounting their time serving as governor at the same time.

"Mitt's a good family man and a loyal American. But?and you knew there was a "but"?he brought the wrong agenda to Massachusetts. And he is the wrong guy to be president of the United States.

He slammed the former governor's economic policies as devastating to the middle class.

"In Montana, that dog don't hunt."

0023 GMT: Hollywood actress Eva Longoria, who is serving as co-chair of Obama's reelection campaign takes the stage. She tells the story of how she worked her way through college, even taking shifts at a fast food restaurant to pay for school. She continues the critiques of Romney's economic plans.

"He would raise taxes on middle-class families to cut his own?and mine. That's not who we are as a nation, and here's why: The Eva Longoria who worked at Wendy's flipping burgers?she needed a tax break. But the Eva Longoria who works on movie sets does not.

0014 GMT: On stage is former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, who seems to have been given the task of slamming the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney. She opens with a crack at his claims that he loves the state because the trees are just the right height. She has the crowd fired up with a fist-pumping riff on how Romney would have let the US auto industry collapse instead of saving well-paying manufacturing jobs .

"The entire auto industry, and the lives of over one million hard-working Americans, teetered on the edge of collapse; and with it, the whole manufacturing sector. We looked everywhere for help. Almost nobody had the guts to help us ? not the banks, not the private investors and not Bain capital. Then, in 2009, the cavalry arrived: our new president, Barack Obama!

"Sure, Mitt Romney loves our lakes and trees. He loves our cars so much, they have their own elevator. But the people who design, build, and sell those cars? Well, in Romney's world, the cars get the elevator; the workers get the shaft!

0006 GMT: The tough task of following Giffords's emotional appearance is left to Caroline Kennedy, daughter of assassinated president John F. Kennedy. She works to marshal some of the enthusiasm that carried Obama to office four years ago.

"Barack Obama is the kind of leader my father wrote about in 'Profiles in Courage.' He doesn't just do what's easy. He does what's hard. He does what's right. My father couldn't run for a second term. It was left to his brothers, our family and the generation they inspired to fight for the America he believed in. Now, it's up to a new generation, our children's generation, to carry America forward.

2357 GMT: Former congressman Gabrielle Giffords walks slowly to the stage to chants of Gabby! Gabby! Gabby! accompanied by her colleague and friend Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to lead the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance, which US school children recite every morning.

Giffords resigned her seat representing the state of Arizona to being shot in the head in an assassination attempt at a constituent event in 2011. Tonight, she has difficulty walking and does not move her right arm. Wasserman Schultz steadies her friend and asks, "ready?" Her voice strong, Giffords stumbles only over the word "indivisible" in the phrase, "One nation, under God, indivisible."

2347 GMT: A big cheer welcomes Golden-Globe winning actress Scarlett Johannsen, who is sporting a US flag t-shirt under her jacket. She also encourages anyone watching, Democrat or not, to get out and vote. The US has a famously low level of voter participation, with only 62 percent of eligible voters casting ballots in 2008. In a tight election, getting out your voters to the polls can make the difference between winning and losing.

"I'm not going to tell you who to vote for. I'm here to ask you to commit to vote. Earlier this week, Chelsea Clinton reminded us that we are the generation whose voices haven't been heard. Vote so that your voice is heard. Over the last two days, we've been reminded of something that perhaps we forgot: what has been accomplished, and what is at stake.

"This last election, I finally got to punch those buttons for me, for real. I wore my 'I voted' pin the whole day. It was my finest accessory. And this year, on November 6th, I'm filled with that same enthusiasm, that same pride, to press the button to reelect President Barack Obama!

2343 GMT: Next up is actress Kerry Washington. She is known for playing Ray Charles's wife in the 2004 film "Ray" and as Idi Amin's wife in the "The Last King of Scotland."

Clearly speaking to a wider audience than the party faithful gathered in the hall, she implores anyone watching to use their right to vote.

