Congressional candidate and state Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison) speaks to Wisconsin delegates at a breakfast before the Democratic National Convention.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Political conventions are typically filled with both late night parties and early morning breakfasts, as delegates burn both ends of the candle in a frenzy of networking.
The Wisconsin delegates met at 7 a.m. on Tuesday -- the first official day of the convention -- at their hotel, Embassy Suites Charlotte Ballroom near the airport, to begin the process of rallying the troops for the looming election.
Some notable Democratic stars -- U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota) and DNC Chair and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Florida) -- spoke to the Wisconsin group. But the hometown heroes like state Rep. Peter Barca (Kenosha), state Sen. Mark Miller (Madison), and Rep. Mark Pocan (Madison), candidate for Congress, also gave speeches.
If there was an overriding theme, it was the importance of electing Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin to the U.S. Senate in her race against former.governor Tommy Thompson. Baldwin wasn't at the breakfast, but she was mentioned often, always prompting applause.
"There are 17 women in the Senate. We're losing two, so we're going to be down to 15," Klobuchar said. "So we really need to have Tammy. I can't tell you how much a difference it makes to have a woman in the Senate."
Barca said he is excited about hearing the "inspirational speeches" during the convention and countering the messages the Republican Party put out at its convention last week in Tampa. "The Republican Party set a pretty low standard, talking trash, talking to chairs and talking in tongues," he said. "Our convention is going to be straight talk."
Wasserman Schultz said that the Democrats in the room need to "part with some of our most precious reserves. Republicans think it's your money. But we all know it's your time."
After the speech, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett -- who lost the recall election against Gov. Scott Walker in June -- said the November races would be close. Barrett says there is a "real realization" among Democrats that they can win in November. But, he admits, it won't be easy: "We have to work at it."
Listen to Barrett discuss the election.
Joe Tarr is in Charlotte with reporters from WORT 89.9 FM covering the Democratic National Convention, following their reporting on the Republican National Convention in Tampa.