With millions more out of work than President Obama promised would be at the end of his first term, it’s an unfortunate timing issue that the Democratic National Convention is bracketed by Labor Day on Monday and a looming jobs report on Friday. One has to wonder if this was the best week to hold a convention meant to insist to voters that they should give this administration another shot at righting the country. An August NBC poll found that 61% of people think the country is on the wrong track. Add to that a weekend where Obama surrogates got flummoxed on the Sunday shows by a question they all should have been prepared for – Are we better off today than we were four years ago? – and it’s clear the economic climate Obama is campaigning in is less than ideal.
Nevertheless, Obama will try to distract from those hard realities this week in Charlotte, his party’s convention held at an inconveniently-named venue called the Bank of America Stadium, which everyone pumping out the anti-Wall Street message will try hard to gloss over. The optics will be tricky – Democrats, and in particular the Obama election machine, rely heavily on production value and dazzling the eye with Hollywood staging, over-the-top pomp and circumstance and pageantry that’s meant to convey a message of prosperity, confidence and promise. Can they really put on a million-dollar show when so many are scrimping to save on groceries and gas, and wondering if they’ll ever get a job again?
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