1996 Democratic National Convention

The 1996 National Convention of the U.S. Democratic Party was held at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, from August 26 to August 29, 1996. President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore were nominated for reelection. This was the first national convention of either party to be held in Chicago since the disastrous riots of the 1968 Democratic convention, and as of 2016, the most recent presidential convention held in the city by either major party.

1996 Democratic National Convention
1996 presidential election
Clinton and Gore
Date(s)August 26–29, 1996
CityChicago, Illinois
VenueUnited Center
Keynote speakerEvan Bayh
Notable speakersChristopher Dodd
Mario Cuomo
Hillary Clinton
Christopher Reeve
Ted Kennedy
Presidential nomineeBill Clinton of Arkansas
Vice Presidential nomineeAl Gore of Tennessee
Total delegates4,289
Votes needed for nomination2,147
Results (President)Clinton (AR): 4,277 (99.72%)
Abstaining: 12 (0.28%)
Results (Vice President)Gore (TN): 4,289 (100%)

Site selection

United Center 060716
The United Center was the site of the 1996 Democratic National Convention

Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, and San Antonio were originally considered as possible host cities. On August 4, 1994, it was announced that Chicago had beaten out the other finalist, San Antonio, for the right to host the convention.[1] This would mark the first time that Chicago hosted a major presidential year political convention since the violent 1968 Democratic National Convention, and the first time a political convention was held in the United Center, which had been built earlier that decade.

Notable speakers

The convention's keynote speaker was Governor Evan Bayh of Indiana. The nomination speech was given by Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut. Other notable speakers included former New York governor Mario Cuomo, First Lady of the United States Hillary Rodham Clinton, actor Christopher Reeve, House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, and other Senators Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, and John Kerry and Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts.

Clinton's renomination speech

President Clinton's Remarks at the 1996 Democratic National Convention (1)
Bill Clinton delivering his renomination speech
1996 Democratic National Convention
President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, Senator Paul Simon and others on stage celebrating the renomination of Bill Clinton as the Democratic Party candidate for president

Clinton's speech on August 29 included his vision for the next decade, included tax cuts for the middle-class, 20 million more jobs, a strong defense with cuts in the military, but a strong presence of peacemaking troops, new military weapons and tanks, welfare reform goals for states and communities, and a peaceful transition for the Middle East.

Lyndon LaRouche

Lyndon LaRouche had run for president through multiple parties over multiple election cycles. In 1996, he ran for the nomination of the Democratic party, despite the Chair of the Democratic National Party ruling that Lyndon LaRouche "is not to be considered a qualified candidate for nomination of the Democratic Party for President" before the primaries began. In subsequent primaries LaRouche received enough votes in Louisiana and Virginia to get one delegate from each state. When the state parties refused to award the delegates, LaRouche sued in federal court, claiming a violation of the Voting Rights Act. After losing in the district court, the case was appealed to the First District Court of Appeals, which sustained the lower court.[2]


Clinton was nominated unanimously for a second term and Vice President Al Gore by voice vote.

Democratic National Convention presidential vote, 1996[3]
Candidate Votes Percentage
Bill Clinton 4,277 99.72%
Abstentions 12 0.28%
Totals 4,337 100.00%

Clinton and Gore went on to defeat Bob Dole of Kansas and Jack Kemp in the November general election in an Electoral College landslide with a substantial popular vote margin.

Notable events

In the middle of the convention, many of the delegates danced to the song Macarena. Al Gore famously danced to the song while standing still.[4][5]

The original Broadway cast of Rent performed "Seasons of Love" at the end of the Convention.[6][7]

Taste of Chicago, a group of restaurants who have an annual street festival, catered the press area.

See also


  1. ^ "Chicago Convention". CNN All Politics. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  2. ^ "USA v. Khan Mohammed". U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  3. ^ "Democrat Convention 2000". The Green Papers. Archived from the original on 18 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-29.
  4. ^ Lawrence, Derek (July 29, 1996). "Relive Hillary Clinton dancing to the 'Macarena' at the 1996 DNC". Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  5. ^ Plante, Chris (July 29, 2016). "When the Macarena moved Hillary Clinton and the 1996 Democratic National Convention to dance". The Verge. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  6. ^ Metz, Nina (February 8, 2008). "Seasons of 'Rent': From 'La Boheme' to becoming an icon". Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  7. ^ Román, David (February 1, 1998). Acts of Intervention: Performance, Gay Culture, and AIDS. Indiana University Press. p. 282. ISBN 978-0-253-21168-2. Retrieved August 1, 2016.

External links

Preceded by
New York, New York
Democratic National Conventions Succeeded by
Los Angeles, California
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Debra DeLee

Debra DeLee (born 1948) was Chair of the Democratic National Committee from 1994 to 1995, and was the second woman to hold the post. She also served as CEO of the Democratic National Committee.

