It may seem as though President Obama took a page right out of Aaron Sorkin’s book on presidential machismo when he declared in his acceptance speech last night at the DNC, “I’m no longer just a candidate, I’m the President.” (Everyone remembers that awesome scene in “The American President” when the fictional President Andrew Shepherd, played by Michael Douglas, boldly finishes his press conference with the line, “My name is Andrew Shepherd and I am the President!”) But the real President’s speech last night was actually layered with abounding humility as he used the words “you” and “we” over and over again, and declared to the world, “You are the change.”
During his 38-minute speech, the shortest acceptance speech by an incumbent in 36 years, the President set out to frame the election as a choice between two entirely different visions, not a referendum. According to Nate Silver’s count, Obama used the words “choice” or “choose” 21 times in an effort to embody his campaign’s slogan, “Forward.” For the backward-looking examination of his accomplishments, the President let Clinton do the talking in his speech the previous night.
So now that the conventions are behind us, we can do some comparing and contrasting. Which party do you think had the better convention? Eugene Robinson thinks the Democrats are the clear winners. And the polls do not point to much better for Romney, according to the Gallup Daily tracking poll, which showed that Romney is the first Republican since 1964 to not receive a convention bounce. We do not yet know what Obama’s post-convention numbers will look like, but his aides are certainly keeping their expectations nice and low. Today’s jobs report is already clouding the Democrats’ message.
One thing that stuck out as a major difference between the two conventions was the way each addressed the military. Obama spoke of disabled troops who inspire him, of fulfilling his promise to end the war in Iraq, of killing Osama bin Laden, and of his plans to end the war in Afghanistan in 2014. By contrast, Romney never mentioned the Afghanistan war in his convention speech, an omission he has since defended.
More on this tonight, but all in all, it has been a very exciting couple of weeks. Tell us about your favorite convention moments!