Clout: THE DEMS, (UN)CONVENTIONALLY, A TO Z

Posted: August 31, 2012

HERE'S CLOUT'S A-to-Z guide to the Democratic National Convention, which begins Monday in Charlotte, N.C.

A is for Americans for Prosperity - The nonprofit linked to billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch pulled its ads attacking President Obama from Pennsylvania this week. Will the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 ruling allowing unlimited fundraising for these types of ads move the needle against Obama in 2012?

B is for Bump - Mitt Romney will be looking for the traditional bump in polling numbers coming out of the Republican National Convention this week. Can Obama match or exceed it in his party's convention?

C is for Clinton and Carter - The Republican convention didn't feature any speeches by ex-presidents. The Democrats have two, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, stumping for Obama.

D is for Debt - Probably best not to mention the climbing national debt, unless Obama thinks he can get a few more miles out of blaming former President George W. Bush for it.

E is for the Economy - See "D is for Debt."

F is for Foreign Wars - The Democrats will be eager to note that we're in one less war since Obama took office.

G is for Gay Marriage - Vice President Joe Biden pushed the issue earlier this year, announcing his support for the issue, which nudged Obama to acknowledge that he had come around to support it, too. Now the Democrats have gay marriage as a plank in the party platform.

H is for Hillary - With all the buzz about dumping Biden as vice president in favor of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, it feels las if she is the biggest political star in the Obama administration right now. Will that buzz be as loud in four years? Does she still want to be president?

I is for Immigration - Democrats will tout the policy launched Aug. 15 to allow an estimated 1.5 million illegal immigrants brought here as children to get work permits and avoid deportation. They will have less to say about whether the policy is a blatant pander to Latino voters.

J is for Jobs - A lot of people don't have one. Obama and Romney claim that they have the right ideas to change that, if only we elect them and give them a Congress willing to help. With the unemployment rate still north of 8 percent, can Obama rally voters tired of a sluggish economy?

K is for Kagan - Reaching out for female voters, Obama is likely to boast that he put two women on the U.S. Supreme Court, including Justice Elena Kagan, appointed in August 2010.

L is for Likability - This could be Obama's greatest asset over the socially stiff Romney. Expect to hear the pundits talking about which candidate voters would rather have a beer with.

M is for Meant to Say - As in, "What I meant to say was, you didn't build the infrastructure that helped you start and build your small business." Phrasing is everything in an election year.

N is for Nutter in the National Spotlight - Mayor Nutter, head of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, lands a speaking role at the convention. With problems still swirling at home, Nutter continues to grow and groom his national reputation.

O is for Osama bin Laden - As in, "We got him." Republicans accuse Obama of spiking the football on this victory. They didn't seem as upset when Bush, decked out in a U.S. Navy flightsuit, landed on an aircraft carrier in 2003 to announce - way too early as it turned out - "mission accomplished" in the Iraq War.

P is for Priorities USA - Obama has complained about the Supreme Court ruling for so-called super PACs. But one such group run by a former staffer essentially, and falsely, accused Romney's former company, Bain Capital, of being responsible for the death of a wife of a former employee. You can't have it both ways.

Q is for Questions - Obama took to Reddit, an internet social-media site, for an "Ask me anything" session Wednesday. We've gone way beyond Clinton's 1994 "boxers or briefs" question.

R is for the Race Card - Romney blew the partisan dog whistle with a recent crack about birth certificates and then gave us the "Who me? I was kidding" shtick. But the race card slices both ways. Overusing the accusation, a political danger for Democrats, could create a voter backlash.

S is for Swing States - The convention is always targeted to states that could go either way. A Republican last won Pennsylvania in a presidential race in 1988, and Obama leads in the polling here. Do we still qualify, or will the campaign really take place in places like Florida, Ohio and Colorado?

T is for Taxes - This will be a serious buzz word in Charlotte, with the Obama campaign asking for more of Romney's tax returns while noting that his vice-presidential pick advocated for a budget plan that would have put Romney's tax rate at under 1 percent.

U is for Unions - Obama wants to win North Carolina again, an important part of a re-election victory. But Charlotte is no union-friendly city. In picking the state, Obama looks like he is taking for granted the organized labor he will need to turn out the vote in in November election.

V is for Voter ID - Expect to hear plenty from the Democrats about Republican-pushed laws that require a state-approved ID to vote. Look for it to be framed as a civil-rights issue, akin to the bad old days of poll taxes for African-Americans.

W is for Women - Democrats will absolutely continue hammering the Republicans for their so-called "War on Women" to maintain and build on an existing advantage with female voters. Abortion, contraception, fair pay for all will be center stage.

X is for the X-Factor - Democrats had to conceal their glee about a hurricane heading for the Republican National Convention near the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Now the Obama administration has to look competent in the cleanup.

Y is for Youth - The U.S. Census Bureau in 2009 said that the 2008 presidential election produced a "significant increase" in voting by people ages 18-24, especially among African-Americans. The Democrats will brand themselves as the party of the future, catering to the people who will populate that future.

Z is for Zero - While the Democrats are likely to stress an energy policy that incorporates alternative sources, we expect zero mentions of Solyndra, the Silicon Valley solar-panel producer that received government help from the Bush and Obama administrations. The company name has become GOP shorthand for describing Obama as out of touch.

- Staff writers Catherine Lucey, John Baer and Will Bunch contributed to this report.


Contact Chris Brennan at brennac@phillynews.com or 215-854-5973. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisBrennanDN. Read his blog at www.PhillyClout.com.

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|