She is currently President and CEO of Americans for Peace Now (APN), a national Zionist organization dedicated to enhancing Israel's security through peace and to supporting the Israeli Peace Now movement. She was born in Chicago, Illinois, is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She was a superdelegate for the 2008 Democratic National Convention and endorsed United States Senator Hillary Clinton of New York in the primaries.

Dick Dearden

Dick L. Dearden (born June 3, 1938) was the Iowa State Senator from the 34th District. A Democrat, he served in the Iowa Senate from 1995 to 2017 representing the Northeast part of Des Moines and Pleasant Hill, Iowa.

Donavan Mitchem

Donavan Mitchem (born c. 1989) is an American from Chicago, noted for political activism, including a stint as a television correspondent on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

At age 7, Mitchem talked his way into the 1996 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Mitchem picketed in front of the United Center for more than four hours with a placard reading "Let me in, DNC. Let me in." Given a pass from a representative of the Transport Workers Union of America, it took another three hours to convince security to let his mother and him in on the same pass. Once inside, he attracted the interest of the press. Afterward, Oprah Winfrey made Donavan a correspondent, and he covered President Bill Clinton’s victory speech in Little Rock, attended his inauguration in Washington, D.C., and attended the 2000 DNC as a guest of Clinton.

By age 11, Mitchem had been President of the "Purple Kiddy Group" at Rainbow/PUSH, and had written for the Chicago Defender.

In 2000 Mitchem served as an ambassador for the United States at the United Nations as part of the Millennium Dreamers Program. Mitchem attended a special session of the UN General Assembly as a guest of Nan Annan, wife of former Secretary General Kofi Annan.

In addition to his history as an activist, Mitchem has been an actor since the age of 7, appearing in national ad campaigns for Tost'em breakfast pastries, Payless Shoe Source and Connor Prairie museums. In 2001 Mitchem starred in "Christmas Carol" at Chicago's Goodman Theatre.

Mitchem graduated from University of Chicago Laboratory Schools in June 2007. He currently attends DePaul University. He writes for the blog "Cornbread and Matzah" [1] under the name Hi-Fi, and also serves as a chief research analyst for the National Black Leadership Forum in Washington D.C.

Electoral history of Al Gore

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Electoral history of Bill Clinton

Electoral history of Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States (1993–2001); 40th and 42nd Governor of Arkansas (1979–1981 and 1983–1992).

Macarena (song)

"Macarena" (Spanish pronunciation: [makaˈɾena]) is a Spanish dance song by Los del Río about a woman who cheats on her boyfriend while he is being drafted into the army. Appearing on the 1993 album A mí me gusta, it was an international hit and dance craze in 1995, 1996, and 1997, and continues to be a popular dance at weddings, parties, and sporting events. One of the most iconic examples of 1990s dance music, it was ranked the "#1 Greatest One-Hit Wonder of All Time" by VH1 in 2002.

The song uses a type of clave rhythm. In 2012, it was ranked as the No. 7 on Billboard's All Time Top 100. It also ranked at No. 1 on Billboard's All Time Latin Songs. It is also Billboard's No. 1 dance song and one of six foreign language songs to hit No. 1 since 1995's rock era began.

Mark Longietti

Mark A. Longietti (born January 16, 1964) is a Democratic member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, representing the 7th District and was elected in 2006.Longietti, a native of Sharpsville, Pennsylvania, attended Westminster College and Boston College Law School. After graduation in 1988, he served as a law clerk for a year and was a partner with Routman, Moore, Goldstone and Valentino until 2000. In 2001, he operated an independent practice and served as solicitor for Mercer County, Pennsylvania since 2004.He has served as a member of the Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee since 1993. He was a delegate to the 2000 Democratic National Convention and an alternate delegate to the 1996 Democratic National Convention.

Rennie Davis

Rennard Cordon "Rennie" Davis (born May 23, 1941) is a spiritual lecturer and venture capitalist who is best known for his prominent organizational role in the American anti-Vietnam War protest movement of the 1960s. He was one of the Chicago Seven defendants.

Roger Clinton Jr.

Roger Clinton Jr. (born July 25, 1956) is an American actor and musician. He is the younger half-brother of former United States President Bill Clinton.

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The War Room

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United Center

United Center on the Near West Side of Chicago, Illinois, is home to the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League (NHL), named after its corporate sponsor, United Airlines.

The United Center's predecessor, the Chicago Stadium, was demolished after the new arena opened in 1994. The first event at the United Center was the WWF SummerSlam. Due to a lockout, the Blackhawks did not move in until the 1994-95 NHL season.

The east side of the arena features statues of Michael Jordan, Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita, while a statue of various Blackhawks sits to the north on Madison Street, where the Chicago Stadium was located.

United Center also hosted the 1996 Democratic National Convention.

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of the DNC
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