Following the frivolity of last week’s Republican National Convention in
Florida, all eyes on the Presidential election now swivel north toward
North Carolina as the Democrats this week do their thing.
On the agenda: officially nominating President Obama as the party’s candidate for the upcoming election, shouting down the Republican view of the world as seen in Tampa last week, and communicating, communicating, communicating that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are a REALLY BAD IDEA for America’s future.
Shouldn’t be too hard, should it? You’d be surprised.
It’s true – Democrats have a peculiar act to follow after last week’s Republican circus and that’s even if everybody politely ignores the train wreck speech/brilliant comedy performance from Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood where the Dirty Harry star rambled at an empty chair.
(To recap, Clint Eastwood is 82 years old.)
While Romney’s own party praised his Tampa acceptance speech others criticised his lack in putting forward exactly what his economic plans are, as well as oddly ignoring Afghanistan and US troops deployed overseas. Worryingly for Romney, that criticism came from people who should be backing Romney.
There was also the strange matter of Vice-President nominee Paul Ryan’s speech so loaded with distortions of fact that Ryan could claim to have created a jobs boom with the number of fact checkers put to work by his words.
Ryan – it turns out – doesn’t just tell lies in politics but was also forced to offer a “clarification” about his claims to have run a marathon race in less than three hours, a big deal among runners.
Obama’s huge electoral weakness is that the economy sucks. Everybody knows that. If the economy was in moderate condition then Romney would not even be given the half chance many people think that he has of a November victory.
What the President will want – need – to have done by the end of this week is do what appears personally counter-intuitive to him – play the blame game.
It. Is. The. Fault. Of. Republicans.
Obama and his Democrats also need to establish a clear difference between the choices facing voters in November: Romney and Ryan favour the rich over the middle class and want to turn back the clock to revisit the wayward years that got everyone in this mess in the first place.
Historically, Democrats have rarely communicated their assets and advantages over their political rivals and, oddly, that includes Obama’s own team during his first term. But the from-the-past narrative may be a strong hook.
“Despite all the challenges that we face in a new century what they offered… was an agenda that was better suited to the last century,” Obama said late last week, suggesting he may have found an angle.
“It was a re-run. It could have been in ‘Nick At Night’” he added, referring to a cable network that broadcasts TV shows from the ‘80s and ‘90s.
Communicate, communicate, and communicate. Hammer, hammer, hammer. Oh, and don’t drag out a sadly fading cultural icon to argue your case. Unless it is stuff like this.