BY ADEYEMI OSHUNRINADE
Come Tuesday Democrats will gather in Charlotte North Carolina, to nominate President Barack Obama for a second term in office; the past four years is a testimony of his capability and his achievements so far, after voters overwhelmingly voted to make him President. The nomination is seen as a move that will finally set in motion the 2012 campaign and a step towards the awaited debates between the incumbent and GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
Earlier this week the entire nation saw the GOP convention that ushered in various speakers including Ann Romney, the candidate himself Mitt Romney, and a taste of Hollywood which the GOP decided to include with a rambling speech by the actor and film director Clint Eastwood. In his speech Romney attacked Obama’s economic policies and tried to convince the American people that it is time to accept that Obama’s presidency did not work and therefore, may be time to move forward with a new Commander-in-Chief.
Mitt Romney and his running mate Mr. Ryan, painted a picture that the economic situation in the country and the damage done by the Obama White House, is beyond repair; that the risks of staying in the status quo are greater than the risk of starting a fresh administration with them in office; the aim was to paint a bad economy and to blame the establishment of a bigger government on the Obama administration in a way that will help draw former Obama supporters, to the GOP candidate.
Now that Mr. Obama will have his opportunity to once again convince the American people that he deserves a second term, it is necessary that he gets it right. The President must be able to tell the American people exactly what they want to hear and should explain why the continuation of his policies is the only way forward to lower unemployment and improve the economy beyond the current abysmal state. A speech that falls short of telling voters how he hopes to get things moving if reelected, will do damage to his chances of winning in November.
So far Mitt Romney has said he would create 12 million new job if elected President, he also promised to bring about economic prosperity however, he has failed to say exactly how those jobs will be created and how a change of policies spearheaded by him, will lead to economic prosperity for America. There are those who believe that Mr. Romney, has failed to overcome the President decisively among undecided voters; the President must now use the Democratic convention to once again tell such people that compared to eight years ago, his past four years in office helped correct mishaps of the Republican administration and that as a result of the proactive move by his government, the nation was delivered from a near economic catastrophe and a possible depression.
President Obama must tell the American people exactly what the Republican establishment don’t want; which is that people are better off today than when he took office four years ago. He must be prepared to attack Romney and point out to the American people the ills of Romney’s economic plans for the nation and the weakness of his candidacy by painting him as incompetent to be the leader, of the most powerful nation on earth.
Mr. Obama must use his speech to reassure voters that if reelected, there will be a progress report on the economy and unlike his opponent, he should tell voters how he plans to create new jobs and end the unemployment rates that continues to rise. The President, must allow his records and gains so far since taking office four years ago to speak for themselves; his success in pushing forward the Dream Act despite aggressive opposition by the Right, his success in bringing American troops home from Iraq, the end of ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ and the success of his administration in making America safe by killing Osama Bin Laden, should be mentioned to capture the confidence of independents and the undecided.
The President must use his speech to recapture hope by convincing voters that as promised, he worked very hard to end the partisan nature of Congress and the red-blue divide that continues to slow the pace of progress; however, he should explain to his audience how the current red-blue partisanship is linked to the Republican establishment and the unwillingness of the conservative machine to support any of his initiatives through its lobbyists and opponents of the Democratic policies.
If Mr. Obama wants to continue to draw support from women, his convention speech is an opportunity to do so; he must seize the Conservative failure on the abortion issue and use it as a tool to let women know that his administration will respect their rights to choose unlike some Republicans such as Todd Akin, who are out to deny such rights even in the most gruesome situation of rape and when a woman’s health is at risk. He must remind voters that the “hope and change” he promised four years ago, is still alive and that with their support he would bring change to America.
The President must not be short of appealing to youths, they were crucial in his election as President and with Mitt Romney’s choosing of Paul Ryan as running mate, the goal of the Republican base is to draw youths away from the Incumbent. Mr. Obama must talk about issues that are of concern to youths, he should not fail to mention how to resolve the college loan problems; many graduates are unemployed and are overcome by college loan debts, he must explain how unemployed graduates stand the chance of recapturing the American dream if he is reelected.
The success of Mr. Obama in November, will depend partly on how he uses his speech to convince voters including independents and the undecided that his reelection is a way forward for America; the opposition has done a good job at painting the Obama administration as lacking progress and the economic transformation America needs; now is the turn of Democrats to turn the page, the President must use his speech to change the tone.
Dr. Adeyemi Oshunrinade [E. JD] is an expert in general law, foreign relations and the United Nations; follow on Twitter @san0670.