Now it’s the Democrats’ turn. During their convention, they must make a case akin to a trial lawyer’s closing argument: Clear, strong and full of conviction.
The most pressing question: Are you better off now than you were four years ago?
To persuade us to re-elect their candidate, the Democrats need to make a persuasive case that the answer is an unequivocal “yes.” Not, maybe. Not, we are working on it. Yes.
They need to marshal facts to persuade us of that proposition. Rather than hemming and hawing, or running negative attack ads, the Democrats must make their affirmative case. Here are some arguments that you may hear in the coming days:
1. Four years ago we were on the brink of financial disaster. Obama kept the economy from collapsing.
2. He imposed the most sweeping Wall Street reforms since the Great Depression.
3. He rescued the auto industry.
4. He took out Osama bin Laden, decimated al-Qaida leadership, helped topple the Gadhafi regime and ended the Iraq War.
5. He ended “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and is the first president to affirmatively support gay marriage.
6. He enacted sweeping health care reform, which no other president before him has been able to do, securing coverage for millions who were unprotected.
7. A host of social programs for the poor and other struggling Americans have been strengthened.
8. He has worked to protect the environment, including providing a boost to green initiatives and improving fuel-efficiency standards. Expect a comparison of the federal government’s preparedness during Hurricane Issac versus Katrina.
9. He reformed the student loan system.
10. He helped negotiate the New START treaty.
11. He improved food safety protections.
12. He cracked down on credit card company abuses.
13. He expanded stem-cell research.
14. He signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which makes it easier to bring pay discrimination lawsuits.
Stay tuned to see how many of these themes appear in the coming days.