Dems Claim That Road To Success Is Not A Sprint But A Relay Race
DNC Analysis:From what went on at the opening night of the Democratic National Convention, the Democrats will attempt to keep this race a personal one. Despite recent polls that show a boost in Romney's likability and an increase in Obama's negatives, the Democrats still believe that they have a likeability gap in their favor.
The second theme is that progress has been made. It may not be the rapid change that Barack Obama promised in 2008, but gradual change that would be arrested and reversed should Barack Obama turn out to be a single term president.
The first lady, Michelle Obama, did an excellent job in painting the most flattering picture of her husband. The image of Barack Obama has begun taking hits of late that have included charges of coldness, over-competitiveness, and selfishness. Michelle Obama painted her husband as warmhearted, a partner in child-rearing and a person who gave up more lucrative jobs to be a union organizer because he was truly a man of the people.
Drawing a none-too-subtle distinction between her husband and Romney, Michelle Obama described being picked up for dates in a rusted clunker from which one could see the pavement. Both she and Obama had to overcome poverty to get where they were, she stressed.
If the Republican story features a reversal of family fortunes within 1-2 generations, the Democratic family success story was one of a longer slog to success over a few generations, paralleling the acknowledged slow success achieved by the Obama administration. As another speaker put it, it is a relay race rather than a sprint.
The first lady described the process: "He [Obama] reminds me that we are playing a long game here .and that change is hard, and change is slow, and it never happens all at once. But eventually we get there, we always do."
To judge by last night, both parties have had to modify their original game plan. Mitt Romney may have originally believed that, in order to win, it would be enough to contrast candidate Barack Obama's promises in the 2008 campaign with the results. However, to unify the base and win over independents, he has had to enunciate an alternative and pick a vice presidential candidate who will epitomize that alternative.
Barack Obama may have originally counted on the Republicans to self-destruct or engage in fratricide. Then he regarded Mitt Romney as so unpopular a candidate that he would not have to defend his own record. From what we saw yesterday and from Obama's own self-assessment that he deserves a grade of incomplete, he views his administration as work-in-progress and he is imploring the American voter not to change horses at this stage, because he too will eventually get there.
The writer is a political scientist and Arutz Sheva's political analyst. He is featured regularly in the Hebrew and English Israeli press, lives in Tekoa.