Reflection on the 2012 Democratic National Convention
by Robert Randle
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The one thing that can be said about the DNC held at Charlotte, NC is that the Democrats made a better case to get votes than the Republicans did at their convention. It was unfair in a way because no one in the sphere of American politics can speak like former president Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama. Not to be ignored is the influence and popularity of First Lady Michelle Obama, especially among an important voting block, namely White, college-educated women. Her speech at the convention reintroduced Barack Obama as the love of her life and the man she trusts, so America should trust him again, too. It was almost like a rewind to the 2008 campaign with the biographical narrative and the deep commitment Michelle has as Mom-in-Chief toward her daughters Sasha and Malia.
In fact, a consistent theme throughout the convention was a page borrowed from the Republicans, which included family values, patriotism and faith. There was also a risk in championing a social agenda of gay rights and women’s health choices and it will be interesting to see if it registered with potential undecided voters. Bill Clinton essentially gave the speech that President Obama needed to give, namely on policy, in a point-by-point manner which dismantled the claims by Mitt Romney and the Republicans that President Obama has run out of ideas, his policies are failing and he is leading the country in the wrong direction.
President Obama’s speech before convention delegates was a little anemic and it indicates the reality of where he and the country are now since 2008. It’s a little difficult to be inspirational with a huge and unsustainable national debt which exceeds the GDP and unemployment at over 8% [the “real” jobless rate probably exceeds 12% or higher nationally]. Even the 29 months of employment growth and 4½ million jobs are mostly low paying, part-time retail and service sector jobs with little or no benefits. As far as manufacturing jobs, probably the only that have been filled are the thousands of blue collar ones at GM and Chrysler that received the government bailout money. It was good for those employees and their parts supplier workers but I don’t know about anybody else who benefited from the Fed’s [or rather the 99% taxpayers] generosity.
Additionally, the August jobs report from the Bureau of labor Statistics (BLS) on the day after the DNC ended the economy only added 96,000 jobs instead of several prominent economists prediction of 136,000 and the manufacturing sector is at its lowest level in two years with a loss of 15,000 jobs in the month of August. It is now believed that there are 23 million Americans that are unemployed and/or have given up looking for work of any kind.
The one curious thing that has dominated the Obama campaign as well as the DNC Convention, and which has been difficult for Mitt Romney to shake off, is the allegation that he was a corporate raider while the CEO of venture capitalist BAIN Investments. Mitt and BAIN raked in millions of dollars while gutting some of the companies in their portfolio as these firms had lain off workers and went out of business. Be that as it may, Romney didn’t help his case when he was quoted as saying he likes to fire people, or by making a $10,000 bet to Texas Governor Rick Perry during one of the debates, opposing the government of GM and Chrysler or failing to release more than one year of his income taxes as well as having assets in offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands or in Switzerland.
The slogan that came out of the RNC was spoken by Ann Romney when she said that “Mitt will not fail” and from Michelle Obama at the DNC when she urged Americans to “trust” her husband. President Obama used words reminiscent of former Republican Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush during the Iraq War, namely, “Stay the course” and things will get better. This seems more like “Mission Impossible” and change usually leads to things getting better rather than worse. While it is true that the country is not hemorrhaging job losses by the tens of thousands like when Barack Obama first became president but its like the old saying, “When everybody else is out of work it is a recession, and when you are out of work it is a depression.” Perhaps to President Obama it is like that old Heinz ketchup commercial that says, “Anticipation is making me wait” but the country can’t afford to wait 4 MORE YEARS and we need “change” NOW!!
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September 7, 2012
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