After a physically and emotionally draining two years of political fights — most of them losses — Wisconsin Democrats are heading south this week, hoping a little fellowship and intra-party partying will re-energize them for the electoral sprint to November.

Thousands of delegates from all over the country will head to Charlotte, N.C., this week to take part in the Democratic National Convention, a three-day nationally televised event that results in the official nomination of President Barack Obama as the titular head of the party.

Wisconsin played a large role in last week's Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. Helmed by former Republican Party of Wisconsin chairman and current RNC head Reince Priebus, that event featured Gov. Scott Walker and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan , the GOP's nominee as vice president, prominently.

The state won't be featured nearly as much at the DNC. But still, given its national exposure over the past 18 months, Wisconsin's 131 delegates, alternates and other official attendees likely will be peppered with questions about protests, recalls and the candidacy of Ryan.

"We are already pretty popular when we head out of state" said state Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, the party's nominee to replace outgoing U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, and a delegate for the third time. "People have seen us on TV and heard all of the stories, so they want to know about it from the inside. And having Ryan on the Republican ticket just kicks that up a notch."

A two-year battleground

Wisconsin's political climate has been a national story for almost two years. Beginning in February 2011 when Walker introduced his proposal to limit public sector collective bargaining, the state has been involved in one long political war.

Thousands of people filled the streets around the Capitol and the halls inside it, for weeks. The fervor ultimately led to 15 recall elections in less than a year. Democrats eventually were able to take control of the state Senate, but the party lost more than it won, including a humiliating recall defeat at the hands of the governor.

Such an incredible workload for employees, politicians and volunteers has left many of them in need of a boost.

"It has been a tough year, it really has," said Susan Van Sicklin, 63, of Dodgeville, a retired teacher and first-time delegate. "But we fought a good fight, an important one. And I am looking forward to this trip. I really hope it will reinvigorate me so I can come back and help keep Iowa County blue."

Evan Giesemann, 22, a recent UW-Madison graduate, shares Sicklin's optimism. The convention also will be his first and he hopes the experience will give him the energy to come back and "rally the troops" for November.

"You know, we haven't really taken a break in a long time, and I think people are tired," he said. "But this is exciting, for those of us going and the people at home watching on TV. I think it will give us a charge."

Delegates set for long days

The delegates, which include politicians, party leaders and rank-and-file members, have a busy schedule for the week. Most will arrive Sunday and stay until Friday, though the event officially runs Tuesday through Thursday, with a kick-off party on Monday, Labor Day.

No official schedule was available by press time, but the DNC previously announced that Baldwin will address the convention. Baldwin, running for U.S. Senate against Republican Tommy Thompson, is the most high-profile state Democrat with a known speaking role at the convention. Through a spokesman, she declined a request to comment last week.

According to Racine delegate Meg Andrietsch, convention days start early and include caucus meetings and council meetings, floor votes and many speakers.

There is plenty of time, though, for socializing, said Andrietsch. Part of the excitement is seeing friends from other parts of the country.

This will be Andrietsch's second convention. She attended the historic 2008 convention in Denver and remembers fondly nominating Obama, the country's first black president.

"There were tears in our eyes," she said. "Doing this is an honor. You have to recognize the importance of what you're witnessing. You have to be aware of your place in history.

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Universalcare
Universalcare

Aerostar, concerning gas prices, you are right about gas being $1.89 when Obama took office, but that was due to the recession and financial crisis. The summer of 2008, during Bush's term, gas was over $4 per gallon. It has never been over $4 during Obama's term. How much of an impact can either party have on gas prices? Not much.

FearorLove
FearorLove

I trust Obama. That is more than I can say about the other guy that works for wall street.

WI_Expat
WI_Expat

Roundtable,

"labor has the full backing of Dems".... Apparently their checkbook is sitting this election out though.

Big_Joe
Big_Joe

Obama brings tears to my eyes too.

array1
array1

No doubt about it, the chair held it's own against Eastwood and Romney. Kinda don't think that chair will be invited back, too formidable for the gopers

Aerostar
Aerostar

VIDEO - Just words? Barack lies to Ohio about NAFTA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LtbLEKHsi0&playnext=1&list=PL8CD42F6182494C5E&feature=results_video

VIDEO - Obama Pushes NAFTA Style Trade Policy Despite 2008 Promise
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7J4oRa2O9w

And who was that major politician who promised to walk a picket line with union workers when the right to bargain is at stake?
VIDEO - Obama says, "Denied Right To Bargain, I'll Walk Picket Line With You"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5voSHCn6NE

Now let me get this straight. Obama promised to re open NAFTA then not only backed away after he was elected, but he also pushed a NAFTA on Steroids, called the Pacific Trade Conference which hurt union workers even more.

And back during his campaign he promised to walk a picket line if the right to bargain was ever at stake, yet when the rubber met the road, Obama was AWOL in Wisconsin.

