PLEDGE NOW
Democratic Convention Kicks Off

We’re in Charlotte with the Democrats, raising the curtain on the 2012 convention and Obama’s bid for a second term.

People wait outside a campaign field office in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012 to receive credentials for President Barak Obama's acceptance speech during Charlotte's Democratic Convention. (AP)

People wait outside a campaign field office in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012 to receive credentials for President Barack Obama’s acceptance speech during Charlotte’s Democratic Convention. (AP)

Now it’s show time for the Democrats.  Sixty-two days to Election Day.  Republicans howling all last week that President Obama’s got to go.  A neck and neck race for the presidency, with everything on the line – White House, House and Senate.

In 2008, this week was electric for the Democrats and their Rocky Mountain high in Denver.  Thrilling history.  But that is history now.  And President Obama now has to make his case that he’s the one for the next four years.

This hour, On Point: we’re in Charlotte, raising the curtain on the Democratic convention, and President Obama’s challenge.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Democrat from Maryland’s 8th district.

Bryan Monroe, editor of CNNPolitics.com.

Margaret Talev, White House Correspondent for Bloomberg News.

Howard Fineman, editorial director of the AOL Huffington Post Media Group.

Highlights

The curtain goes up on the Democratic convention today and theatrics in Charlotte are aimed at answering the question posed by all electoral challengers: Are you better off? “Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney are counting on collective amnesia,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen. He said the Obama administration had made progress to stop the economic downturn and return the country to fiscal health.

Obama would lay out that argument, he said, while contrasting with a more critical GOP line. “The messages from the GOP [convention last week] were all negative. They were just attacking President Obama. They really don’t want to tell the American people about the Romney/Ryan plan,” said Van Hollen. “It provides another round of tax breaks for people like Mitt Romney, while taking away from everyone else.”

 

So, what do the Democrats need to do to win votes? “[Obama] has to change the tone of the debate,” said CNN’s Bryan Monroe. “The American people are eager for someone to reframe the debate into something more positive.”

“[Obama has to articulate what the next four years are going to look like,” Monroe said

“In 2008, [Obama] had a narrative,” said the Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman, “He needs a new narrative; he needs to say and explain how his vision of how the economy works – which is different from the Republicans’– works.”

“Obama has to explain how his vision of the economy helps Americans and their children,” Fineman said. “He has to get specific.”

But don’t expect and round of “Hope and Change” rhetoric, panelists warned. Watch for less the dream, more the reality, said Margaret Talev, who covers the White House for Bloomberg.

From Tom’s Reading List

USA Today “Four years ago, Obama overcame the once seemingly inevitable Hillary Rodham Clinton and held back John McCain by promising hope and change to a nation hobbled by recession and war.”

Washington Examiner “The latest ABC/Washington Post poll, for example, reported that when asked which of the two candidates was more likable, 61 percent picked Obama and only 27 percent said Romney. That looks like a huge advantage.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 6, 2015
President Barack Obama speaks during services honoring the life of Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Friday, June 26, 2015, in Charleston, S.C., at the College of Charleston TD Arena. Pinckney was one of the nine people killed in the shooting at Emanuel AME Church last week in Charleston.  (AP)

How should we talk about faith and God in these uncertain times? We put that tough question—and more—to a roundtable of religious thinkers.

Jul 6, 2015
A still from the upcoming documentary film, "Tough Love." (Courtesy PBS / The Filmmakers)

An intimate look at the foster care system from the perspective of two families struggling to reunite with their children.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 3, 2015
Harmonica master Howard Levy, in a photo dated February 2012. (Courtesy the Artist)

Harmonica virtuoso Howard Levy tears it up with us. From Bach to the blues.

 
Jul 3, 2015
Demonstrators shout slogans during a rally organized by supporters of the YES vote for the upcoming referendum in front of the Greek Parliament in Athens, Tuesday, June 30, 2015 Greece's European creditors were assessing a last-minute proposal Athens made for a new two-year rescue deal, submitted just hours before the country's international bailout program expires and it loses access to billions of euros in funds. (AP)

Overtime pay. Diplomatic ties with Cuba. Greece defaults. Iran deadline missed. Chris Christie jumps in. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: July 3, 2015
Friday, Jul 3, 2015

We made a lot of last-minute programming changes these past few weeks, and you stuck around with us through it all. Thanks!

More »
1 Comment
 
Election 2016: Who Exactly Is Running For President?
Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015

Who is running for President, anyway? We attempt to help you figure it out.

More »
9 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: June 19, 2015
Friday, Jun 19, 2015

Why our broadcast changed in different markets this week, and a closer look at a puppet theatre vandalism in rural Norway. (Really).

More »
Comment