J. Scott Applewhite, ASSOCIATED PRESS
TAMPA, Fla. — Artur Davis, who seconded the nomination of President Barack Obama at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, used his speech at the Republican National Convention Tuesday to reach out to voters — like himself — who originally supported Obama but are now looking for a change.
Saying America is about second chances, Davis said that the Republican party has room for the estimated six million who "got it wrong in 2008" and who now want to fix it.
"Maybe we should have known that night in Denver that things that begin with Styrofoam Greek columns and fake smoke typically don't end well," Davis said. "You thought it was a glare. Some of us thought it was a halo."
Maybe the Hollywood celebrity blinded voters, Davis said, but many voted with their hearts, believing that 2008 was a chance for America to be more inclusive than it had ever been.
"But dreams meet daybreak," Davis said. "The jobless know what I mean; so do the families who wonder how this administration could wreck a recovery for three years and counting."
In the name of the 23 million who are unemployed, underemployed or who have stopped looking, Davis said it was time to put the poetry aside, suspend the hype, come down to Earth and start creating jobs.
Davis invited Americans to listen as the Democratic National Convention kicks off next week, and to see if the Democrats still speak for them.
"Do you even recognize what they talk about?" Davis asked. "This Democratic party asks 'What can the government give you?' Don't worry about paying the bill. It's on your kids and grandkids."
Davis cited former Democratic president such as John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson who reached across the aisle, and said that party has changed.
"When great athletes falter, their coaches will tell them to remember who they are, Davis said. "It's a call to their greatness at a moment when their bodies and spirits are too sapped to remember their strength. This sweet, blessed, God-inspired place we call America is a champion that has absorbed some blows, but we bend, we do not break. This is no dark hour. This is the dawn before we remember who we are."
"May it be said of this time in our history, 2008 to 2011: lesson learned; 2012: mistake corrected," Davis concluded.
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