|Empty chair, meet empty stadium.|
Call him president downgrade. Obama promised everything in 2008. I think I recall him saying we'd have solar-powered flying cars by the end of his first term in office. I don't have one. Maybe he didn't promise that one. He did promise oceans would stop rising and crazy numbers of jobs would be created and the deficit would be cut in half and he'd end the war, and scads of other stuff. Come to think of it, the one thing he didn't promise as far as I recall, was to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden. But I digress. The point is president Obama has under-delivered on his vast list of promises.
So why should his 2012 convention speech be anything but more over-promising? That's something for voters to bear in mind while listening to it.
Footage of rows of empty seats at the stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers, as Obama speaks on Thursday night would be politically disastrous – an enduring image of the contrast between his campaign of ‘hope’ and ‘change’ in 2008 and his dour, negative struggle for re-election in 2012.Now, it looks like the weather has come to the President's rescue. As officials prepare to open the Democratic convention this afternoon, there are strong indications that the speech will be moved to Time Warner Cable Arena, which has a capacity of just over 20,000.
Downgrading the stadium is a symptom of the first term of the Obama presidency - he's downgraded expectations all along the way, and yet even then he's failed to meet those lowered expectations. Despite all of those failed promises, the president will ask for a second shot at the role of president. He has to denigrate his opponent to get the chance, and definitely he will. But much like the media called on specifics from Romney, they will only be forgiving to a certain degree for president Obama. The bar will be lower for him (you know, because the press are all clearly racist), but certain minimums will be required. The president won't be called upon for specifics, but he will be called upon for promises.
What liberal treats will the president dole out in his second term? That's the bar he'll have to clear. He needs to give a reason for anyone to vote for him. Asking for more time will not win him enough support beyond the hard core liberal base (who similarly have grievances about undelivered promises). He needs to spell out what he will accomplish. Never mind "how", just "what".
And that's where the grain of salt comes in - he has no track record of delivery beyond the boondoggle of Obamacare, for which Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid did all the leg work. He can't even deliver a stadium full of avid supporters that Team Obama promised. Why on earth would a second term live up to anyone's expectations beyond those of Obama himself? The simple answer is, it won't.