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Thank you. Thank you so much.

Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests and fellow citizens, each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution. We affirm the promise of our democracy. We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names.

What makes us exceptional -- what makes us American -- is our allegiance to an idea articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal" -- (cheers, applause) -- "that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."

It's hard to believe but someone just topped Todd Akin in the "ridiculous rape and abortion remarks" department. During a debate tonight, Richard Mourdock, Indiana's GOP candidate for U.S. Senate, dropped the latest in a line of controversial sound bites by Republican candidates during this election cycle about abortion. During the debate, after saying the only exception for abortion he'd allow is if the mother's life is in danger, Mourdock then explained why he doesn't support abortions in the case of rape: "I've struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from god. And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."

Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin raised hackles earlier this year when he claimed women who were victims of "legitimate rape" don't get pregnant. Closer to home, U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, locked in a tense battle with Tammy Duckworth for his Congressional seat, claimed abortions were never necessary to save a mother's life.

In Indiana, the latest polls show U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly (D) as holding a slim lead over Mourdock who is currently Indiana's state treasurer. Mourdock's website proudly displays an endorsement from GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Update: After the debate, Mourdock backed off his comment, saying, "Are you trying to suggest that somehow I think God ordained or pre-ordained rape? No, I don't think that anyone could suggest that. That's a sick, twisted - no, that's not even close to what I said."

Our sister publication in Merrillville, Ind., the Post-Tribune, has details on the debate.

Italy US Presidential_Newm.jpg
Two statuettes depicting President Barack Obama, left, and Republican rival Mitt Romney are backdropped by the Stars and Stripes in a shop which sells Christmas nativity figures in Naples, Italy, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, hours ahead of their third and final presidential debate in Boca Raton, Florida. (AP Photo/Salvatore Laporta)


After a whirlwind three weeks that's seen just about everything we thought we could see in an election, the two major party candidates for President of the United States - Democratic incumbent Barack Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney - hold their final debate of the election season tonight. Going into the first debate less than three weeks ago in Denver, Obama was poised for a runaway win barring any major speed bumps. But that's what happend in Denver when Obama put forth a listless, lackluster performance by the president plus a new populist approach from Romney turned things around and put the wind at Romney's back, changing the entire course of the race. A testy, fiery Vice President Joe Biden turned up in the VP debate against GOP nominee Paul Ryan. And last week, Romney and Obama engaged in a heated, electrice debate, the candidates stalking the stage, often circling one another as they unleashed attacks on the other.

Tonight's moderator, CBS' Bob Schieffer, has experience with debates, having moderated one in each of the last two presidential election, and has already announced his list of topics for tonight's debate, centered on foreign policy:

  • America's role in the world
  • Our longest war - Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • Red Lines - Israel and Iran
  • The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism - I
  • The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism - II
  • The Rise of China and Tomorrow's World

Tonight should be a lively debate and we've got our best columnists and pundits along to provide live commentary. Below you can find both live video via YouTube of the debate and, below that, the running commentary from the Sun-Times staff. Before we go live at 7:30 p.m. and throughout the debate, take some time to check out some of our other posts about the upcoming election and check out even more coverage at our Election Page.

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The speeches - Day 3 of the Democratic National Convention

With reporting from the staff of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Storified by Suntimes · Thu, Sep 06 2012 19:31:30

