CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- President Barack Obama has argued his case for another four years, telling fellow Democrats the voters this fall face a "choice between two different paths for America."
In his speech accepting nomination for another term, Obama told the Democratic National Convention that the choice the Election Day will be "between two fundamentally different visions for the future."
Obama walked on stage to the thunderous cheers of thousands of party faithful. His convention speech in Charlotte, N.C., set White House markers for the campaign's final push.
The president conceded the problems facing the nation are serious, especially the economy. But he said, "You didn't elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. You elected me to tell the truth."
Obama also declared that the terrorist network al Qaida is, quote, "on the path to defeat and Osama bin Laden is dead."
Obama said that America has been tested by the cost of war, a troubled economy and crippling political gridlock.
"I won't pretend the path I'm offering is quick or easy," but he said that the challenges the country faces can be met if people work together.
In his speech, Obama told the audience that "in a world of new threats and new challenges," they should choose "leadership that has been tested and proven."
He didn't feel that way four years ago.
His campaign in 2008 was built on the ideas of hope and change. And during that time, he hit back against the idea that national security experience was critical for a new president. At the same time, opponent John McCain's camp was criticizing him for having very little experience governing.
Nor was the issue a small one four years ago. Polls indicated back then that many voters perceived Obama's biggest weakness then as his lack of foreign policy and national security experience, especially at a time when America was embroiled in wars.
Since then, of course, Obama has gained much experience during four years as president. Now, he says, experience is important.
Obama also took on climate change skeptics in his acceptance speech, saying he will continue to work to reduce carbon pollution that is warming the planet.
"Climate change is not a hoax. More droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke," Obama told delegates. "They're a threat to our children's future. And in this election, you can do something about it."
Obama's speech over, the arena is alive with American flags, Bruce Springsteen music and signs as he waves to the crowd. The end of this convention marks the beginning of the end of the campaign for the incumbent president -- the moment when the race becomes a sprint.
First lady Michelle Obama and their daughters are with him on the stage as Springsteen sings, "We take care of our own" and Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, join them amid a deluge of confetti -- which replaced the balloons planned when the speech was going to be outdoors.