A Few Thoughts on Day 01 of the DNC 2012

If you missed night 01 of the DNC2012 – here’s the one paragraph summary:

“Democrats opened their convention here on Tuesday night with two simple messages for voters: Mitt Romney does not get it, and President Obama does. A parade of Democratic officials spent the first hours of the gathering detailing a political indictment of Mr. Romney, blistering him as being out of touch with the middle class and intent on taking the country back to the policies that caused the economy’s problems…The speakers here pounded Mr. Romney on immigration, on health care, on Medicare, on foreign policy, on the 2009 auto bailout and on his tax policies, which they said would benefit the rich at the expense of the working class and cause the same kind of economic damage that they said Mr. Obama had worked so hard to undo.” Jim Rutenberg in The New York Times

I was underwhelmed by Julian Castro’s speech. I thought Ross Douthat’s article at the NYTimes said it best. “Julián Castro, the mayor of San Antonio, was perfectly charming and perfectly forgettable: a minor league talent with some major league potential rather than a Democratic version of Chris Christie.” In contrast, Michelle Obama’s speech was a towering shot meant to reignite the passion of four years ago. She crushed it. Granted, the First Lady had a much easier path to creating excitement that did Ann Romney, who had to start from scratch. Michelle Obama only needed to remind people what it was that they liked about Barack Obama to begin with. Still, the First Lady made a touching and compelling case for why she thinks her husband is reliable and deserves a second term. It might just have worked. Some of the other issues highlighted were:

OpportunityThe problem with the “I built my business” narrative can be summed up in one word:Opportunity. The president handed the R’s a placard filler that will surely excite the base of their party, but they cannot win on that issue in the general. Democrats tapped into the opportunity theme last night, accentuating the fact that it is a sacred honor to make sure opportunity is there for the next generation. The Republican narrative sounds more like “every man for himself.” The first lady accented a different theme say, “And he 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.”

Immigration: The Dems can win on this issue alone. It could swingFloridato the blue. The reason this issue works so well is that it dovetails with the opportunity narrative. “If a family in this country struggles we cannot be content with our family’s good fortune, because that’s not who we are.” The Dems have positioned themselves to be able to say that they are not for “every man for himself” but rather for “all of us are in this together – and that includes are Latino brothers and sisters.” I think that’s a winning issue for them.

Jobs: The D’s seem like they are going to try and run on this issue, but I think it’s going to be a tough needle to thread. The way they went about it last night will not work, because it’s too misleading. The simple truth is that the job market is awful and too many of the jobs that have been added back are low paying. It’s a net loss on this issue for the D’s. I look for this theme to transition to more of what Obama has in his stump speech – accentuating growth in manufacturing jobs and a strategy for adding more jobs.

About Tim Suttle

Find out more about Tim at TimSuttle.com

Tim Suttle is the senior pastor of RedemptionChurchkc.com. He is the author of several books including his most recent - Shrink: Faithful Ministry in a Church Growth Culture (Zondervan 2014), Public Jesus (The House Studio, 2012), & An Evangelical Social Gospel? (Cascade, 2011). Tim's work has been featured at The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Sojourners, and other magazines and journals.

Tim is also the founder and front-man of the popular Christian band Satellite Soul, with whom he toured for nearly a decade. The band's most recent album is "Straight Back to Kansas." He helped to plant three thriving churches over the past 13 years and is the Senior Pastor of Redemption Church in Olathe, Kan. Tim's blog, Paperback Theology, is hosted at Patheos.

  • scott stone

    Excellent analysis on your part. Sums up the night fairly well minus all the sophistry that went on at the convention. I”m a bit more critical of the convention coverage myself. The missing phrase was “fact check”. The media was far more aggressive in its analysis of the RNC (CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, I refuse to watch FOX or MSNBC). I bet I heard “fact check” a hundred times on CNN during the RNC but seldom last night. The tenor and the tone of the coverage was also a bit more gleeful in my opinion.

  • Dave Francis

    Millions more illegal immigrants are going to be encouraged to slip past the border or step off an international jet, if President Obama returns to the White house in November. YOU–THE VOTERS HAVE TO DECIDE IF WE CAN AFFORD PAMPERING NOT ONLY THE 20 MILLION PLUS ILLEGAL ALIENS, ALREADY HERE OR THOSE WHO WILL ARRIVE WHEN SIGNALED THE FREE WELFARE UNDER OBAMA. The biggest issue is the majority Democratic states with poorly supervised election stations, will turn a blind eye to non citizens voting. I am not going to tell you about the terrible consequences of the democrats passing another mass amnesty, even after we were promised that no blanket amnesty would ever be enacted again. But neither do I trust the Republicans to carry out the full pledge of the issues involved. Only the rapid absorption of the TEA PARTY LEADERSHIP into GOP does the chance of America resurfacing under the weight of this depressed economy and jobs.

    Legislators of both parties need to get off duffs; start issuing permit to drill for domestic oil, natural gas and reopen the coal mines that Obama’s czars have closed. President Obama is deep in the pockets of radical environmentalist, who are cutting us of regular fuels. You have seen the $4.00 rise of gas at the pumps, when 4 years ago it was just a $1.49. Shrink the mammoth burdensome U.S. government; closing many and merging agencies. Start from scratch a fair and equitable tax code; no more immunity for corporations and friends of politicians. Stop Obama from giving more power to the United Nations and international courts. Realize that America is heading towards insolvency, if we don’t get welfare programs under control, especially the (113 Billion annually and climbing) one hundred thirteen billion dollars going to subsidize illegal foreigners. Stop the spending and redistribution of welfare to illegal aliens, such as food stamps.

    The TEA PARTY will let free trade succeed, but will sanction countries as China who are manipulating their coinage and cheating us. Resist Obama’s plan of Obamacare and free programs that allow the freeloaders to live as parasites of their host, the taxpayer. We cannot trust the Democrats who remain deliberately unconcerned with non-citizens voting. Both parties refuse to enact mandatory E-Verify (H.R. 2885), to expel illegal aliens from businesses, and a Birthright Citizenship law (H.R. 140), that allows a projected 400.000 babies a year who gain citizenship, without a parent holding U.S. citizenship status. ONLY BY REPLACING THE SENATE AND HOUSE INCUMBENTS WITH HONEST, SINCERE AND ABOVE ALL ELSE TEA PARTY LEADERSHIP WITH BACKBONE, SUCH AS TED CRUZ OF TEXAS, RICHARD MOURDOCK OF INDIANA.

    THE TEA PARTY IS AMERICAS ONLY SALVATION AGAINST ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION?

    NOW IT’S UP TO YOU THE VOTER?


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