Obama says he is worn from raising campaign cash "If you're sick of hearing me approve this message. Believe me, so am I." #DNCnatasha korecki
President Obama accepts nomination #DNCnatasha korecki
Sasha, Malia..."yes, you do have to go to school in the morning." #DNCnatasha korecki
Watch DNC President Obama Video Biopicpbsnewshour
Michelle Obama back up to the stage. .."tonight, I am so thrilled and so honored to introduce the love of my life...Barack Obama" #DNCnatasha korecki
Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin: 'We Must Walk Forward, Together'pbsnewshour
#dnc2012 Sen. Dick Durbin, serial Obama convention introducer..Durbin zings to Mitt, et al..."we are all in this alone,"Lynn Sweet
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin takes the stage, recalling the odyssey he and Barack Obama took together as Illinois lawmakers #DNCnatasha korecki
#DNC Biden wrapped up, Jill joins him on stage..what a hug!..I can see Michelle on her feet applauding.Lynn Sweet
#dnc2012 Biden on the future...direction we turn is in your hands...teleprompter has in your hands underlined.Lynn Sweet
#dnc2012 Biden downsizing Mitt, Ryan http://pic.twitter.com/pqmuchhBLynn Sweet
Cannot even hear Joe Biden because standing crowd drowns him out, "It never ever makes sense to bet against the American people!" #DNCnatasha korecki
New one from Biden "voucher care "Lynn Sweet
Vice President Joe Biden on bin Laden "America's heart had to be healed" #dnc http://pic.twitter.com/Kb0xX1Vcnatasha korecki
Vice President Joe Biden: "Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive!!" #DNCnatasha korecki
Biden slams "the Bain Way" - Lynn SweetCHARLOTTE, N.C.--Vice President Joe Biden is taking on Mitt Romney's top credential for the Oval Office, his time a Bain Capitol. Romney ...
Biden takes direct hit at "the Bain Way" #dnc2012 "Conviction, resolve, Barack Obama" saved the auto industryLynn Sweet
#dnc2012 Biden "We'ver turned a corner" August jobless numbers out Friday.Lynn Sweet
#DNC2012 Good Biden soundbite: He does not see Obama "in soundbited."Lynn Sweet
Biden's turn. #DNC2012. "A journey we have finished yet" a core concept Obama/Biden re-elect argument.Lynn Sweet
#dnc212 Biden getting mushy on Jilly...so "she's always loved me" Asked to marry her 5 times.Lynn Sweet
Vice President Joe Biden strikes on stage to a sea of waving red white and blue "Ready for Joe."natasha korecki
8:29 | Vice President Joe Biden takes the stage to a standing ovation.
Excerpts from Joe Biden's Democratic National Convention speech http://suntm.es/RqWUgz @suntimes #politicsCraig Newman
All of Obama's campaign promises, we track them on our #obameter. http://ow.ly/dwOv3 #DNC2012PolitiFact
Dr. Jill Biden: 'Joe Always Works To Give People a Sense of Hope'pbsnewshour
#DNC2012 The "Ready for Joe" signs are being passed out across the hall...as well as the "Fired Up."Lynn Sweet
Watch DNC Video Biopic of Vice President Joe Bidenpbsnewshour
Thousands of people in the audience waving blue signs that say "Thank You" as veterans file off of stage. #DNCnatasha korecki
#dnc2012 thank you signs across the hall as vets get thank you http://pic.twitter.com/z6ZUsblCLynn Sweet
Coming up on stage as this video plays A group of vetsLynn Sweet
John Kerry on the Truth-O-Meter http://ow.ly/dwOnC #DNC2012PolitiFact
Mass. Sen. John Kerry: 'This Is Not the Time to Outsource the Job of Commander in Chief'pbsnewshour
"we believe in Barack Obama " John Kerry,next sec state http://pic.twitter.com/a0n3bQmwLynn Sweet
Kerry hammering Romney: "Mitt Romney talks like he's only seeing Russia by watching Rocky IV" #DNCnatasha korecki
#dnc2012 john kerry getting his revengeLynn Sweet
Best line of the #DNC? John Kerry: "Ask Osama Bin Laden if he is better off now than he was four years ago."natasha korecki
Former pres candidate John Kerry takes the stage: "I say to you, this is not the time to outsource the job of commander in chief." #DNCnatasha korecki
Florida GOP said Charlie Crist was pro-life, pro-gun and anti-tax. Mostly True, says @PolitiFactFL http://ow.ly/dwNRq #DNC2012PolitiFact
Former Fla. Gov. Charlie Crist: I Didn't Leave GOP, 'It Left Me'pbsnewshour
Video tribute played of the late Geraldine Ferraro. It is simple, replaying her own speech from a Democratic convention #DNCnatasha korecki
Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer: Mitt Romney 'Wrong Man To Be President'pbsnewshour
Did Romney say 'not worth moving heaven and earth' to get Osama bin Laden? Half True http://ow.ly/dwNHN #DNC2012PolitiFact
