CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Now this is a political party.

The 62 delegates from South Carolina joined hundreds of others and regular people from Charlotte and beyond for a street festival here today marking the beginning of the Democratic National Convention.

The showers seemed to be holding off, at least at first, as James Taylor and other performers were set to take the stage at a large downtown plaza.

Also, the convention schedulers set U.S. Rep. James Clyburn’s speaking slot for around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, and Clyburn said he will use his time to talk about how President Barack Obama has kept faith with the American people, particularly by withdrawing troops for Iraq, hunting down Osama bin Laden and reforming healthcare.

Clyburn said Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley was trying to be modest when he commented on TV that Americans aren’t better off than four years ago. O’Malley also said that’s not the big question for this election.

Clyburn noted the U.S. economy was on the verge of collapse in September 2008, but it has since seen 29 consecutive months of job growth.

“For anybody to look at where we are today and look at where we were four years ago this month and not say we are not better off, they are just smoking something,” Clyburn said.

Read more in tomorrow’s Post and Courier.