One of the best things about being in the chattering classes is that there is an endless discussion during this time of year about what a candidate “Must Do” in order to guarantee success. Romney “Must” solidify his base, Barack Obama “Must” close the gap in fundraising, Ann Romney “Must” find a way to not come off as a Stepford Wife.
All of this fuss over “Musts” and yet people forget that the elections are One Day Sales. We only vote once, in November, there are few do-or-die suggestions or scenarios in the 3rd quarter of the campaign process. With that in mind, here are three things that Obama needs to do in this convention week, which will help him maintain his narrow lead over Romney but certainly won’t guarantee him a victory in November.
1. Fix the Aesthetics and Do a Rain Dance
No offense to the large Native American population of North Carolina but if anyone out there has some knowledge from their relatives about how to stop it from raining Obama would like to give you a call. The president needs to have the right image and the right look in a campaign that has to justify a presidency that has been full of disappointments and challenges. Like in 2008 the Obama campaign is giving Barack the chance to give his keynote speech outdoors, which means a large open stadium which means seats need to be filled and they better hope the sky stays clear. The largest story coming out of Obama’s keynote address cannot be how many seats weren’t filled in the 74,000 person stadium Time Warner Cable arena.
2. Win the Ratings Game
Way back in the 1996 presidential election, there was a huge fight between the Clinton, Dole and Perot campaigns about when the debates should take place. In the end, Clinton who wanted to maintain his lead in the polls, made sure that two of the debates would take place during the World Series. This guaranteed the lowest ratings in presidential debate history during the time and helped him slide into victory. Obama has the same problem in reverse. His keynote address to the Democrats and the nation occurs on
Thursday, probably sometime around 10 p.m. Which means that he’ll be competing with the MTV Music Awards hosted by Kevin Hart. Obama needs a huge audience for his final speech, he doesn’t need the bad press that the GOP got last week when Paul Ryan’s speech drew a smaller audience than “Honey Boo Boo” and Romney’s speech was viewed by 10 million fewer folks than McCain in 08. If Obama gets beaten out by MTV and Hart, or if he can’t at least swing a decent swath of young voters on Thursday they’ll never hear the end of it.
3. End Things With a BANG
It goes without saying that President Barack Obama can deliver a rousing speech that sends tingles up the spine of his supporters and shivers down the back of his detractors. That’s been the case for years. And yes, we all know that he needs to do well on Thursday to galvanize an audience that everyone seems to think is losing faith in him (really? Have you seen the reactions to Romney?) But there is an even bigger reason that Obama needs to do well on Thursday because there is a chance that his entire speech, and the convention itself could be overshadowed by the news on Friday. The August jobs report comes out on Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. and if the numbers are bad, if unemployment goes up for the third straight month, the entire news narrative for the weekend will discount anything said or done during the week. In other words Obama better hit it out of the park on Thursday because there may be a steroid scandal brewing Friday morning.
This article originally appeared online at Politic365.com.