Wrap Up: Wednesday's PolitickerNJ.com coverage from Denver and New Jersey

Joe Biden accepts the Democratic nomination for Vice President in Denver on Wednesday: Getty Images PhotoJoe Biden accepts the Democratic nomination for Vice President in Denver on Wednesday: Getty Images Photo

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Today's convention schedule

The fourth and final day of the Democratic National Convention will be called to order at 5:00 PM EST on Thursday, with a theme of "Change You Can Believe In."

The final day's events will take place at INVESCO Field at Mile High, where over 70,000 people are expected to attend.

Featured speakers will include Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D), former Vermont Gov. and Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean (D), New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D), U.S. Rep. and U.S. Senate candidate Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D), former Vice President Al Gore (D) and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D).

U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), the Democratic presidential nominee, is scheduled to address the convention at 10 p.m. EST.

The full schedule is below.

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In Denver, Rice comes nearly full circle with Obama

West Ward Councilman Ron Rice, Jr. pounds pavement with Obama volunteers.: Politicker file photoWest Ward Councilman Ron Rice, Jr. pounds pavement with Obama volunteers.: Politicker file photo 

DENVER - Months and months ago, when West Ward Newark Councilman Ronald C. Rice used to display his Obama button, friends would laugh.

"No chance," they told Rice, who went on organizing and serving as an Obama surrogate.

Tonight, from his vantage point among the New Jersey delegation, Rice said he felt inspired when he heard Sen. Joseph Biden’s (D-Del.) speech and saw the vice presidential nominee stand on-stage with Obama.

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Biden's son brings tears to the New Jersey delegation

Not surprisingly, the New Jersey delegation was thrilled with Joe Biden’s speech tonight.  But among three delegates, the most powerful moment was Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden’s introduction of his father. 

Beau Biden’s recounting of the family’s tragic narrative, when he and his brother survived a car wreck that killed his mother and infant sister, struck State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) particularly hard.

Listening to his son speak and seeing him come out, that was very powerful,” she said.  “You could see the son’s eyes welled up with tears, appropriately so.”

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Florio to Dems: Kerry 'Swift-boating will look like kindergarten'

Former Gov. Jim Florio - superdelegate.: Politicker photoFormer Gov. Jim Florio - superdelegate.: Politicker photo 

DENVER - He’s slated to speak at the State Democratic Committee breakfast tomorrow, where former Gov. Jim Florio says he intends to make the message very simple: it’s get tough time.

"I don’t well up easily," said Florio, as he rose from his chair in the Spotted Dog bar after watching senators Barack Obama and Joe Biden stand together on stage at the Pepsi Center. "It’s an inspiration, and hopefully the start to a great campaign."

Great implies it will also be enormously challenging.

Given what Florio terms as the "abysmal" record of the Bush administration, " this should be a coronation, not an election, but the Republicans will unleash negative ads against Barack that will make the Swift-boating of Kerry look like kindergarten.

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Praising Clinton, new DNC member Wisniewski wants to examine superdelegate rules

Former President Bill Clinton addressed the Democratic National Convention tonight, pledging to help elect Barack Obama: Getty Images PhotoFormer President Bill Clinton addressed the Democratic National Convention tonight, pledging to help elect Barack Obama: Getty Images Photo
DENVER - The Clinton legacy took a battering in the recent Democratic Party primary, but Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville) says most of the landed blows are unjust, and argued that only the former president could convincingly argue on behalf of Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) the way he did tonight.

"In 1992, the Republicans called Clinton too inexperienced and that’s what they’re trying to say now about Barack Obama," says Wisniewski in the Spotted Dog bar at the Inverness Hotel, paraphrasing one of Clinton’s key arguments from his speech at the Democratic National Convention tonight.

"Clinton proved to be one of the best presidents of the 20th Century," added the assemblymen, who is poised to begin his term as a Democratic National Committeeman at the end of this week, where he is interested in examining possible reforms to the system.

President Clinton balanced the federal budget, and created surpluses approaching a trillion dollars.

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Wisniewski's Spotted Dog crowd gears up for Biden

Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville) and his wife, Debbie.: Politicker photoAssemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville) and his wife, Debbie.: Politicker photo 

DENVER - The crowd crams into the Spotted Dog for Assemblyman John Wisniewski’s (D-Sayreville) convention watch party, which includes three other recognizable elected officials packed cheek by jowl into this low-ceilinged underground Inverness Hotel hangout: Assemblyman Gordon Johnson of Bergen and West New York Mayor Sal Vega and Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs.

Wisniewski’s been attending conventions going all the way back to 1976, when his father served as a member of the New Jersey delegation. Now he has his own daughters here and they’ve already been on the floor of the Pepsi Center.

"It’s a relaxing atmosphere down here, in a way even better than getting on and off the bus to go out there to the Pepsi Center," says Wisniewski, chair of the state Assembly Transportation Committee.

"At least I know New Jersey’s not the only place with gridlock," he says.

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The Back Room

National progressive group backs Watson Coleman in CD12

The Progressive Democrats of America Co-Founder and National Director Tim Carpenter and State Chair Mary Ellen Marino today endorsed Bonnie Watson Coleman for the Democratic nomination in the 12thCongressional District.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 24, 2014

Organization to honor Gov. KeanAn event next month for Community Options, Inc. will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the organization's founding and honor Governor Tom Kean, Sr., a was an advocate over 25 years ago for bringing individuals with developmental disabilities out of state institutions into small group homes.Robert...

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Op-Ed

How the City of Paterson became a city in crisis

By HAYTHAM YOUNES As the May 13th election for Paterson officials nears, I've noticed a lot of candidates running using slogans and empty promises as if they weren't around watching Paterson get to where it's at today. I think it's important that... Read More >

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Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"This is the only Tea Party group that endorsed Mitt Romney. These guys are the Vichy French of the Tea Party movement. They're the guys who say 'Viva la France,' and then you can't find them when the fighting starts. Come on." - GOP strategist Rick Shaftan, on the Independence Hall Tea Party group.

- PolitickerNJ.com

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