The Democratic Party and President Obama gather this week in Charlotte, North Carolina with one task in mind, to fend off charges and a sense of disappointment many voters feel in the Obama Administration which had so much promise four years ago, but has fallen short in many voters eyes in terms of delivery, especially on the job and economic fronts.
Democrat’s will try and counter last week’s Republican National Convention, where rival Mitt Romney worked to pry away these same voters by painting an image of President Obama as a nice guy who isn’t up to the challenge.
President Obama must answer that charge directly by showing wavering voters what the next four years would look like if he is given a second term and try and rekindle some of the massive enthusiasm and romance of his historic election four years ago.
It will boil down to the now famous simple question, “”Are you better off than you were four years ago?”
Asking Americans if they are better off than they were before the current president took over is hardly a new line in U.S. presidential politics, but Republicans ran with the phrase in their efforts to upstage the Democratic gathering.
They spent Sunday and Monday morning trying to highlight Democratic Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley’s answer of “No” when CNN asked him if Americans are better off than they were before Obama took office.
“By any measure the country has moved forward over the last four years; it might not be as fast as people hoped,” senior Obama adviser Stephanie Cutter told NBC’s “Today” show. “The president agrees with that. He knows we need to do more. That’s what this week is about, laying out a road map of how we can continue this progress, how we can continue moving the country forward.”
The Romney campaign kicked off the week’s counter-messaging Sunday night with a blistering preview of the Democratic convention, saying Obama “is going to give us a series of excuses, alibis and scapegoats.”
“Every president since the Great Depression, except Jimmy Carter and President Obama, who asked for a second term could look back at the last four years and say, “you are better off than you were four years ago,” it said in a statement.
President Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden will be nominated for second terms on Wednesday night, when former President Bill Clinton takes the stage as star speaker. The Obama Campaign are going through huge efforts to try and stir voters and his Democratic base by booking the 73,000-seat Bank of America Stadium for the prime-time speech on Thursday night and are bussing in thousands of supporter’s from neighbouring states in an attempt to fill the stadium for the speech.
No matter how positive or roaring President Obama’s speech is Thursday night, any bounce in the polls is likely to be short-lived. U.S. National debt is set to pass the staggering $16 trillion dollar mark when the Convention opens Tuesday. It has soared by over $5.3 Trillion in less than four years under President Obama, and the president ran on a platform of debt reduction in 2008.
Friday morning see’s August U.S. Unemployment figures released with many expecting it to stay at 8% or above again. Since the President spent almost $1 Trillion on his much advertised stimulus plan, U.S. unemployment has not been below 8%. If you take into account unemployed and underemployed the real figure is closer to 23 million people or a staggering 14.9%, no incumbent since Franklin Delano Roosevelt has won in those circumstances.
The President has already laid out the theme his party will hammer home at the Democratic National convention this week, declaring Republican challenger Mitt Romney wants to lead the country with failed and outdated ideas that go back to the last century.
On Thursday night, Obama, will try to convince voters that the recovery, though sluggish, is well under way, and that, if re-elected, he has a plan to boost the economy over the next four years. He is certain to attack Mitt Romney for wanting to give tax breaks to the wealthy and gut regulations, policies that he said led to the economic crisis that he inherited. But he also needs to persuade voters that he’s got a plan to grow the economy. He’s been talking for months about rebuilding the economy from the ground up, so that everyone gets a fair shot and everyone pays their fair share however; people have become tired of stirring speeches, they want a solid plan and believe that action will follow.
If there is any further disappointing news between now and November 6 election day, the mood of the nation may very well swing towards Romney and voters are not averse to jettisoning the incumbent if they feel President Obama cannot lead the nation to better economic times.