Crowd politely claps as Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer says Mitt Romney is a loyal American and a "good family man." #DNCnatasha korecki
Watch Actress Eva Longoria Speak at DNCpbsnewshour
"The Eva Longoria who flips Wendy burgers needs a tax break," she says of her youth. Eva Longoria who is now an actress "does not." #DNCnatasha korecki
Eva Longoria talks of Meager upbringing; how education was always top priority in family #dnc http://pic.twitter.com/e0XNw6mSnatasha korecki
DNC 2012 - Jennifer Granholm Attacks Mitt Romney's Comment on Detriotwsjdigitalnetwork
#DNC2012 Jennifer Granholm is whipping up the crowd like no one else. Before the 2016 bandwagon starts, remember she was born in Canada. Oh.Lynn Sweet
Former Mich. Gov. Jennifer Granholm is shouting, red-faced crowd drowning her out #DNCnatasha korecki
#DNC2012 Jennifer Granhold channels Ann Richards at the podium..from Michigan, where the trees are just the right size. Take that, MittLynn Sweet
Caroline Kennedy Speaks to DNC on Health Care, Women's Health, Votingpbsnewshour
Caroline Kennedy said four years ago she was inspired by Barack Obama's presidency. "Today, I'm inspired by his record." #DNCnatasha korecki
Caroline Kennedy says Obama gave "hope to the hopeless" and that she was inspired by Obama's vision for America. #DNCnatasha korecki
#DNC2012 Caroline Kennedy's primary endorsement of Obama in 2008 primary was a turning pointLynn Sweet
Watch Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Recite Pledge of Allegiance at DNCpbsnewshour
Arena chanting "GABBY GABBY!" As Gabrielle Giffords blows kisses to the audience and walks off stage with some assistance. #DNCnatasha korecki
#dnc2012 convention hall explodes when gabby giffords comes to stage with @DSW #DSW to lead the pledgeLynn Sweet
Standing ovation as Gabriel Giffords dramatically walks onto the stage. Giffords survived an assassination attempt. #DNCnatasha korecki
South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn: President Obama Brought 'Our Country Out From the Darkness'pbsnewshour
Actress Kerry Washington: 'We Are Not Invisible'pbsnewshour
Actress Scarlett Johansson: 'Vote, So That Your Voice Is Heard'pbsnewshour
Scarlett Johansson is trying to appeal to younger voters. Says she's "here to ask you to commit to vote." #DNCnatasha korecki
Scarlett Johansson dressed simply and still looks glamorous. #dnc http://pic.twitter.com/VcXp76rhnatasha korecki
Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson up talking about growing up with other students who still use Planned Parenthood. #DNCnatasha korecki
ScarJo to tell us when she was little, her mom let her push the buttons in the voting booth. That's fraud! Arrest Natasha Romanoff!Richard Roeper
Watch the Foo Fighters Perform at the Democratic National Conventionpbsnewshour
Foo Fighters rocking it #dnc http://pic.twitter.com/IHk9WNXinatasha korecki
Watch Toledo GM Worker Kenyetta Jones Speak at DNCpbsnewshour
Watch Joe Biden Get Nominated for Vice President at DNCpbsnewshour
Zach Wahls, Son of a Lesbian Couple, Addresses DNCpbsnewshour
Watch DNC Video About President Obama's Support For Gay Marriagepbsnewshour
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter: Responsibility Is What 'Being President Is All About'pbsnewshour
Wisconsin Rep. Tammy Baldwin: "President Obama Believes In Our Manufacturers"pbsnewshour
The DNC Through the Eyes of an Illegal Immigrantpbsnewshour
Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz: Election Is 'Personal For Every American'pbsnewshour
Watch Singer Mary J. Blige Perform at DNCpbsnewshour
Georgia Rep. John Lewis: 'Your Vote Is Precious, Almost Sacred'pbsnewshour
Watch DNC Video on Don't Ask-Don't Tellpbsnewshour
Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank: We Should've Had 'Myth Romney'pbsnewshour
Florida Retiree Carol Berman Talks Health Care Reform at DNCpbsnewshour
Speakers set for final night of DNC - Sun-Times PoliticsMusician Marc Anthony performs on stage for a soundcheck during the final day of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable ...
Can Obama acceptance speech outshine Clinton's nomination? - Sun-Times PoliticsPresident Bill Clinton, despite some partisan disagreement with policy, was universally lauded Wednesday night after his nomination speec...
John Kerry stops to talk to reporters about Obama's speech tonight. #dnc http://pic.twitter.com/8etTxT7qnatasha korecki

