If you were watching the Republican convention last night, you probably noticed that not a single speaker mentioned the economy. Barack Obama noticed, and blasted the Republicans today for ignoring the economy at their convention.
While campaigning in Ohio today, Obama said, “Which probably explains why last night when they were speaking, all these speakers (at the Republican National Convention) came up, you didn’t hear a single word about the economy. Not once did people mention the hardships that people are going through. I guess I don’t blame them, because if you don’t have any issues to run on, you want it all to be about personality. If you have got George Bush’s track record and John McCain voting 90 percent of the time in agreement with George Bush, then you probably you don’t want to talk about issues either.”
The McCain campaign has made a conscious decision that this convention is going to be about playing up McCain’s bio, and demonizing Barack Obama. They are going to ignore all of the other issues except national security and Iraq. It seems like the selection of Joe Biden by Obama has even taken foreign policy off of the table. Although, they are still trying to play up the experience angle, they have been hamstrung by the perception that very few people outside of the Republican Party actually believe that Sarah Palin is qualified to be president.
While people sitting at home watching this convention want to hear what John McCain is going to do about the number one issue in this election, they are getting hours of hearing about what a hero McCain is combined with what a risk it would be not to elect him. It is almost like the McCain campaign is trying to hold the worst convention possible. From an atmosphere that is funeral like at best, to a convention hall that is mostly empty, this is not a made for television event that is putting their candidate’s best foot forward.
Obama should be attacking McCain and the Republicans on the economy every single day. It is an issue that McCain wants to avoid, but it is on everyone’s minds. Obama needs to be reminding voters that McCain doesn’t know much about the economy, and he has picked a running mate that knows even less. I remember the Ronald Reagan conventions of the 1980’s. They were filled with youth, optimism, and an economic message, kind of like Denver was for Obama. In contrast, the McCain convention has been stale, old, and soul less, kind of like the man it will formally nominate on Thursday.