Sitting in the Time Warner Cable Arena last night I was struck by how different the Democratic National Convention was from the Republican event last week.
The messengers and the message were positive and gave vision to four more years of an Obama Presidency while criticizing Mitt Romney. In tone and tenor it was spot on. The speeches wove in the themes that the Democrats need to address this week.
Three particular speeches got rave reviews and were a huge hit in the hall.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick gave a strong and impassioned address – one that could only be delivered by a successor to Mitt Romney. He knows firsthand the mess that Mitt left behind for others to fix in the Bay State.
San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro gave voice to his American story – the story of the son of a working class mother who sacrificed so that her children could have a better future.
Unlike the Republicans in Tampa, Democrats focused on the fight to preserve the middle class and the American Dream.
As Michelle Obama said last night the President “believes that when you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity…you do not slam it shut behind you…you reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.”
First Lady Michelle Obama could not have delivered a more impressive speech and made a strong and optimistic argument for a second term.
The vision expressed by these and other speakers last night stood in stark contrast to the GOP convention.
The Republican Convention did not advocate for anything positive. It was without policy specifics. It was without a positive vision for America’s future.
The Republican Convention was about one thing: President Obama. It had nothing to do with Mitt Romney, he just happens to be the person that is opposing Obama.
We learned almost nothing new about Mitt Romney last week. There was no enthusiasm for a Romney Presidency, just enthusiasm for the defeat of Obama.
That is not how Presidential elections are won. You have to give voters a positive vision for the future.
When Bill Clinton opposed President George H. W. Bush he gave America a vision of what he would do. He did not just make an argument that people should vote against President Bush; he gave them something to vote for.
Tonight, Bill Clinton will again take the stage. Watch for him to give a political lesson on how to draw distinctions between two opposing views while highlighting the positive future Obama will deliver.
About Bill Buck
Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.