Gosh it looks as if Obama has very little respect for Wisconsin labor unions.

And lets look at the Obama stimulus package:
VIDEO - Unions are upset at Obama because stimulus money is going to foreign workers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vpp_KfUB8Us

And what impact is Obama's illegal amnesty program which grants amnesty to 1.7 million illegal aliens having on Wisconsin construction workers? Many who were already having trouble staying employed now find themselves completely displaced by illegal workers.

Wisconsin Workers - With friends like Obama, who needs enemies?

Aerostar
Aerostar

STARTLING STATEMENT.
Just a few minutes ago, Democratic Governor, Brian Schweitzer of Montana said that gasoline prices today are cheaper than when Obama took office. Governor Schweitzer was being interviewed at the site of the DNC convention in North Carolina as part of the run up to the convention by Fox News.

Apparently the Governor hasn't purchased any gas in a LONG, LONG time. When Obama tool office gasoline prices averaged

According to Z- FACTS the average price of a gallon of gas on Jan 20, 2009 was $1.95 a gallon. Today the average price of a gallon of gas is $3.82.

Must be the new math.

WI_Expat
WI_Expat

While all the Dems are flebagging to Charlotte, maybe Wisconsin can get some work done

Lynne4300
Lynne4300

The "impersonator" again..............
Lynne3400 - 5 hours ago
Fed up with the broken promises? Don't waste your vote, send a clear message, Libertarian Party 2012.

http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/
..........
Too bad this poser can't even think up a name of their own.

WI_Expat
WI_Expat

An empty chair does better coverage of conventions than Spicuzza and Barbour can come up with on their best day.

The new talking point of OFA is "last century" yet Madison liberals haven't gotten out of the 1960's yet.

ST20
ST20

Are they fleeing to Illinois ?

Roundtable
Roundtable

Now this Convention will be live-streamed on the Web for the first time ever..pretty innovative for something like this.Nice that it's near Labor Day also.Shows the Dems appreciate organized labor and the fair meaning it represents in our country.

rubancuban
rubancuban

??? You're really reaching here. GOP convention was week before Labor Day and Dem is week of. Huge difference?

Also, I thought Dems weren't being labor-friendly for holding convention in NC. Which is it?

Roundtable
Roundtable

ruban, Enacting Act 10 the way it was done and the Act itself is not labor-friendly nor fair. What more needs to be said.?.As for the North Carolina bit, What ever state it's held in, at least we'll know labor has the full backing of the Dems.

WI_Expat
WI_Expat

If one of the news channels chooses not to run Tammy Baldwin's speech, are the Democrats going to get unhinged and call them homophobes? Probably, unlike the intentional absence of coverage when the Republican minorities spoke last week.....that means under the same standard liberals follow, MSNBC is a highly racist news organization!

gbp
gbp

At last this week we won't have to put up with RNC Chairman, Mr. Bean, Paul Ryan's lies and the various characters the Republican's throw at the American people in a feeble attempt to discredit Pres. Obama.

PennyWise
PennyWise

Please, oh please, put an empty chair on the stage next to the podium with every speaker. It would be hilarious. No reason a political party shouldn't have a sense of humor. Even if is a slap in the face against an American Icon (who I generally feel sorry for).

Big_Joe
Big_Joe

Agreed. Clint didn't do his reputation any good.

Lynne3400
Lynne3400

Fed up with the broken promises? Don't waste your vote, send a clear message, Libertarian Party 2012.

http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/

spooky tooth
spooky tooth

We need politicians that are willing to stand up against bad International Trade Deals that have left americans unemployed?

If voters say Job Creation in the US is #1, then vote for better Trade Deals and politicians like Tammy.

If you like high unemployment and more lost manufacturing jobs to China, then vote for Tommy. Tommy has sold his soul to the Radical Right and any fair deal for working americans.

geo_
geo_

As we approach Labor Day, the Dems just like their brethren the Republicans show their disdain for organized labor and the right to a living wage. Holding this convention in North Carolina is a slap in the face to the dems largest contributors, Organized Labor.

ST20
ST20

There are no mentions in constitution of the Right to a living wage. You make that determination yourself. The Right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. There is NO entitlement in those words.

ET
ET

You are correct.
But they could accomplish the same thing just by running the illegals out of the country who undercut American labor wages. Wages would stabilize and then rise. No need for a minimum wage then.

geo_
geo_

And where in the constitution does it say profits can hidden off-shore to avoid taxes, where in the constitution does it say an American has the right to exploit his neighbor and pollute the commons. I suppose you think the 2nd amendment gives yoou the right to keep guns at home even if you aren't part of a regulated militia.

IndependentsRuleTheRoost
IndependentsRuleTheRoost

Where in the constitution does it say that you have a right for your crap to be heard or read by others?