‘Hope’ moves forward
A recap of the Democratic National Convention
Published: Thursday, September 6, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
President Obama accepted his nomination as the Democratic presidential candidate last night in Charlotte, N.C. The Democratic National Convention closed Thursday night.
In his acceptance speech, Obama acknowledged the slow progress in solving America’s economic issues, but said: “Our problems can be solved, our challenges met.” Obama admitted it “will take more than a few years to fix problems we’ve built up over decades.”
Prior to Obama’s speech, Joe Biden enthused Democrats by pointing out Obama’s accomplishments throughout his term.
“Osama Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive,” Biden declared. He ended his speech stating, “America’s best days are ahead and we’re all on our way.”
On Wednesday, former President Bill Clinton captivated the public. Clinton’s speech was more popular on Facebook than the NFL’s kickoff game, according to CNN.
Clinton defended Obama, especially in regard to the president’s management of the economy. He stated that no president could have completely repaired the damaged economy within four years.
UB distinguished political science professor James Campbell believes Clinton was used to galvanize Democrats.
“Former President Clinton is highly regarded by all parts of the Democratic Coalition,” Campbell said. “Democrats know they’re in a tough fight this time and there is an enthusiasm gap Republicans sense based on President Obama and the sense that he can be defeated, and [Republicans] think he ought to be defeated.”
College Democrats Vice President Brendan Dunn feels Clinton rightly came to Obama’s defense and brought up key points that went against allegations regarding how Obama has handled the economy.
However, Campbell doesn’t agree with some of the statements made in Clinton’s partially ad-libbed speech.
“President Clinton is trying to spin [a greater repair of the economy] as unachievable even though President Obama said it was achievable at the time and other presidents have done it,” Campbell said.
Campbell pointed out former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt inherited a horrid economy from Herbert Hoover in 1932 and by 1934, the economy was increasing by 11 percent. Halfway through his term, the economy had risen substantially, according to Campbell.
Obama brought up FDR in his acceptance speech, stating repairing the economy “will require common effort, shared responsibility and the kind of bold persistent experimentation” that FDR employed.
On the first day of the convention, Michelle Obama gave what Dunn called “a fiery speech.” She said her husband brought the economy back from collapse and created jobs.
“The speech humanized her; it humanized Barack,” Dunn said. “It showed their relationship. She certainly came across as the smartest and most organic first lady in recent memory during that speech.”
When candidates speak, their focus is on appearance or attacking opponents and they’re serious about issues, according to Campbell.
“You see the politicians, and you don’t see the person,” Campbell said. He felt the actions taken by both Michelle Obama and Ann Romney to counteract that sentiment were successful.
The convention yielded drama on Wednesday when approving the Democratic platform. The newly proposed platform didn’t include the mention of God or the plight for Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel. After uproar, Obama intervened and the language of the platform was changed to once again include God and the position on Jerusalem.
Romney and Obama are tied for the general election in the polls, according to realclearpolitics.com.
Historically candidates get a “bump” in the polls as a result of their conventions, Campbell said. This wasn’t the case with Romney, and he is unsure if Obama will receive the historically anticipated “bump.”