Previous convention coverage

Looking back at previous coverage of the conventions from Chicago Sun-Times reporters and columnists on the ground in Tampa and Charlotte.
Our fact-checks of Bill Clinton's speech last night at #DNC2012 http://ow.ly/dwMiLPolitiFact
The speeches - Day 2 of the Democratic National Convention liveblogThe speakers of Day 2 of the Democratic National Convention with reporting by Chicago Sun-Times staff members.
The speeches - Day 1 of the Democratic National Conventionnull
Coverage of the Democratic National Convention by Chicago Sun-Times staffWashington Bureau Chief Lynn Sweet (@LynnSweet), Springfield Bureau Chief Dave McKinney (@DaveMcKinney123), political reporter Natasha Ko...
The speeches: Day 4 of the Republican National Conventionnull
The speeches: Day 3 of the Republican National Conventionnull
The speeches: Day 2 - Republican National ConventionA look at some of the highlights from the speeches from Day 2 of the Republican National Convention.
Day 1 at the Republican National ConventionWashington Bureau Chief Lynn Sweet (@LynnSweet), Springfield Bureau Chief Dave McKinney (@DaveMcKinney123), political reporter Natasha Ko...

In the face of the deepest economic crisis in our lifetimes -- this nation proved itself. We're as worthy as any generation that has gone before us.

The same grit, the same determination, the same courage, that has always defined what it's meant to be an American--is in you.

We're on a mission to move this nation forward -- from doubt and downturn, to promise and prosperity.

A mission we will continue and a mission we will complete.

[...]

The two men seeking to lead this country over the next four years have fundamentally different visions, and a completely different value set.

Governor Romney believes that in the global economy, it doesn't much matter where American companies put their money or where they create jobs.

I found it fascinating last week--when Governor Romney said, that as President, he'd take a jobs tour. Well with all his support for outsourcing -- it's going to have to be a foreign trip.

Look, President Obama knows that creating jobs in America -- keeping jobs in America -- and bringing jobs back to America -- is what being President is all about.

...

My fellow Americans, we now find ourselves at the hinge of history.

And the direction we turn is in your hands.

It has been an honor to serve you, and to serve with a President who has always stood up for you.

As I've said, I've seen him tested.

Via @GuardianUS


President Bill Clinton, despite some partisan disagreement with policy, was universally lauded Wednesday night after his nomination speech on behalf of President Obama. It was, because of the men's relative disdain for eachother, in many ways a historic moment.

He was wonky, didn't shy away from policy, was defiant of Republican claims without being mean-spirited and painted Obama as a man doing more than enough to turn around a mess that takes more than three years to clear up.

In short, many pundits say Clinton did masterfully in 45 minutes what Obama has been unable to do in his years in office - he communicated vision, goals, challenges and hard realities in his folksy, but knowledgable way. In fact, it had many journalists and political pros asking if maybe Clinton's resounding victory at the podium didn't set Obama with too high a bar in his own speech Thursday night.

What some of the watchers are saying:

And many watchers are asking if the rousing speech, heavy on hope and change, that Obama delivered in Denver in 2008 is within reach again for a president who's taken hits in nearly every pollable area of his tenure in the White House.

The speeches - Day 2 of the Democratic National Convention liveblog

The speakers of Day 2 of the Democratic National Convention with reporting by Chicago Sun-Times staff members.

