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The Democratic National Convention, circa 2012
Now that the Republican National Convention is over with, we can finally get some sense out of the Democrats. There were three overriding themes in Tampa last week. The first one was that businesses forged the America we all know and love. The second theme was that Republicans are the party of businesses and Democrats are the party of dependance. And the third theme was that Obama, while not responsible for the economy he inherited, ultimately made it worse. As with all messages, the Republican Party's arguments can and will be countered by the Democrats in Charlotte. The only question is how.
The Republican Party spoke a great deal about how great businesses are, but the only person I heard speak of laborers and grunt work was Rick Santorum. (What was all of that about "hands" though?) The Republicans addresses business owners, not mere laborers, and that is an area that Obama needs to address. After all, factory workers, miners, and the laborers in the oil fields helped build this country, too.
Voters who were disappointed with Romney's speech will be listening closely to Obama. Where Romney was vague, Obama must be specific. Topics Romney chose to avoid must be topics that Obama addresses. Obama has a chance to sway the few truly undecided voters, and the only way he can do that is to show them how different a candidate he is from Mitt. And most important of all, Obama should highlight how his programs, from the stimulus to the Affordable Care Act, have helped Americans. He saved GM and Chrysler. Let millions hear it.
Obama has not been a failure, as Republicans high and low screech with intensifying volume, but the problem is that all of this screeching makes it hard for people to hear the other side. The Democratic National Convention gives Obama the opportunity to make his case. And he will have plenty of help. Bill Clinton will be giving the keynote address, you see, and that will play well with Bill's adoring fans. The former President loves the crowd, loves to talk, and will definitely be stealing the show. Unlike Chris Christie, however, Clinton is savvy enough to understand that he is not the one running for President. His speech may outshine Obama's, in the end, but Clinton will not be saving Obama for the last few sentences.
Then, there is Michele. She will be another hit. Unlike Barack, Michele has always been popular, and she has a story that most people can relate too. She hails from a working class family, and, like her husband, she had to work her way up by virtue of her own talent and hard work. Michele Obama is a great speaker as well, and she will allow her husband to lose without a fight. Ann Romney may be Romney's strongest card. Michele Obama is the President's strongest card.
And then there is Joe Biden. As long as he says something funny, makes sense and does not overpower the imagination, he has succeeded. The gaffe prone Vice President is not very popular, nationally, but he is a better speaker than many give him credit for. His worst tendency is to get carried away with one of his speeches. As long as Biden sticks to the script that Obama's team lays out to him, Biden should avoid Clint Eastwood style mistakes.
Democrats will not be facing a hurricane, Issac having deflated somewhat. But they can always create something terrible by themselves. They should address the concerns of the undecided voters, highlight the President's accomplishments in the past four years, and say something about the laborers who make up most workers in this country.