Democrats Can Continue Placing Hope in Obama

By + More

Despite the incongruous non-prime time emphasis on social issues, the Democratic National Convention's major speakers successfully revived the party's message of "hope."

While imploring patience and extolling President Obama's efforts, former President Bill Clinton gave a passionate and effective rebuttal to last week's Republican National Convention. Beating back the rhetorical frame of disillusionment, he offered folk wisdom ("a broken clock is right twice a day") and "arithmetic." For 48 minutes, fact upon fact–accurate or exaggerated–poured forth from his speech. Drenching the delegates in flattering partisan comparisons, Clinton restored Democrats' faith in the party's long-standing principles and policy solutions.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the 2012 campaign.]

Vice President Joe Biden and first lady Michelle Obama testified to Obama's strength of character and deep commitment to continue the change his presidency promised. They both told us that he was working hard and fretting mightily about the people's struggles and the nation's future. They told us he was not someone to ever count out and that we could trust him because they know him and they do. Translation: Democrats should continue placing their hopes in Obama.

Appropriately, the hope theme was most overtly present in Obama's speech. He framed anew his 2004 convention address ("I was a younger man…[I] spoke about hope") and joked about campaign attacks ("If you're sick of hearing me approve this message, believe me, so am I"). He also movingly highlighted the determination and resiliency of a few Americans who personify hope or what he called "that dogged faith in the future." Even though Obama provided little specificity and offered a limited vision of what his second term would entail, he did what he most needed to do: rouse his electoral base and place his first term into context.

[See Photos as Obama Accepts Democratic Nomination.]

As with Mitt Romney, Obama will surely enjoy some bounce in the polls among partisans who had been turned off by the summer's petty spats (e.g., eating dogs vs. mistreating dogs). Still, there's a long distance to travel before either candidate can credibly claim a significant electoral advantage.

Harkening back to last week, second quarter is over and the score's now tied at the half. How Obama and Romney come out of the locker room and approach this third quarter (September) will dictate the plays made during the final stretch (October). In short, 14-14 is awfully similar to 0-0.

Lara Brown

About Lara Brown Assistant Professor at Villanova University

Tags
Democratic National Convention
Romney, Mitt
Obama, Barack
2012 presidential election
Clinton, Bill
Biden, Joe
Obama, Michelle

Other Arguments

#1
131 Pts
Obama Succeeded at Ducking Reality

Yes – Obama Succeeded at Ducking Reality

Ford O'Connell Republican Strategist, Conservative Activist, and Political Analyst

#4
13 Pts
Obama Is Defying the Laws of Political Gravity

Yes – Obama Is Defying the Laws of Political Gravity

Brad Bannon President of Bannon Communications Research

#5
-11 Pts
Obama Appealed to Voters on Personality, Not Policy

No – Obama Appealed to Voters on Personality, Not Policy

Jamie Chandler Political Scientist at Hunter College

#6
-30 Pts
The Convention Was a Disaster for Obama

No – The Convention Was a Disaster for Obama

Judson Phillips Founder of Tea Party Nation

You Might Also Like


See More