For sure, the polls after Tampa show only a small bounce for Romney. But the Democrats had a strong first night, and with speeches by President Obama and former President Clinton still to come, I think an Obama bounce is likely. Historically, the party that goes last gets a bigger bounce. We'll know for sure in a week or so if that's the case this time. But I wouldn't bet against it.
by David Morris9/5/2012 5:51:58 PM
Heading to Charlotte for Democratic convention, threat of storms delayed departure of Pres Obama from Joint Base Andrews outside DC. #kipcvn
Among the happiest people in charming Charlotte this week are not only politicians, convention delegates and the First Family. Taxi cab and limo drivers in this still genteel city are raking in the cash in a bonanza week for them, many working 18 hour days and happily so.
One asked me, "Any way they can hold the Inauguration here too?"
by Rich Sammon9/5/2012 6:17:57 PM
Spokeswoman Jen Psaki tells press pool Sasha & Malia Obama will fly to convention after school tomorrow for their dad's speech. #kipcvn
Whispers of "Who's next?" at the Democratic National Convention is mostly focused in one direction: Hillary. Win or lose this year, the Democrats need to queue-up the candidates for 2016. And while we're no longer sure she will be part of an Obama administration in the early second term, Hillary for sure will take one more look at a run at the White House (if she decides to stay on with President Obama, State, Treasury and probably Pentagon are all perches on which Mrs. Clinton can dwell).
Many hardcore Hillary backers have been pressing the idea for months, but now some top lawmakers and connected Democrats are hoping she will give it serious consideration. They think she will be tough to beat. So does her husband, who is all for his wife taking another shot at the presidency.
Hillary is traveling in Asia this week doing the work of a Secretary of State, so, as our colleague Rich Sammon reported last week on Kiplinger's GOP Convention blog, she's missing the Democrats' bash in Charlotte. But she has the best surrogate in all of politics to quietly do her bidding: Her husband, former President Bill Clinton. So tonight when the Big Dog howls on behalf of Obama in the convention's keynote speech, in the back of many delegates' minds will be the thought that Hillary's time is yet to come.
What's the downside? The only media-driven downside being discussed is age, but that tired, old, contrived hurdle is going the way of the dodo bird. Hillary will turn 69 in the fall of 2016. That's not that old. Sixty-nine is the new 55. It's another example of why retirement age is sure to be raised routinely over the next couple of decades.
If Hillary decides to go for it, she would be even welcomed back into the administration after taking a break, if it would help launch her bid. Clinton is Obama's most versatile Cabinet member and he trusts her counsel. The President needs her and owes her. Bill Clinton's enhanced role in the Obama campaign is another chit. Bubba loves being in the political spotlight again, but he also knows he's carrying a very big IOU from Obama for Hillary.
by Ken Bazinetvia mobile9/5/2012 8:35:35 PM
Look for Bill Clinton to use tonight's speech to address the question Republicans raised with great glee last week in Tampa: Are you better off than you were four years ago?
by Rich Sammon9/5/2012 9:53:21 PM
God is back in the Democratic platform. A revised document was approved today, a full 24 hours after Republicans made a big deal after the omission.
by David Morris9/5/2012 11:18:03 PM
The surprise speaker for the Republicans last week was Clint Eastwood. Tomorrow night's surprise for the Democrats? Looks like former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was wounded in a shooting. She arrived in Charlotte today.
by David Morris9/5/2012 11:21:06 PM
So far, on television, Day Two of the Democratic convention is missing the excitement and emotion of Day One. Delegates will no doubt warm up for Bill Clinton's speech later in the evening, but the response to former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's tepid speech was, well, tepid.
by David Morris9/5/2012 11:30:17 PM
GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, on CNN, regarding Bill Clinton: "I think we'll hear a lot about the 1990s, but not the last four years." He also said Obama inherited a bad economic situation, but "he made it worse."
