The Right Opinion

Unforced Errors

By Rich Galen · Sep. 7, 2012

This is going to be an ugly column. Pure partisan smirking and finger pointing. If you are looking for high-minded, lofty thoughts, hit the delete key now.

The Democratic National Convention has been a series of unforced errors that I have not seen since … since … ever.

Way back when, the Obama campaign decided they wanted to re-create the Greek Temple Acceptance Speech of four years ago by having the President make his acceptance speech in the NFL Carolina Panthers' Bank of America Stadium – capacity 73,778.

Someone forgot that Charlotte – not unlike Tampa – is in the U.S. Southeast and the weather in the U.S. Southeast is very dicey during late summer, especially in the afternoon.

After they got to Charlotte they decided it was likely to rain very, very hard and they moved the acceptance speech back indoors.

There are some (not me, because I have no way of knowing) who say the speech was moved inside because they couldn’t fill the NFL stadium, but I’m willing to accept that the unforced error of planning it for outside and risking the death of some number of supporters during a potential thunderstorm was plenty dumb enough.

Then there was the whole deal about screwing up the platform language. I know that the only document which has been read by fewer people than the Obamacare bill is any platform ever adopted, but someone – SOMEone has to read the thing and make sure the “Ts” are crossed and the “Is” are dotted.

Mullfave Ginny Wolfe was the Comms Director for two consecutive Platform Committees and has informed me that nothing goes in, and nothing comes out, that is not specifically and affirmatively approved by the policy staff of the nominee’s campaign.

I don’t care what you think about the issues, but the notion that no one in Obama world realized that the language of the Platform deleted the word “God” and removed the notion of Jerusalem being the capital Israel doesn’t just strain credulity; it throws credulity against a brick wall and stomps on the broken shards.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is the chairman of the convention. The embarrassing video of his attempting to pretend that the delegates approved – by a two-thirds vote – amending the platform by returning “God” to the document and Jerusalem to capital status will follow him to his grave.

And it wasn’t Villaraigosa’s fault. It was a self-inflicted wound by the Obama campaign.

Then there was Bill Clinton.

It is well known around Your Nation’s Capital that there is still no love lost between the Clintonites and the Obamans. They all but write ugly slogans about each other in brightly colored chalk on the sidewalks downtown.

The notion that the Obama campaign feels so impotent that Obama had to call on Bill Clinton to prop him up is, at a minimum, embarrassing and, at a maximum, a declaration of surrender.

Clinton held forth for about 50 minutes. Way past the 11 PM deadline but Clinton knew the networks weren’t going to cut away from him.

It wasn’t that Clinton spoke for so long. Not counting Fidel Castro, Clinton is the man most likely to overstay his welcome on any stage on the planet Earth.

It was that Barack Obama, President of the United States, had to hide behind the curtain and wait for Clinton to finish so he – Obama – could have his picture taken with him – Clinton.

I tweeted during Clinton’s speech: Clinton is so good that Obama is shrinking right before our eyes. And he’s not even in the hall yet.

Clinton made sure his face covered Obama’s face during the hug.

Clinton was upstage facing the audience and the cameras. Obama was downstage. Hidden.

Now you know where the phrase “He was upstaged” comes from.

Clinton is great at this stuff. He is the best at giving that kind of speech of anyone I have ever heard in my, now, very long career.

By the time you read this on Friday morning the August unemployment number will have been announced. I don’t know whether it will go up or down, but I do know it will be above 8 percent.

The Obama campaign knows it is in trouble. It has outspent the campaign of Gov. Mitt Romney by something like $100 million and they are tied nationally, and essentially tied in the 12 battleground states.

Even Bill Clinton may not be able to bail Obama out.

This entire administration has been an unforced error.

On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: A link to the video of Mayor Villaraigosa trying to figure out how to fix the platform and another in the series of popular license plate Mullfotos.

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