Storified by Suntimes · Wed, Sep 05 2012 19:20:40

Elizabeth Warren calls Hillary Clinton: "One of the coolest women on the planet." #DNCnatasha korecki
9:16 | "I'm Elizabeth Warren, and this is my first Democratic Convention," the candidate for Senate from Massachusetts says to loud chants of WAR-REN, WAR-REN!
9:15 | Sinegal closes: I'm here tonight because Costco's story is the American story. ]President Obama] deserves four more years to finish the story.
Former Costco CEO Jim Sinegal says of Obama: "A president who takes the long view and makes the tough decisions"natasha korecki
Now Costco CEO saying the company had success "in bulk" under Democratic leadership. #DNCnatasha korecki
9:08 | Jim Sinegal, CEO of Costco
Women's Rights Activist Sandra Fluke: 'This November, Each of Us Must Speak Up'pbsnewshour
9:08 | "It's now time to choose" ends Fluke to a standing ovation.
Fluke: "Instead of trying to silence her, you invite me here and give me a microphone to amplify our voice" #DNCnatasha korecki
Fluke "Our president, when he hears a young woman has been verbally attacked, thinks of his daughters, not his delegates or donors." #DNCnatasha korecki
Sandra Fluke: "I'm here because I spoke out." #DNCnatasha korecki
Sandra Fluke, who Rush Limbaugh called a "slut" gets an extended standing ovation. #DNCnatasha korecki
NBC news reports that Fluke's speaking slot was slid at last moment to primetime to give her a more prominent role.
9:01 | Sandra Fluke, the law student Rush Limbaugh called a "slut" draws standing ovation as she comes to the podium.
#dnc2012 state rep Illinois Linda chapa lavia wearing cubs shirt on floor http://pic.twitter.com/jODIMB4GLynn Sweet
When it comes to jobless workers, Romney "likes to fire people"? False. http://ow.ly/duYBG #DNC2012PolitiFact
Former Employees of Companies Controlled by Bain Capital Speak at DNCpbsnewshour
Another worker saying that Bain Capital shut down her plant and drove her company into bankruptcy. #DNCnatasha korecki
Former Bain Capital worker: "Mitt Romney will stick it to working people. Barack Obama sticking up for working people!" #DNCnatasha korecki
United Auto Workers President Bob King: President Obama 'Stood with American Workers'pbsnewshour
Interesting how convention planners skipped over Sandra Fluke, the law student Limbaugh called a "slut." Must mean she'll get bigger role.Dave McKinney
Watch DNC Video and Speaker: "An Economy Built to Last: Auto-Industry"pbsnewshour
Big cheers from the convention floor as video touting Obama's auto-industry bailout. Everyone waving signs "1.1 million auto jobs saved"Dave McKinney
Actress and Talk Show Host Christina Saralegui: 'Don't Boo, Vote'pbsnewshour
Cristina Saralegui, described by some as the "Spanish Oprah," has the Dem convention crowd captivated.Dave McKinney
Cristina Saralegui: "Let's do this together""Palante!" #DNCnatasha korecki
Talk Show Host Cristina Saralegui, huge in the Latin community w/100 million viewers says of Obama; "he is on our side." #DNCnatasha korecki
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards Address Democratic Conventionpbsnewshour
Planned Parenthood's Cecile Richards on Republicans: "It's like we woke up in a bad episode of Mad Men" #DNCnatasha korecki
Planned Parenthood prez Cecile Richards gets a standing ovation at the mention of her late mom, Texas Gov. Ann Richards. #DNCnatasha korecki
Planned Parenthood: "Thanks to Barack Obama, being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition in America." #DNCnatasha korecki
Rep. Nancy Pelosi Says to Romney's Policies: 'It's Just Plain Wrong'pbsnewshour
Pelosi: "President Obama has focused on jobs from day one." #DNCnatasha korecki
Dem leaders not afraid to utter the word: "hope." Case in point now, Nancy Pelosi. #DNCnatasha korecki
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II to Congress: 'We Will Never Be Better Off Without Being Better'pbsnewshour
U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver dialed up the energy level in the Times Forum #DNCnatasha korecki
Illinois delegates erupt to a rousing speech from US Rep Emanuel Cleaver Jr (D-MO),who says of his party: "We are one!" http://pic.twitter.com/FjK5I07VDave McKinney
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri God didn't burden America with different backgrounds and religions, "he BLESSED America." #DNCnatasha korecki
Rep. Chuck Schumer: Romney Sending Us 'Backwards'pbsnewshour
Small Business Owner Speaks to Democratic Convention in Support of President Obamapbsnewshour
Rep Diana DeGette said Romney-Ryan support policy that would ban in vitro fertiliz. We looked at similar claim earlier: http://ow.ly/duPvlPolitiFact
#dnc2012 rep. Luis Gutierrez d-Illinois right after his democratic convention speech http://pic.twitter.com/apWS2isCLynn Sweet
Sweet blog Rep. Luis Gutierrez Democratic Convention speech. Text http://bit.ly/OUzro3Lynn Sweet
#DNC2012 Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) at the convention say Mitt obstructionist on immigration reformLynn Sweet
#DNC2012 Rep. Luis Gutierrez delivering impassioned speech for Obama in English and Spanish. Obama took "bold action" for immigrantsLynn Sweet
Luis Gutierrez talks says there's countless stories about injustices done to immigrants: "Good people, torn apart." #DNC2012natasha korecki
Congressman Luis Gutierrez: "Democrats will fight for comprehensive immigration reform." #DNC2012natasha korecki
#2012DNC Rep. Luis Gutierrez at the Democratic Convention podium right now...Lynn Sweet
Watch DNC Video About the Future of Energypbsnewshour
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino: Romney's Values Aren't 'Boston Values'pbsnewshour
Here is the livestream of the entire day's speaking events via the Democratic National Convention organizers.
YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.YouTube
Wednesday Schedule - 2012 Democratic National Convention9AM - 10AM Morning Prayer Gathering (Room 211AB/212AB) 10AM - 12PM Caucus Session #1 Black Caucus (Ballroom CD) Hispanic Caucus (Ballroom...