by David Morris9/5/2012 11:35:55 PM
On the convention floor ahead of tonight's speeches. -Rich Sammon
by Amanda Lilly9/6/2012 12:15:40 AM
And A Bird's Eye View of the Convention Hall -Rich Sammon
by Amanda Lilly9/6/2012 12:22:36 AM
Pres Obama intervenes to make sure his party doesn't mess with God or Israel. nyti.ms #kipcvn
It was fun talking with the Wyoming Democratic delegation.They joked that their dozen delegates represent half of the entire number of Democrats in Wyoming. The other half are alternate delegates.
by Rich Sammon9/6/2012 12:50:46 AM
Wyoming Democratic Delegation
by Amanda Lilly9/6/2012 1:11:04 AM
President Obama is in the building. Don't be surprised if he sneaks on the stage at the end of former President Clinton's speech.
by David Morrisvia mobile9/6/2012 1:21:18 AM
Bill Clinton warms almost preternaturally to a huge crowd awaiting his arrival. So figure there's a home run coming. Crowd here is waiting.
by Rich Sammon9/6/2012 1:47:51 AM
Team Obama goes all in to win more support from women, moving former law student Sandra Fluke's speech into prime time. She's the woman blasted by Rush Limbaugh for speaking out about birth control. First time in a long time that Democrats have tackled social issues head on.
by David Morrisvia mobile9/6/2012 2:12:21 AM
No sugar-coating: Sandra Fluke is taking the direct route in defining Democrats as the party fighting for women's rights. #kipcvn
Bill Clinton: "We believe 'we're all in this together' is a better philosophy than 'you're on your own.'"
by David Morrisvia mobile9/6/2012 2:42:22 AM
Bill Clinton has now given one of the best nominating speeches I've heard (tonight) and one of the worst (1988, when he nominated Dukakis).
by David Morrisvia mobile9/6/2012 3:02:38 AM
Bill Clinton takes on Paul Ryan Medicare plan (not mentioning Romney) with numbers and specifics -- and the crowd stays awake...and even enthralled. Part of it is star power, part of it is just uncommon smarts and craft..
by Rich Sammon9/6/2012 3:12:36 AM
The convention hall will explode when Clinton finishes and Obama joins him on stage.
by David Morrisvia mobile9/6/2012 3:21:33 AM
GOP media guru Alex Castellanos, on CNN, after Clinton's speech: "This will probably be the moment that re-elects Barack Obama." Yep, a Republican said that.
by David Morrisvia mobile9/6/2012 3:33:43 AM
President Obama's speech Thursday night will be shorter, but it won't necessarily be better. The former president set the bar VERY high.
by David Morris9/6/2012 5:03:17 AM
Here is Bill Clinton's full speech from last night: "we're all in this together."
by Amanda Lilly9/6/2012 1:22:46 PM
Right on the horizon after President Obama's big acceptance speech tonight in Charlotte? The Labor Department's monthly jobs report comes out early Friday morning. A bad or even so-so jobs report will cause some to question Obama's ability to keep the slow recovery on track. A strong or better than expected jobs report could add to any convention bounce Obama may get.
by Rich Sammon9/6/2012 3:16:03 PM
Six things that will decide the race between Obama and Romney: the three head-to-head debates between the two men in October; the unemployment rate for August, announced tomorrow morning; the unemployment rate for September, announced Oct. 5, and -- you guessed it -- the unemployment rate for October, announced Nov. 2, just ahead of the Nov. 6 election.
by David Morrisvia mobile9/6/2012 6:40:45 PM
In yet another high profile appeal to women voters, Vice President Biden tonight is sure to trumpet work he led while in Congress to reduce violence against women. When he was Senate Judiciary chairman in the 1990s Biden led adoption of a landmark law requiring local governments to boost a whole variety of efforts to reduce attacks on women, including domestic abuse. Republicans blocked it from passing for years, saying the issue was a state and local matter.
by Rich Sammon9/6/2012 8:20:52 PM
Taking another look ahead to 2016 and beyond… If you measure by the “rising stars” speeches at both conventions the Democrats’ starting lineup is strong now, but the GOP appears to have the deeper bench for down the road.
This week in Charlotte, the Democrats rolled out San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, Newark (N.J.) Mayor Cory Booker and Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. They’re all being touted as players who could seek higher office.
The problem is two of them on that very short list are “only” mayors and the other is a Democrat who has never held office and is running behind in a state that is the epicenter of the Democratic Party.
