The Democratic National Convention starts on Sept. 4. WGBH’s Sarah Birnbaum spoke with members of the Massachusetts delegation in Charlotte, N.C. State auditor Suzanne Bump says they know from personal experience living with Mitt Romney in charge that he will not lead the nation better going forward.

"Massachusetts delegates have a unique perspective. That imposes upon us a unique obligations, to talk to fellow delegates, particularly in states where there is a less certain path to a Democratic victory in November," she says.

Democratic political operative Alex Goldstein says Massachusetts delegates also need to defend President Barack Obama’s record, especially on the economy.

“I think there seems to be broad consensus about the issues delegates want to be talking about when they’re here in Charlotte,” he says. “They want to talk about the president’s economic record: 4.5 million jobs created in the last 2-plus years …  they want to be talking about health care and in the first time in 90 years we’ve extended health care to all Americans." 

Observers say the slow rate of economic recovery could cost. Obama the election. Meanwhile the Romney campaign is asking voters a simple question: "Are you better off than you were 4 years ago?" Polling suggests the message may resonate with voters who continue to like the president personally but are frustrated with the pace of the economic recovery 2 months before Election Day.

The Massachusetts delegation is playing a prominent role at the convention. Gov. Deval Patrick is speaking on the first day. There will be a Kennedy tribute presented by Joe Kennedy III, who is running for Congress. Sen. John Kerry will be speaking and so will U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren.