Posts tagged with "DNC"

Sep 7

Obama’s Moment

Did Obama close the deal last night? Probably not, but he established the proper tone, beginning with the reminder that he IS the president. I thought the Republicans’ mocking tone at their convention was a false note that doesn’t play outside the hall. Ridicule may feed the red meat base, but I don’t think it sits well with independent voters. People still instinctively like Obama, and are instinctively leery of Romney. The campaign themes are now set: Romney wants the election to be a referendum on Obama’s four years; Obama wants it to be about a choice between different paths—if you throw me out what are you replacing me with? So far, Romney has done a poor job of explaining why he should be the replacement. 

Sep 6

Vintage Clinton

Another high for the Dems, at least inside the convention hall. It was vintage Bill Clinton, speaking for 48 entertaining minutes instead of the scheduled 28, and nobody in the hall was ready for him to stop when he finally wound down. He made the best case yet for keeping Obama in office, blasting the Republicans’ radical notions of economic governance, somehow without demonizing the opposition in the process, a skill no Republican seems to possess. I hope people were watching. The only question remaining for tonight is whether Obama will be able to match Clinton’s performance.

If the Democrats could somehow channel that message and that tone in the coming weeks, Obama would be re-elected by a landslide. I expect, however, that every rational voice will be drowned out in a deluge of viciously negative advertising. 

Sep 4

Better Off?

The Republicans have been hammering Obama with Ronald Reagan’s famous question, asked during his debate with Jimmy Carter, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” It’s a trick question, of course. The economy collapsed at the very end of the Bush presidency, and the downward spiral continued until mid-2009, when unemployment reached 10%. The stock market bottomed out in December of 2008, before Obama took office.  Since then, there’s been steady, if slow improvement. The stock market has regained much of its value, and unemployment, while still high, is hovering near 8%. This does Obama little good, however. “Actually, we’re ever so slightly better off than we were four years ago” isn’t much of a slogan to run on.

A better one might be, “I’m not Jimmy Carter, and Mitt Romney sure isn’t Ronald Reagan.”

It will be interesting to see how Obama and the Dems counter the continuing misrepresentations of the Republican candidates. I’m hoping that Obama comes out swinging, and offers a big, broad, visionary economic plan, even if it’s all but certain it would never get through a stalemated Congress. The Republicans have offered nothing new, just a repetition of the destructive policies that got us here in the first place. Cut taxes for the rich, deregulate business.  ”Are you better off now” is a shopworn retread. Can nostalgia for the Reagan era compete with a genuine vision? I hope we’ll find out over the next three days.