Of the two up-and-coming governors, O’Malley, in an interview last weekend on CBS’ “Face the Nation” program, answered “no” when asked if Americans are better off now than they were four years ago. It was a gaffe that had O’Malley back-peddling right through his yawn of a speech Tuesday night in Charlotte. Doubling down, Team Romney has been using O’Malley’s bumble to attack Obama. That probably makes the Maryland governor pretty much a slice of burnt toast.
Another rising star is women’s rights activist Sandra Fluke, who endured a week of hate-filled attacks earlier this year by right-wing shock-jock Rush Limbaugh over her position on reproductive rights. Her speech at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night caught the party by surprise, but she’s not even running for any office at this point.
That leaves Patrick. Democrats are still crowing that he gave one of the best speeches amid a week of outstanding speeches. Remember that name, Deval Patrick.
by Ken Bazinet9/6/2012 8:33:26 PM
A renewed pledge we'll hear from the president tonight in Charlotte is for a much larger federal commitment to promote green economy industries.
Critics will say Obama pledged the same thing in 2008 and will spotlight setbacks in the effort, especially the Solyndra solar power company debacle where $500 million in taxpayer funding was lost.
The emerging green economy is just too large for Obama not to mention in his acceptance speech. Private investors need a federal spark before they commit equity to innovative green companies.
Obama is sure to call federal support of green industries a jobs and export promotion act all on its own.
by Rich Sammon9/6/2012 10:32:35 PM
Kiplinger's Ken Bazinet makes great point below about rising stars in each party. The Republican bench may be deeper at this point, but Democrats are grooming some heavy hitters too. The conventions are batting practice for many.
by Rich Sammon9/6/2012 11:00:42 PM
Some folks are making a big deal about the fact that President Obama will learn the new unemployment number (officially released tomorrow morning) before his speech tonight. This is a non-issue. Presidents have gotten the numbers the night before for years.
by David Morrisvia mobile9/6/2012 11:59:30 PM
Former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist of Fla. riffs on Ronald Reagan as he endorses Obama at the DNC convention: "I didn't leave the Republican Party. It left me." Reagan once said the same thing about the Democratic Party, which he walked away from decades before he was elected president as a Republican.
by David Morris9/7/2012 12:41:22 AM
As he addresses the Democratic convention tonight, Sen. John Kerry must be having some might-have-been thoughts. In an alternate universe, President Kerry might be finishing his second term.
by David Morris9/7/2012 12:53:45 AM
The red meat is being served tonight: Sen. John Kerry says go ask Osama Bin Laden if he's better off today than he was 4 yrs ago #kipcvn
Not ready for prime time? Vice presidents usually get a prime time speaking role, but not Joe Biden. He's speaking momentarily, but the networks don't sign on until 10 p.m., just in time for President Obama's acceptance speech.
by David Morris9/7/2012 1:18:13 AM
Kiplinger's Dave Morris has great point that Biden, the vice president of the U.S.A., won't speak in prime time. That's a sign that President Obama will outright consume most all of the prime time on the big broadcast networks. Read: Election is about top of ticket.
by Rich Sammon9/7/2012 1:22:04 AM
There's a subplot here, too. Biden, as we've seen, sometimes shoots from the lip. A slip on a night when has the prime speaking slot would be magnified. A slip tonight would quickly be overshadowed by Obama's speech.
by David Morris9/7/2012 1:27:58 AM
Was the person who left a tribute to American troops off the GOP Convention script last week outsourced? That was a blunder. #kipcvn
I was just thinking that, Ken. Democrats haven't missed a chance to pay tribute to veterans at this convention, in speeches and in videos.
by David Morris9/7/2012 1:29:48 AM
Biden: "Conviction. Resolve. Barack Obama. That's what saved the automobile industry."
by David Morris9/7/2012 1:48:13 AM
After listening closely to speeches by Paul Ryan and Joe Biden, I can't wait for the vice presidential debate! Mark your calendars for Oct. 11. There's little chance it will change the race, but it should be one of the most exciting events of the election season. Policy wonk vs. average Joe.