Just in case the sheer excitement and wondrousness of the GOP Convention last week wasn't enough for you, the Democrats open today in Charlotte--known better as the Monte Carlo of central North Carolina--with their own convention. The lineup of speakers has what you'd expect--Obama, his wife, Biden (who will probably go un-Biden and leave his ukelele at home), Julian Castro as keynoter (usually goes to an up and comer). Then there are some others:
1) For some reason gaffe-machine Harry Reid is going to speak, and hopefully he has nothing left to say about how impressed he is with Obama's lack of "negro dialect". The best thing that could happen for Harry is to fall asleep in middle of his speech, unless of course he is prone to talking in his sleep.
2) Debbie Wasserman-Shultz? I only would want to watch her in a debate with Michele Bachmann so the discussion could go into full derp. This is our Congress, my fellow Americans.
3) Eva Longoria is speaking, which is great because up until now I was thinking the Democrats don't have enough pampered celebrities to turn off middle America. (Although in another way Longoria "turns on" middle America, if you know what I mean! I mean she's very attractive) Unfortunately, I doubt she'll have anything as memorable to say as Clint Eastwood did last week.
4) Sandra Fluke is speaking? If your claim to fame is being rudely insulted by Rush Limbaugh, then I don't really care to see you speak unless you actually have Limbaugh out there too so you can insult him right back. If I were advising Fluke I'd suggest bringing out a chair . . .
The theme for a lot of these speakers seems to be the Democrats' claim to a "war on women" being launched by Republicans, focusing on social issues--abortion, contraception, Lilly Ledbetter Act, etc. This keeps in line with a "base" election, aiming for strong turnout among the Left and widening the gender gap is a big part of that. While this might work (as a "base" strategy worked for Bush in 2004) it's also likely to produce a narrow margin victory and ensure that the constructive and civil atmosphere of Washington for the past several years will continue for another four.
The thing is, for the "persuadable" voters who are sour on Obama, the main issue is the economy--the 8.3% unemployment figure (and higher when other measurements, such as underemployment) looms large almost five years after the start of the Recession, and low house prices and high gas prices give the GOP an opening this fall. If Obama wants to break this wide open--by which I mean match his 2008 performance--he's got to convince those voters of the following: (a) four years ago the economy was in free-fall crisis and people had reason to believe the banks would all collapse; (b) the economy has improved a great deal since then, and while it is still sluggish we're adding jobs steadily; (c) Obama has been open to long-term debt reduction using everything across the board, but the GOP is absolutely unwilling to increase revenue in any way whatsoever and will scuttle any deal that includes that.
If I were Obama's strategist, that's the drumbeat I'd be hitting, as the Left base is already going to turn out big time, and the GOP (cough cough, Todd Akin, Rick Santorum) are giving the Democratic base all the prodding they need. Of course, I'm no high paid strategist so my advice and a nickel wouldn't get you a Hershey bar.