Even though the Republican National Convention was discussed in last week’s The Podium, there is a need to compare it with the Democratic National Convention, mainly the key speeches from each party.
The DNC, in Charlotte, N.C. this year, finished last Thursday. While Mitt Romney might have left Republicans full of optimism, President Obama left his supporters confident as his campaign continues forward.
Why are Democrats confident after last week? Not only did Obama accept the nomination for president, with “four more years” chants filling the air, but he also responded to republican attacks while telling voters what he will do if given those four more years.
The president had a little help from a friend as well.
“We are here to nominate a president,” Bill Clinton said. “And I’ve got one in mind … I want to nominate a man who is cool on the outside, but who burns for America on the inside. I want Barack Obama to be the next president of the United States and I proudly nominate him to be the standard bearer for the Democratic Party.”
Clinton spoke a day before Obama did, and he was on stage for close to 50 minutes, but he wasn’t just a cheerleader for our current president during his speech — after all he was campaigning with his wife, Hillary Clinton, four years ago against Obama — he laid out facts, numbers and truths. I will go as far as to say that his speech was better than the entire Republican convention.
It’s a bold claim but during Romney’s speech he spent a good portion of it telling America about his life rather than what he would do for this country. If Republicans needed to introduce him to the country, they should have picked another time to do it. Even when he did say something there wasn’t much behind it such as, “What America needs is jobs, lots of jobs.”
The big criticism of Obama is that he hasn’t done that great of job during his four years as president. He hasn’t fixed the economy or created enough jobs and he has put this country further into debt. Granted, the president hasn’t done everything he promised back in 2008, but when he got into office he was faced with one of the worst situations any incoming president has walked into.
“In Tampa the Republican argument against the president’s re-election was actually pretty simple, pretty snappy,” Bill Clinton said. “It went something like this, ‘we left him a total mess, he hadn’t cleaned it up fast enough, so fire him and put us back in.’”
Clinton’s right. George Bush did leave this country in severe turmoil, no one would have been able to fix what this country was in just four years. The country is doing better, whether you believe it or not, four more years could really turn things around.
As expected, the highlight of the DNC was President Obama’s acceptance speech. He did something different than Romney, in that his speech was full of substance.
There were two completely different approaches taken by the candidates. It took Romney 28 minutes of his 38-minute speech before he got to his five-step plan, the rest of the speech was rather dull. Obama didn’t waste any time getting down to business.
One of the strongest moments of Obama’s speech was the few minutes he spent talking about foreign policy. He said “my opponent and his running mate” are new to foreign policy, but back in 2008 so was Obama. He did respond to Romney’s comments about Russia: “You don’t call Russia our number one enemy, not al-Qaeda, Russia, unless you’re still stuck in a Cold War mind warp.”
The president went on to say that he will use the money not used for war to “pay down our debt and put more people back to work, rebuilding roads, bridges and schools because after two wars that have cost us thousands of lives and over a trillion dollars it’s time to do some nation building right here at home.”
Obama was forceful and stepped into the position of the stronger candidate. The conventions might be pep rallies for both sides, but the candidates needed to reach out to the undecided voters. Romney spoke to people that were there and those he knew would vote for him either way.
Obama actually tried to persuade the salvagables, and he did a much better job than his Republican opponent.