Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski and Rep. Steny Hoyer were given speaking slots at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte yesterday, but it was Rep. Chris Van Hollen — the least senior amongst them — who got the prime spot later in the evening. He reminded the audience that he sits across from Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan on the Budget Committee.
"You remember the Republicans had this gigantic clock in the arena showing the size of the national debt," he says. "And Paul told America if you elect Republicans, we can fix that. But if Paul Ryan was being honest he would have pointed to that clock and said we built that."
Maryland Del. Elizabeth Paul and delegates from across the U.S. ate up Van Hollen's speech. Paul says Van Hollen is such an asset to her party because he can present a clear, simple message.
"The Romney/Ryan plan would take us back to deregulation and all the things that led to the economic decline that we're trying to get out of," says Paul. "And I think Van Hollen has really worked hard and tried to make it clear and understandable to the average American of what the difference is, and what that means in the two plans."
Tonight Van Hollen won't be on the minds of Maryland delegates as all eyes will be on President Obama as he tries to recapture the energy that propelled him into the White House.
Virginia's attorney general Ken Cuccinelli will face former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe in November to become Virginia's 72nd governor.