Opinion: 2012 Democratic National Convention: Superstar-less And On The Defensive
What a difference four horrendous years makes. Thinking back to the Democratic National Convention of 2008 and now seeing what’s going on in Charlotte, North Carolina this week at the Democratic National Convention of 2012 shows stark differences. For one thing, Barack Obama is no longer a superstar. Much unlike he was in 2008, he is now an extremely-experienced politician with a record to be defended to the masses. Superstars are rarely on the defense for anything because they can do no wrong. No president in recent memory has completed a term and been able to claim that they haven’t made some errors.
It is apparent this week that the Democratic Party has no one who isn’t being put on the defensive for what has happened to the nation in the past four years. Unlike the Republican National Convention with their several conservative “superstars” taking the stage – most notably Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan who have been superstars among the conservatives – the Democratic National Convention has no one taking the stage that is causing the mass of liberals to swoon.
Swooning days for the likes of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have long passed – so far passed that one can’t ever remember if they ever had days with swooners at their heels. Swooning days for the likes of Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel never did formalize – though it would be easier to trek to hell and back than to try to convince Emanuel of this fact. And the way Chicago looks right now with a teachers’ strike looming and a weekend with only two shot dead on the streets being considered a good weekend for the city, Emanuel will likely never be a political swooner – because these Chicago days will, no doubt, be part of his unwritten resume forever. His presence at this Convention shows just how deep down the bucket the Democrats had to scrape to come up with speakers.
It appears that the Democratic National Convention bounce in the polls – of which there always is a bounce after a political party’s Convention – will be slight. And the lasting effect will be nil as the presidential candidate and the Democrats need to continue to explain what the hell happened over the past four years as November 6, 2012 quickly approaches. They can’t explain it – so they won’t. And the act of diverting it is wearing thin on the public.
As far as those superstars needed at every political convention, the best the Democrats are apparently going to come up with are some actress named Eva Longoria who I personally know next-to-nothing about, but her name is the one I keep seeing in the Convention-promoting blurbs that are designed to cause excitement about the week’s Democratic event. The other superstar is more of an unwanted superstar because he is the one – of two politicians – who strongly outshines Obama’s popularity in recent times. That politician, of course, is former President Bill Clinton. While President Clinton is wanted at the event by organizers, it would be logical for Obama and his team to hope the popular former president isn’t too well-liked to the point that he becomes the star of the event. Oh, and the other politician on the “left” that is more popular than Obama is, of course, the former president’s wife Hillary. She’s not even in the country at this time, so no chance she’ll distract from Obama.
All in all, it should be a good time for the delegates in attendance because if there’s one thing Obama and his White House have proven that they know how to do in the last four years, it’s partying. How well that translates to the television viewers is yet to be seen.
About Scott Paulson
Scott Paulson writes political commentary for Examiner.com and teaches English at a community college in the Chicago area. 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.