National Conventions have now given two sides of the aisle a prime-time opportunity to have their say in making their case if their candidate were to win. Both parties did and said what they felt was needed to stir up their base, appeal to their core constituencies and reign in undecideds.
First up was the Republicans whose goal was to define their candidate, Mitt Romney, and show him as more appealing, to spotlight the diversity in the party which seemed to too many void among the delegates, to humanize and personalize the need for grown up decision making in dealing with our national deficit and debts as well as to help people appreciate the need for an opportunity society where all can realize their G-d given promise and dreams. Ann Romney in compelling remarks helped to humanize and personalize the man she loves. She encouraged Mitt Romney to run for president because she like so many believe the country needs a Mitt Romney as does the economy need a good dose of his business acumen. Condoleezza Rice without teleprompter knocked it out of the park in throwing down the gauntlet defining the need for national security and a foreign policy led from the front not behind as would be had with Romney as the national standard bearer. Florida Senator Marco Rubio of Cuban ancestry gave voice not just to Hispanic aspirations, but to the Romney roots of his father based in legal immigration from Mexico. And Mitt Romney defined himself as a devoted husband, family man, charitable, introspective man with needed business based economic skills rather than let others continue to define him.
After hurricane Isaac passed, the take away from the Republican Convention was that rich is not a dirty four letter word but the basis of an ownership society where many ābuilt itā fueling our economy; diversity isnāt just about color but reflects on the range of peoples from various socio-economic statuses and communities throughout our nation; small businesses and non-governmental entities must be encouraged and trusted to spur our economic growth; women are the life of the party; and his first focus will be on helping you take care of your families through a sound economy and jobs with a future. Romney offered five areas for which he proposed concrete actions including reigning in the deficit via economic targeting of regulations, spending controls to 20% of the GDP, decreasing taxes on all citizens by 20%, opening the nationās energy stores including developing the pipeline from Canada across America and providing more choices in education for children at risk and those below the poverty line.
The Democrats had a more daunting path as their parade was rained on on so many levels. The storm created from taking G-d from their platform and striking down support for Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel derailed their first day. Try as the convention chairman, Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles, California may, it was clear by voice vote that 2/3ās of the delegation did not agree to reinserting those two planks. Adding this to perceived platform language increasingly seen by many as anti-Christian--in support of āabortion on demand,ā homosexual rights to marry or expansion of entitlements without defining resources to pay for them and a more leftward shift in philosophy could erode away bits from their coalitions and cost them with valued constituencies including blacks, Hispanics, Jews and other religious groups.
Michelle Obama defined her husband Barack Obama in ways that appealed to the based and defended his record of achievements including no brainers--killing Osama Bin Laden and being a good father. But the most perplexing choice, yet probably best speaker, was 42nd President Bill Clinton who was given the role of star defense attorney as well as keynoter which is usually reserved for up and coming party stars. Clinton skillfully tried to deflect blame for Obamaās failures to rescue the economy as had been promised in thee years or be a one-term president; cloaked himself as a non-significant stakeholder in the housing debacle where he, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and too many others sought to loosen regulations on lending; may also have been laying the ground for a Hilary Clinton presidential run in 2016; tried to make us forget that prior to 9-11 he had Osama Bin Laden in his site and let him go; or in the war on women, his extra-marital infidelities were the biggest insult to the fairer sex. Clinton gave one helluva speech as Obamaās defense attorney though it seemed as long as the one he gave in helping sink Michael Dukakisās 1988 presidential convention.
But the man of the hour was Barack Obama who in using Bill Clinton as his political shield also reminded us that in terms of political acumen, Obama is no Bill Clinton. Barack Obama fell flat in offering the same 2008 type lofty platitudes designed to baffle with his presumed brilliance without providing substance on how these could be achieved. All democrats asked for āMore Timeā without offering hope that a next time would be that different or a significant change from previous Obama Administration policies.
The sands in the hour glass of time continue to run down. It isnāt just the independents or those on the fence who are up for grabs, now it is up to all of the American people to decide who they want to close the deal for this, a nation in the continuing throes of a multi-layered economic crisis.
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