Monday, August 27, 2012

What to watch for at GOP Convention

The national conventions of both major American political parties are gatherings of the faithful. In each case, the ideological base of the party shows up in very high percentage.

 For Mitt Romney, this is problematic. He has never been popular with his party's base. Polls consistently show that supporters of President Barack Obama are more enthusiastic when compared to Mitt Romney's supporters.

The national convention serves as a point in which the parties rally behind their nominees and begin mobilizing at a much faster pace in the field. In a way, it is like a massive national pep rally. For Romney and his close followers, the convention will largely be about convincing his skeptics that he deserves their energetic support.

 Back when it became obvious that Romney would be the Republican nominee, I knew that he would not reset too much toward the "center" as some were predicting. Like another noted moderate, Sen. John McCain, he could not wiggle his way out of commitments made during the primary contest.

 Like McCain, Romney chose a Tea Party favorite, a very risky favorite, in Rep. Paul Ryan. Watch Mitt Romney's speech when he accepts his party's nomination and, I believe, you will see more of the same. He will go out of his way to appeal to the ideological right wing.

Indeed, surrogates will probably spend much of their time during the convention trying to convince Tea Party members and other conservatives that they can trust Romney on key issues.

President Obama and the Democrats should take full advantage of this situation.  The task for them is to clearly illustrate the clear choice that Americans have on election day.  They need to continuously press Romney on issues that show the stark differences on issues that exist between the presidential tickets and their respective parties.


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