The plan is to haul busloads of college students from across North Carolina and busloads of black church members from South Carolina for the Thursday finale in Charlotte. According to the AP, “Democrats have been fretting for months over whether the president can draw a capacity crowd at Bank of America Stadium.” Voter enthusiasm for Obama has sagged along with crowds at campaign rallies in battleground states this time around.
It’s expected that convention delegates, volunteers and other Democrat officials might fill up one-third of the Charlotte stadium, leaving about 50,000 seats to be occupied by other folks including bused-in attendees from the Carolinas and possibly other states. Of course, the Dems will be off the hook on the attendance problem if thunderstorms blow into Charlotte, although a spokesman says the stadium rally will go on rain or shine.
Talking is Obama’s forte. And on Thursday night he will try to talk his way out of being fired. “Speeches got me here,” he said one day in private soon after taking office, according to the New York Daily News’ Mike Lupica. “But even he has to know it will take more than speeches to save him this time, no matter what kind of soaring rhetoric he offers at the Democratic convention.”
To win, Obama will have to persuade a majority of voters that the economy is better than it is and that his policies will work in a second term despite the failures of the first term.
Meanwhile, the New York Times’ Jodi Kantor says Obama is “raising money at a frantic pace to narrow the gap with Mr. Romney and embracing the do-anything-it-takes tactics of an increasingly contentious campaign.” Clearly, there’s been a reversal of Obama’s denunciation of such tactics when he spoke at the 2004 Democratic National Convention: “Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters, the negative ad peddlers, who embrace the politics of anything goes.”
Obama went on to say this: “Well, I say to them tonight there is not a liberal America and a conservative America. There is a United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America. There’s the United States of America.”
The same kind of rhetoric, notably the campaign theme of “Hope and Change,” propelled Obama into the White House. Now, according to the Times writer, Obama “is concentrating on the rhetorical challenge of making a case for a second term.” No doubt, we will be hearing more of those noble-sounding ideas very soon.
But the big question is this: Will the Greek columns and other trappings of royalty be set up for Obama at the Charlotte stadium rally?