Tonight officially kicks off the Democratic National Convention and this will be an opportunity for the Democrats and specifically President Obama to clarify to the nation what he has accomplished, how it has made your and my life better (or in some cases, saved us from getting worse), and what his vision for America is for four more years. The president is being giving the chance to do what the GOP and candidate Romney failed to do: Make non-believers believe.
But is that really what it is going to be about for President Obama? I think not. It’s about exciting his base. Now, this is not some groundbreaking assertion on my part. We have been talking about the lack of excitement around this election for at least the last six months. I heard the Gov. of North Carolina Bev Purdue say yesterday that the numbers between the president and Romney were so close amongst women and nationally because it is still early. What?! We are 62 days, 11 hours 39 minutes and 17…16…15 seconds from the election. We are late. And the clock is ticking.
But not to fret. Black people are excited going into Charlotte. I have been getting calls all week about opportunities in Charlotte and the DNC and the people calling me are more excited than I have heard in a year. They are excited about the parties they can get into that they are not on the list for. The president is in a statistical dead heat nationally and actually down 3-4 points in the state where the DNC is taking place and negroes, and I mean those that are supposed to be leading the charge for voter engagement regardless of the candidate, are trying to party. We have not collectively done enough work to party when the president is tied with a man who cannot move the needle with his own base.
Do you remember "Vote or Die"? While it possessed some major flaws as it relates to substance and real grassroots engagement, it excited potential voters who normally would have never been excited about the election. Do you remember who the Democratic nominee for president was then? John Kerry. As a community we were more excited for the potential first term of a man that arguably had no agenda for us, than for a president who has made changes for your family and mine, even if you do not think them enough. If you didn’t vote for the president in 08’ or you have decided to vote for Romney, I am not talking to you. Some of you are already saying Jeff, you should be keeping it non-partisan. And to you I say this is MY commentary and you have the right to disagree. But I’m talking to those of us who did vote for the president and more importantly still support him, that ALL of us have to step up our game.
Use this week of the DNC to reinvigorate your political swag, remembering that the president was a remarkable candidate in 2008. But YOU….the people…the voters….the little folks that wrote $5 and $10 checks were the magic that got him elected. If you're going to party at the DNC or anywhere else over the next 62 days, do it with the purpose of registering, educating, mobilizing, and energizing the people to the polls that will make this president the president for the next four years or accept the fact that President Romney is your creation as well.
MCD – REST IN PEACE
As always, I'm Jeff and that's my truth.