Four years ago, things were different – much different. Rep. Arthur Davis represented an Alabama Congressional district and was a rising star in national Democratic politics. His abilities earned him the job of introducing then Sen. Barack Obama when he gave his acceptance at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. This year, he is speaking at the Republican National Convention.
"How many of you believed, four years ago, that Barack Obama was not just a politician?" Davis asked a crowd in Arlington, Va., on Wednesday.
The question Davis asked the crowd of Romney supporters was the same question he had to ask himself not long after Obama took office.
A graduate of Harvard Law School, Davis was first elected to Congress in 2002. Soon after, he found himself a whip within the Democratic Caucus and even had the responsibility of finding and grooming candidates in the Southern region.
In 2010, he decided to seek the Democratic nomination for governor of Alabama but lost in the primary to a more liberal white candidate by over 20 points. One reason may have been that he voted against the president's Affordable Healthcare Act because of the plan's massive expense and intrusive nature.
Fast forward to May 30 of this year when Davis announced he was leaving the Democratic Party and announced that he was now a Republican. As he wrote on his own blog, he never left the Democratic Party – they left him.
"As I told a reporter last week, this is not Bill Clinton's Democratic Party (and he knows that even if he can't say it)," Davis wrote on his blog. "If you have read this blog, and taken the time to look for a theme in the thousands of words (or free opposition research) contained in it, you see the imperfect musings of a voter who describes growth as a deeper problem than exaggerated inequality; who wants to radically reform the way we educate our children; who despises identity politics and the practice of speaking for groups and not one national interest; who knows that our current course on entitlements will eventually break our solvency and cause us to break promises to our most vulnerable-that is, if we don't start the hard work of fixing it."
And to bring Davis full-circle, on Thursday the Republican National Committee announced that he would be a "headliner" speaker at the party's convention later this month in Tampa, Fla.
Davis now resides in Northern Virginia with his wife and is a partner in a Washington, D.C., laws firm. But now his political life and enthusiasm have been resurrected as a member of the Grand Ole Party.