CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA, USA- The Democratic National Convention (DNC) has just finished their process of nominating Barack Obama for a second term. He has accepted.
The Democrats enjoyed the large advantage of going second-the Republicans held their convention last week in Tampa-and were able to rebut many of the attacks and parries directed at them by the Republicans. Mr. Obama meticulously laid out his successes of the last four years and his goals for the next four. A common theme was 'forward, not back". Though Mr. Obama's speech was good, it was not nearly his best. He was neither able nor inclined to give a speech of soaring rhetoric, this speech was mostly nuts and bolts.
Most political analysts believed that Mr. Obama would enjoy a greater bounce in the national polls as a result of his convention, as opposed to Mr. Romney and his. Those same analysts were nearly universal in their agreement as to the reason for this bounce. It is called Bill Clinton.
Mr. Clinton once again was given the chance to show America his sublime speaking skills, and he did not disappoint. Mr. Clinton has always been able to take the most wonky political jargon and explain it in a way that even the most casual observer of American politics understands. He also made it seem as if he was speaking to individuals, not some 20,000 in a large hall. It was completed with unscripted add ons which were used to give the grandest effect. He gave an absolute vintage Clintonian speech.
But some of the facts remain suspect at worst and embellished at best. Messrs Clinton and Obama both touted the job growth enjoyed in America while Democrats occupied the White House. But who was in Congress? Did they reap what had been sown before by earlier presidents? Even Mr. Clinton spoke of how the economy today is improving, but many do not feel it yet. He asked America to renew Obama's contract so that they could enjoy prosperity similar to what they had experienced during Mr. Clinton's tenure (the longest and highest peacetime economic growth ever in the USA-Clinton's words).
To deflect some of the criticisms levied by the Republicans on the shaky economy, the Democrats have chosen to attack the Republican on mostly national security and women's freedom of choice. They have defended their somewhat inconclusive programs of the last four years with a call to double down. Democrats believe that investing more on education, infrastructure and social programs is the best way to rise up from the deepest recession since the Great Depression. The voters will decide on November 6th if this is the best way, or to allow the Republicans a chance to implement their plan, which calls for massive tax cuts and cuts in spending.