At the DNC: Making the Case for Obama

Posted on September 5, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

By Scott Orr

The Republicans left their convention in Tampa last week after hammering away at the theme that America is worse off now than it was when Obama took office almost four years ago.

The Democrats’ goal at their convention in Charlotte should be to try to show that that’s just not true. And while the Democrats are vowing to take the political high road, there will no doubt be an adequate dose of Romney bashing.

Speakers will include a wide range of politicians from across the country, but the Democrats have a pair of rock stars in their line-up: First Lady Michelle Obama and former President Bill Clinton. Michelle Obama, who has established herself as a thoughtful and articulate spokesman for her husband’s policies and knows better than anyone the human side of the president, did not disappoint on Tuesday night.

Though she never mentioned Romney by name, her remarks portrayed her husband as a man who was raised by a single mother of modest means and who met every challenge on his way to political stardom. “We learned about dignity and decency — that how hard you work matters more than how much you make,” she said.

But it was Clinton who brought the real star power, even if Obama was Hillary Rodham Clinton’s political foe in 2008. Among many independent voters, women, and minorities, Clinton is a generational statesman whose administration saw a robust economy, a balanced federal budget and an America that was, generally speaking, at peace.

He too echoed the theme that while the nation is still struggling, it is better off than when Obama took office.

“Are we where we want to be today? No. Is the president satisfied? Of course not. But are we better off than we were when he took office?” Clinton asked. The convention hall erupted with shouts of “Yes!”

The Democratic platform, meanwhile, is aimed squarely at middle-class voters, with the claim that President Obama’s economic program is beginning to work and will pay off big time if given four more years to achieve its promise.

More specifically, you can expect speakers to highlight Obama’s leadership over the last four years and how he has not been afraid to deal with political risky challenges like health care reform, economic stimulus, and same-sex marriage. Obama can also be expected to lay out a job creation plan, as Romney did at the GOP convention.

There are decent arguments and evidence on both sides of the question of whether America is better off now than it was four years ago. The last time the “are-you-better-off” strategy worked was in 1980 when Ronald Reagan used it to knock off Jimmy Carter.

The Romney campaign has made it clear that they are giving the strategy another shot, so expect the Democrats to make the case that Obama is no Carter and Romney is no Reagan.

Turner GPA is a leading D.C.-based national lobbying and government affairs firm dedicated to delivering cutting edge policy advocacy for the manufacturing, defense, aerospace, health and energy industries. Members of our professional policy team can be reached at (202) 466-2511. We are also on the Web at www.turnergpa.com.

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