Democratic heavy hitters make appearance in N.C.

McClatchy InteractiveMarch 29, 2008 

— The charisma hasn't faded for a former presidential candidate. The Young Democrats of N.C. bestowed upon Senator John Edwards the title of Democrat of the Year after he was presented a silver bowl to commemorate the honorable designation at the 80th Anniversary State Convention. Edwards was glad to wade through the sea of people; shaking hands and smiling for the seemingly continual flash of photos.

Such a reception was not the case for another visitor to the convention - Democratic strategist James Carville. The "ragin' cajun" was the group's keynote speaker and quickly departed after his speech. He said he had to help another candidate and needed to make sure someone had his bag.

Despite his hasty departure, a few onlookers managed to snap a few photos with this sometimes controversial party figure.

Carville was prepared for the group with jokes and armed with assaults on the group's rival party: the Republicans. Carville, though, was not all jokes. He left the young Democrats with this thought, "people before power."

The packed day continued with Chelsea Clinton.

She gave a short introduction with a nod mentions Carolina basketball (UNC and Davidson) and then took questions.

A crowd favorite: A very young Democrat asked Clinton if she wanted to live in the White House. While Clinton said she enjoyed her time in the White House before, she said at 28, she would be "distraught" if she had to move back in with mom and dad. While Clinton was there to "answer questions," some of her responses were more like mini-speeches as the answers often averaged several minutes - one being more than six minutes in length.

Clinton often remarked how important it was for people to vote and mentioned the controversy in Florida and Michigan. The former first daughter even went so far as to mention that she would have rather been finishing up seven years of a Gore White House rather than the current administration.

As the president of the Young Democrats noted, the eyes of the world are on this convention this weekend.

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