President Barack Obama's selection of this Southern city for the 2012 Democratic convention signals he will try to reassemble his diverse coalition of 2008 supporters and fight for the conservative-leaning states that helped him win the White House.
The Democratic National Committee announced the selection of Charlotte on Tuesday, rejecting bids by a trio of Midwestern cities hit hard by the recession - Cleveland, Minneapolis, and St. Louis - in favor of the more economically stable North Carolina.
With the economy certain to dominate Obama's re-election bid, North Carolina's long-term industrial transformation - from tobacco, textiles and furniture to research, energy and banking - also plays into what may be the centerpiece of the Democrat's re-election bid, a call for America to focus on innovation to compete in the changing global marketplace.
The convention's apparent theme - The People's Convention - indicates that the president will try to rekindle the grass-roots flavor of his groundbreaking 2008 bid.
"This will be a different convention, for a different time," first lady Michelle Obama wrote to supporters Tuesday in an e-mail that disclosed the city where Democrats plan to nominate Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for a second term. She said the gathering would be "a grass-roots convention for the people" and promised to pay for it in a different way. But she provided no specifics on either point.