Dems, Repubs go blow to blow
Published: Monday, September 10, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 10, 2012 19:09
Political party conventions serve many purposes – an opportunity for the party and candidates to define themselves, present their vision and platform, lay out principles, introduce future leaders and, most importantly, successfully convey its message to voters.
All this in hopes that they can garner support for their nominee on Election Day.
This year’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., was a leading example of a successful convention that accomplished just that.
After the four-day glitzy affair that brings together delegates, political elites and celebrities was all said and done, President Obama saw a jump in his approval ratings to 52 percent, according to a Gallup daily tracking poll. That’s the highest it has been since the announcement of Osama bin Laden’s death.
The energy and fervor of the DNC bounced off of television screens and into the living rooms and hearts of Americans, in stark contrast to the Republican National Convention held in Tampa, Fla., just one week before.
Joe Scarborough, current host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe and himself a former politician, declared a knockout for the Democrats.
“If we’re going pound for pound, round for round, this wasn’t Ali versus Frasier, this was Muhammed Ali versus Chuck Wepner … it was ugly!” he said.
Punch one: First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech that was both authentic and emotionally compelling. Punch two: President Clinton’s charismatic use of arithmetic to discredit many of the false claims made against the president by republicans. Punch three: Vice President Joe Biden’s rousing speech that served as a stellar opening act for President Obama’s big moment on Thursday night.
The final blow: new Twitter records.
Following the president’s speech, there were 52,756 tweets sent per minute with the hashtag #DNC2012, compared to just 14,289 tweets per minute at the end of former Massachusetts Gov. Romney’s speech, the Republican presidential nominee.
Democrats pushed to evoke emotions of joy, enthusiasm, and diversity not just online, but on the platform and out among the crowds as well. Yet, when the cameras panned crowds at the RNC, shots of a majority white audience were captured, while the mass of spectators at the DNC reflected people of all colors, ages, faith and backgrounds.
Democrats honed in on the heavy hitting issues: jobs, budgets, deficits and the
economy as a whole. Jobs remain a leading issue for voters. President Obama emphasized the importance of those issues in his speech:
“When all is said and done – when you pick up that ballot to vote – you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation,” he said. “Over the next few years, big decisions will be made in Washington, on jobs and the economy; taxes and deficits; energy and education; war and peace – decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives and our children’s lives for decades to come.”
The RNC largely ignored these social issues – even the military – so as not to take away from Romney’s economic message.
For voters concerned about the country’s future in Afghanistan, equal pay, civil rights and women’s rights, which have played a huge role in the political narrative and debate this past year, there was little mention of these at the RNC.
Instead, the RNC was animated by anti-Obama fervor, an almost angry rallying cry to make him a one-term president.
The DNC was made up of a genuine enthusiasm and a real passion for its candidate. Speaker after speaker took the podium in a festive mood, united around President Obama and his call to move the country forward.
Romney wasn’t afforded the same enthusiasm from his constituents and was barely mentioned in his convention’s speeches. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s mentioned Romney just seven times.
The qualities on display at the DNC – passion, diversity and unity – are all needed in a leader and for America to succeed.
Following the political conventions, it’s evident the choice will be made between a party that’s moving backwards or a party on a path toward the future.
Renee Pinckney, a Chicago freelance writer, graduated from Roosevelt University in 2011 with a Masters of Science in Journalism. Weigh in on the political debate with @RUTORCH and tweet Pinckney your thoughts on the convention at @iamtyrenee.