CHARLOTTE, NC (NEWS1130) – Democrats assemble today to re-nominate Barack Obama for the presidency, to sell him as the wise and humane alternative to Republican challenger Mitt Romney, a pitch that will be repeated endlessly over the next two months to an American electorate that is more politically divided than at any time in at least a quarter century.

As they watch the political stagecraft, there may be only one thing all Americans can agree on: Deep concern over the struggling American economy that has made only a halting recovery from the Great Recession and near meltdown of the US financial sector just before the nation’s first African-American president took office 3 and a half years ago.

Through the course of the Democratic National Convention this week, Obama and his party will be fighting Romney’s argument that the president has failed and will only lead the country deeper into debt and economic despair. That was the Republican theme at their national convention last week in Tampa, Florida.

First lady Michelle Obama’s speech tonight is an early highlight of a three-day convention schedule that has drawn thousands of delegates to North Carolina, a state that Obama narrowly carried in 2008.

Although Obama no longer is the fresh-faced newcomer who leveraged a short Senate career into an audacious run for the nation’s highest office, he still can excite partisans, and Democrats were counting on massive numbers to pack a stadium for his acceptance speech.

Obama has been and will be arguing that Romney brings nothing more to his quest for the White House than plans and policies that are a reprise of those employed by former Republican President George W. Bush, under whose watch the Great Recession began and the financial collapse occurred.

Most Americans still hold Bush responsible for the start of the economic difficulties afflicting the US, but they are split on which candidate is best equipped to return the country to robust growth.