Obama's 'second Convention advantage'

Obama's 'second Convention advantage'
By Euronews
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The US Republican Party has wound up its National Convention confirming Mitt Romney as its candidate to run against the incumbent Barack Obama in this November’s election, with Paul Ryan as running mate.

The Republicans summed up their ‘vote-for-us’ message, reaching out to undecideds, and even making a play to win over Democrats.

Romney said: “The time has come for us to put the disappointments of the last four years behind us. You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as president [Obama] when the best feeling you had was [on] the day you voted for him.”

The convention delegates were looking forward to the home stretch of campaigning, and are determined that they can win the White House.

One Romney fan said: “I am really excited. We’re going to take back our country. We’re firing Obama!”

Another said with certainty: “We’re going for it. We’re going to make it happen.”

The Republican mood was clearly: “This is just the cherry on the whipped cream, on the ice cream, and we’re going to win in November, and there’s no stopping it now.”

Tuesday’s opening of the Democratic Party National Convention will be to reconfirm President Obama as their candidate.

Michelle Obama was asked by a talk show host if she had watched any of the Republican show in Tampa.

She said: “You know, no. As the wife of the guy they’re running against, I tend not to watch it, but I think it’s important for everyone to watch these conventions.”

The Democrats are taking care with their own mix of confidence and resolve, care to avoid complacency. Obama has to remain convincing in the coming months. He ripostes whenever he feels Romney’s message is out of bounds.

The President said in an interview: “The most prominent argument that he’s been making, for why voters should vote for him, is this notion that ‘Obama took the work requirement out of welfare,’ and he’ll put it back. The problem is, is that every fact-checker, every reporter who has actually looked at this says this is just made up.”

The Democratic Convention is being held in Charlotte, North Carolina, in the Bank of America football stadium.

euronews asked the senior political analyst at ABC News, Cokie Roberts, about what is in store.

Adrian Lancashire, euronews: It is now the Democrats who will confirm their candidate for President. The stakes are high for the whole country, looking for ways to go forward. How will the Democrats present Obama’s efforts for the economy, most of all regarding jobs? They even have an ex-Republican as one of the keynote speakers: Charlie Crist.

Cokie Roberts, ABC News political analyst: The Democrats have the great advantage of having the second convention, so they will have heard everything that the Republicans have said, and are able to answer them. So, they have speakers who are ‘designed’ to get back at the arguments that the Republicans made in Tampa, and they will do so enthusiastically, you can be sure. And yes, they do have a former Republican, Charlie Crist – the last time he ran it was as an independent. They have him speaking at their convention, as the Republicans had a former Democrat, Artur Davis, at their convention. And that is always a good moment for a party, because it allows someone to say why the other party, that they used to be a member of, is now wrong. 1144

Lancashire: One of the most important issues for voters is taxes. Is there any way the Democrats can portray their vision for taxation in a positive light?

Roberts: Democrats think they have very much the winning argument on taxes, and the polls prove them right on that. Most Americans think that it is a good idea to tax people who make more than 250,000 dollars a year, and they certainly think it is a good idea to tax people who make more than a million dollars a year, and the Democrats say that is all that they are trying to do: have the wealthy pay their share. And they claim that the Republicans are just trying to give ‘give-aways’ to the millionaires – particularly to millionaires like Mitt Romney. So, that is an argument with which the Democrats feel they are on very firm ground.

Lancashire: Foreign policy achievements will be a major theme. Senator John Kerry will promote Obama’s record on national security. Foreign policy does not always get major attention in election campaigns, so why now?

Roberts: Well, foreign policy does not get attention unless it does… unless there is a war that is disturbing the Americans, as happened with the Iraq War in the 2006 election, or the Vietnam War in the 1970s. But I think that President Obama feels that this is one of his signature achievements. In all of our polling now he does very well on the question of foreign policy. I think, in fact, that Mitt Romney is seen as something of a blank slate on that, and of course the President’s biggest achievement, which I think that you will hear touted by Senator John Kerry is the killing of Osama Bin Laden. And any time that anyone implies that President Obama has been weak on foreign policy that is pretty much what he says: ‘Tell that to Osama Bin Laden.’ I think you are likely to hear a good bit about that at the Democratic Convention.

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