Saturday, September 8, 2012

SPECIAL SATURDAY REPORT: Democratic National convention a series of high points

Presiden6t Obama

Let’s get the latest jobs report out of the way first.  Not the best but not the worst.  Only 96,000 jobs added in August compared to 150,000 needed.  Almost 400,000 people dropping out of the job market, mostly age 16 to 24, giving up looking for a job.  My question here is what percentage of this group stopped looking to go back to school?  The unemployment rate dropped from 8.3% to 8.1%, primarily attributed to the 400,000 dropouts.

But knowing just what percent of that figure was to return to school could tell us how much of that .02 drop is valid.  Even one point would show success.  And another positive in the report is the fact that the jobs market improved for workers age 25 to 55, the backbone of the economy.  The unemployment rate for that group fell from 7.2% to 7.1%, which is extremely encouraging news.  A better report would have been welcomed by Obama but he can live with what he got.

Michelle Obama
Now to the convention itself.  David Gergen said on CNN following the Julian Castro, Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton talks: “It is possible that the electorate is so severely polarized at the moment that even a smashing convention or a smashing first debate can't really move the needle.”  All three of the above were smashing-plus and the President did on Thursday night just what he had to do.  Rebecca Sinderbrand says Obama hit the marks he needed.

He acknowledged that things aren’t “rosy.”  He didn’t say it but I will.  Barack Obama inherited the worst mess in the American economy and government since FDR’s Great Depression of 1932 and the New Deal.  Add to that the constant bickering and stonewalling of the President’s proposals by the GOP, with persistent refusals to this day to negotiate on most issues, once resulting in almost bringing down the U.S. economy.  Don’t forget this when you vote.

Bill Clinton

Obama had to look to the future and show us how his way would get us to our goals creating more jobs with overall economical improvements.  As an example of the things that can be done, he cited his rescue of the auto industry that has now saved 1.45 million jobs, and lowering taxes on the middle class to lift the burden they now face.  The Affordable Care Act, which will bring health care to 30 million Americans who desperately need it and free up emergency rooms.

In these cases, Mitt Romney would not have bailed out auto, would only lower taxes on the middle class with a huge decrease on the wealthy, and he and Ryan have  both vowed to repeal the health care bill.

The President told swing voters that he will work with Republicans in bipartisan efforts, reminding us that just last summer he negotiated with the GOP to cut $1 trillion in spending.  But he insisted it had to be a two-sided affair.  In the same vein he vowed not to approve new breaks for the wealthy, saying, “I refuse to go along with that. And as long as I'm President, I never will."  In a CBS/NYT poll recently, 65% of respondents said that the wealthy should be taxed more.

President Obama's full speech:

Michelle Obama talked about her husband’s personal side, painting a man who throughout all the trials and tribulations he has been put through, is the same strong person she knew in 2008, with the same goals and ideals for the country he had then.  During her speech, the President stayed home in Washington to see his daughters off on their first day of school.  If that picture of him with the girls watching Michelle doesn’t show family values, then nothing does.

V.P. Joe Biden
Vice President Joe Biden took us inside the White House saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, I'm here to tell you what I think you already know, that, I watch it up close, bravery resides in the heart of Barack Obama and, time and time again, I witnessed him summon it.”  He added, "This man has courage in his soul, compassion in his heart and a spine of steel…”  Then the classic, "Osama bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive!"
Of Bill Clinton’s talk, David Gergen said, “…he did what no other Democrat has done well: he saw the vulnerable holes in the Romney-Ryan budget plan and drove a Mack truck through them.”  CNN’s David Rothkopf said about Clinton, Obama “…is no doubt grateful for the brilliance with which Clinton defended his policies, the deftness with which he sliced up Mitt Romney with a razor made of finely honed, carefully forged praise for his Republican predecessors.”

In another article by Rebecca Sinderbrand, she commented on the 48 minute speech which some say was one-half ad-lib, saying it hit just about every item on the Obama “wish list.”  As an example:

• Appeal to the persuadable who cite bipartisanship as a key quality

• Re-frame Romney without alienating bipartisanship-worshipping swing voters

• Push back on the GOP's welfare attack

• Cast Obama as his ideological heir and most likely to bring back the Clinton boom years

You can read more about each in the above link.  Most interesting, I think, is how the legacy of the Clinton boom years was so carefully handed down to Obama, if the country re-elects him in November, and the GOP changes its policy of “no” to everything he proposes and begins to negotiate.  Also interesting will be the bump(s) the President gets from the convention.  One point, not a chance.

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