Previous convention coverage

Looking back at previous coverage of the conventions from Chicago Sun-Times reporters and columnists on the ground in Tampa and Charlotte.
The speeches - Day 1 of the Democratic National Conventionnull
Coverage of the Democratic National Convention by Chicago Sun-Times staffWashington Bureau Chief Lynn Sweet (@LynnSweet), Springfield Bureau Chief Dave McKinney (@DaveMcKinney123), political reporter Natasha Ko...
The speeches: Day 4 of the Republican National Conventionnull
The speeches: Day 3 of the Republican National Conventionnull
The speeches: Day 2 - Republican National ConventionA look at some of the highlights from the speeches from Day 2 of the Republican National Convention.
Day 1 at the Republican National ConventionWashington Bureau Chief Lynn Sweet (@LynnSweet), Springfield Bureau Chief Dave McKinney (@DaveMcKinney123), political reporter Natasha Ko...

Convention Weather.jpg
There will be no repeat of this campaign image - with then presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama working in the rain in 2008 - at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File

By RICHARD ROEPER

CHARLOTTE--It took them a while to make the obvious and right choice, but the Democrats announced Wednesday morning they're moving President Obama's speech from the outdoor football stadium to the indoor basketball arena, due to the possibility of it raining so hard people in the stands would have started weeping.

Imagine the metaphoric material the DNC nearly gave to the Republicans on a blue platter. Barack Obama onstage with the rain pouring down, a half-filled stadium of soggy, umbrella-less backers trying to muster up some enthusiasm while praying they don't catch pneumonia. ("Even the weatherman agrees, it's time for Barack Obama to go . . .")

So instead of the Bank of America stadium it'll be the Time Warner Cable Arena, where on Tuesday night Michelle Obama wooed the crowd by bench-pressing Rahm Emanuel 20 times in less than five minutes, and Pat Quinn talked about everything but how things are going back home.