By Matt Towery – August 28, 2008
Democrats were scratching their heads and trying to figure how it was that Republican presidential nominee John McCain had inched further up in the polls during this, of all things, the week of the Democratic National Convention in Denver. But the only real mystery is why they were so mystified.
The Democrats’ first misstep came on the first night of the proceedings, when they staged a disjointed and misguided salute to the party’s most liberal wing.
It’s always heartbreaking to see anybody suffering from cancer; in this case, Democratic icon U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, who spoke to an adoring convention crowd. And yet it’s Kennedy who typifies to many swing voters the very “limousine liberal” wing of the party that has for so long repelled voters from throwing in with the Dems…
…The fact is that the Democrats on Monday night didn’t offer to America a coherent message that was palatable and digestible. Nor did they on Tuesday, which only left the country wondering: Why did Obama pick another northeastern liberal male as his running mate when he could have chosen Hillary Clinton? She absolutely blew the convention hall away with a speech that had power and — surprise! — a discussion of meaty issues.
Now Obama has “a third running mate,” whether he wants her or not. Sen. Clinton has more charisma and substance in her little finger than Biden has in his entire body.
Now we know why the Obama team decided to move their candidate’s nomination acceptance speech to a giant stadium filled with tens of thousands of screaming fans. Having to follow Hillary and Bill Clinton in the same venue in which they appeared might lead to apple-to-apple comparisons that could leave Obama’s fruit looking bruised.
Instead of all this, the Democrats should have been reassuring moderate voters that they will be safe this November if they abandon their recent past habit of voting for the Republican nominees for president because the Democrats’ pie-in-the-sky solutions are too flighty and unrealistic.
Instead, one has the strange feeling that today’s Democratic Party is looping back to the loopy days of, say, 1972 and George McGovern, rather than to the days of moderates Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Bill Clinton in 1992…
…It’s going to take a miracle of some kind if Obama is going to be able to transform the early events of the 2008 Democratic convention into anything more than another reason to stop holding these things altogether. Especially if they boost the opposition party in the polls. …