"Look, I get it. Whether it's school, work, family, we've all got a lot on our minds. People say to me, "I'm just too busy to think about politics." But here's the thing: You may not be thinking about politics, but politics is thinking about you.

"Today there are people trying take away rights that our mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers fought for: our right to vote, our right to choose, affordable quality education, equal pay, access to health care. We the people can't let that happen.

2325 GMT: At the podium is James E. Clyburn, a long-serving congressman from neighboring South Carolina. He is outlining Obama's accomplishments as president.

"President Obama did not stand on the sidelines and curse the darkness. He rolled up his sleeves and went to work lighting candles. He promised to bring Osama bin Laden to justice: Done! He promised to end the war in Iraq: Done! President Obama promised to make membership in al-Qaeda a high-risk occupation and wind down the war in Afghanistan: Done!

Clyburn moves on to Obama's signature, and most controversial, initiative, health care reform.

"But the greatest threat to the sustainability of economic growth and family security is the lack of affordable, accessible, quality health care. We should not run from the term Obamacare. In fact, I embrace the term and am glad Obama cares.

2332 GMT: Earlier musical guests included folk icon James Taylor who grew up in North Carolina and hip-hop superstar Mary J. Blige.

2335 GMT: The delegates and guests lucky enough to score a seat in the smaller arena have been in place for hours. On Thursday, hundreds were forced to wait outside after fire officials declared the building too crowded. They were not going to make the same mistake for the big night. They danced in their seats during the sound checks and set-ups, cheering as celebrities passed across the stage. Even the nose-bleed seats were full when Latin music star Marc Anthony belted out the National Anthem at the opening.

2324 GMT: The Foo Fighters take the stage and begin an acoustic version of "There Goes My Hero."

2317 GMT: Tonight's event is being held at the Time Warner Arena, which is usually home to college basketball, a huge sport in North Carolina, and seats some 20,000 people. Obama was due to accept his nomination at the nearby American football arena which holds tens of thousands more, but predictions of thunderstorms forced the party to move to the smaller, indoor venue.

Tickets were given out to a watchparty in a ballroom in the neighboring Convention Center, but the clear skies overhead are unlikely to appease the thousands standing in line for blocks around the building to get in.

2310 GMT: At the podium is Beau Biden, Vice President Joe Biden's son and the attorney general of the state of Delaware. He is also an Iraq war veteran. He speaks lovingly of Biden's commitment to their family and to public service.

"So tonight Mr. Chairman, it is my great honor to place into nomination for the office of vice president of the United States, my father, my hero, Joe Biden."

The motion is accepted with a big cheer and the cameras cut to a visibly moved Biden. He waves to the adoring crowd as his wife, Jill, looks on.

WELCOME TO AFP'S LIVE REPORT on the final night of the Democratic National Convention.

After three days of run-up celebrations, US President Barack Obama will accept his party's nomination for a second term in front of a fire-up crowd of thousands of party faithful. The tightly choreographed celebrations are designed to unite supporters as much as grab the attention of undecided voters. The Democrats' party will climax with a speech much anticipated speech from the president who will make his case as to why he should get four more years.

The stakes are high. Obama faces a flagging economy that challenges his claim to strong leadership. But Obama is no stranger to high stakes speeches. He rose to national prominence with a keynote speech at the 2004 convention that drew near-universal praise. We will be giving you highlights here.

You can also follow our correspondents on the scene on Twitter including: @stcollinson, @andrewbeatty, @mcgully, @tangiquemener.

US President Barack Obama delivers his acceptance to run for a second term as president at the Democratic National Convention.

Supporters wave signs as they wait for Barack Obama to accept his nomination to a second term as president of the United States.

Senator of Massachussetts John Kerry speaks on foreign policy at the Democratic National Convention.

Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords waves to the audience at the Democratic National Convention after leading the crowd in the Pledge of Alligence.

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