Politics: Let's dance! Charlotte welcomes the whole-lot-of-nothing convention

Published by: Dan Calabrese on Monday September 3rd, 2012

Dan Calabrese

By DAN CALABRESE - Even Obama's media enablers can't pretend he'll have anything substantive to offer this week.

I used to work for this guy who was not very confident about the quality of the work he did, and one day before a big presentation, he announced to the team, "We're gonna have to do a lot of dancing to sell this."

For delegates gathering in Charlotte for the Democratic National Convention, let the dance begin! 

ABC's Amy Walter offers a preview today of the DNC, and perhaps without realizing it, she unwittingly gives away that game: The Democrats have to do a lot of dancing to avoid the hard truth that Obama has not made things better, and has no plan for how to do so.

Her first two bullet points pretty much tell the tale:

Addressing the Elephant in the Room At this point in 2008, 80 percent of Americans thought things in the country were "off track." Today, more than two-thirds (67 percent) still feel pessimistic about the direction of the country. Obama's challenge is to acknowledge the fact that the economy is still struggling, while providing a positive path to prosperity. Can he do this without looking defensive? If he paints too rosy a scenario of his first term, he risks looking woefully out of touch.

Filling in "Forward" The Obama campaign and its allies have made this race a referendum on Romney instead of a referendum on the president's first term. This week, the president has to make the case for what HE will do to move the country forward, not just what he believes Romney will do to push us backward.

You don't even really need to read the rest, although you can knock yourself out of you want. It's simply more analysis of the choreography and misdirection the Democrats will have to pull off to get any advantage out of this convention. Obama can't run on his record because it's horrendous, and he can't spend the entire convention blaming Bush and bashing Romney. He has to offer some sort of way forward, and it can't just be more of the same because everyone knows where that will get us.

But if he offers something new, he acknowledges his first four years haven't worked, and Obama has too much pride and hubris to ever do that.

So what do you? Dance!