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DNC Dispatch: Obama Speaks, Local Dems Listen

Delegates from the Lower Hudson Valley sound off on President Obama's acceptance speech.

The Democratic National Convention in Charlotte concluded Thursday night with a fitting finale—President Barack Obama accepting his party's renomination to battle Mitt Romney at the polls come November.

Democratic icons like U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) and Vice President Joe Biden talked foreign policy, and former Rep. Gabrielle Gifford (D-Arizona) led the stadium in a Pledge of Allegiance.

Hollywood figures trotted out as foils to the —actresses Scarlett Johansson and Eva Longoria both sounded off at the podium.

Later in the evening, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer delivered a folksy speech about his faith in Obama and relationship with Mitt Romney.

"His speech was exactly what I expected form him," said Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski (D-Rockland), who attended the DNC as a delegate. "He has his finger on the pulse of working people across the country."

Obama's address anchored the evening, stumping on a spate of topics like the auto industry bailout, energy independence, climate change and America's troops abroad.

"I thought Obama's speech was great," Zebrowski said. "I think the president really laid out the difference between him and Romney. At Tampa, they talked a big game, but there's very little substance."

"He was humorous and poignant," Zebrowksi continued, citing the governor's call-and-response technique, when he had audience members repeat the refrain, "That dog don't hunt."

"[Obama] was dealt a difficult hand, but he stepped up to the plate and made those decisions," Zebrowski added.

Ken Jenkins, a Westchester County Legislator and delegate, said Obama put forth strong reasoning for re-election.

"President Obama brought his case to the country, showing why he deserves four more years," Jenkins said. "He was inspirational, motivational and gave people marching orders."

Kristen Stavisky, chairwoman of the Rockland Democrats—and Zebrowski's sister—agreed.

"Barack Obama and the Dems are fighting for education, health care—they're really fighting for the middle class," she said.

Stavisky spoke with Patch on the way to the airport, preparing to head back to Rockland.

"We're tired, but very enthusiastic," she said. "We're ready to get to work."

For Patch's coverage of the Republican National Convention, click here.

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