When Barack Obama took the stage at the 2012 Democratic National Convention (DNC), he accepted his re-nomination for President, making the case for why Americans should re-elect him. The signature Obama rhetoric that reached for the sky gave way to a speech grounded in policy of what has been done and what’s left to put the country back on track.
Before an arena packed with 20,000 Obama loyalists, the President took credit for policies that saved the economy from going off a cliff. But he warned that electing challenger Mitt Romney would set back any economic gains and the long view approach needed to sustain them.
“You didn’t elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. You elected me to tell you the truth. And the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades,” declared the President.
President Obama set out to contrast his ideas with his Republican opponent whom he only named once and who he accused of being vague. The President explained how he would create more jobs, including one million in manufacturing and in the alternative fuel sector (wind and solar power) through investments in training and education. He promised to protect Medicare from turning into a voucher system that could leave some seniors vulnerable to insurance companies or without coverage. He vowed to end the war in Afghanistan and support our military and veterans when they come home. The President spent a lot of time on this topic, suggesting that Romney not devoting more attention to our servicemen and women as well as foreign policy last week at the GOP convention, is just one example of how the former governor of Massachusetts isn’t ready to occupy the nation’s highest office.
But his most biting criticism was reserved for the competing vision on the role of government that has sharpened during this election. The President made the point that Romney’s push for more tax cuts for the wealthy and less regulations of industry is proof that his opponent is out of touch with the stressed middle class that he says needs help and protections. More than arguing government programs help those who have fallen through the cracks, Mr. Obama reminded Americans that government is made up of the people whose participation shapes policy.
“You’re the reason a young immigrant who grew up here and went to school here and pledged allegiance to our flag will no longer be deported from the only country she’s ever called home...You did that! You did that!” affirmed the President, referring to the executive order that pushes the pause button for eligible young illegal immigrants, as well as other Obama accomplishments such as ending the combat mission in Iraq and his health care law.
Here and throughout the “red meat” parts of the speech, hungry Obama supporters jumped to their feet to give the President standing ovations, clapping and cheering, “four more years!”
The most fierce part of the campaign is next, with the following two month marked by each of the four presidential debates and separate “candidate forums” in Spanish on Univision. Acknowledging what he called his failings, President Obama asked the American people for their vote in November.
This post was first published as Election 2012: President Obama Asks for Your Vote on September 7, 2012 in Latina Magazine where I am a weekly politics columnist.
To read more of Viviana’s Election 2012 columns in Latina, click here.
To read and see more of Viviana’s 2012 Democratic National Convention and Republican National Convention coverage, click here.